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Bonnema, David Douwe (1893-1956) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Bonnema, David Douwe (1893-1956)

Historical Note:

David Bonnema was born in Rock Valley, Iowa, 30 July 1884. At the age of twenty he made profession of faith. His name is listed in the 1914-1915 yearbook of the Theological School and Calvin College as a first-year student from Hawarden, Iowa. The 1917-1918 yearbook lists him as a fourth-year student in the Preparatory School. When he graduated from the seminary in 1924 he accepted a call to serve the First Church of Denver where he ministered with Rev. Idzerd Van Dellen, an older and more experienced man who must have been a well-qualified mentor for the young preacher.

Other churches served by Bonnema included First, Grand Rapids, Michigan, from 1922-1941; First, Zeeland, Michigan, from 1941-1951; and Hospers, Iowa, from 1951-1956.

D. D. Bonnema also served the denomination. He was a member of the Board of Home Missions from 1936-1947 and after that period he was on the Board of Indian and Foreign Missions. For many years he was president of the National Federation of Men’s Societies.

Throughout his ministry he revealed a high degree of sanctified common sense and a keen sense of humor. A colleague described him as a person who was not a stranger to pastoral understanding, care, and blessings. He was lovingly remembered by the members of the churches he served.

Together with wife, Ara E. Grouse, they raised four children: Maybel Bathilda, Wendell Crouse, Benjamin Clarence, and Kenneth Dale. Rev. D. D. Bonnema died 26 March 1956, eight days after a brief hospitalization. He preached his last sermons on Sunday, 18 March.

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