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Van Dellen, Idzerd (1871-1965) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Van Dellen, Idzerd (1871-1965)

Historical Note:

Idzerd Van Dellen was born on 31 January 1871, in a parsonage in the village of Sassenheim. He spent his boyhood and most of his youth in the Netherlands. However, after studying a few years in the Theological School at Kampen, he followed his father, Rev. Lubbertus Van Dellen, to the United States and completed his education at the Theological School of the Christian Reformed Church.

Rev. Van Dellen began his ministry in Maxwell City, New Mexico, in 1895, and later held pastorates in Luctor, Kansas, and Orange City, Iowa. Largely for the improvement of his wife's health, he moved to Denver, Colorado, and there he remained as pastor of the First Denver CRC for thirty-three years.

Throughout his lifetime, Rev. Van Dellen was interested in the study of church polity. Already in 1915 he was the co-editor of a manual of church order, and in 1941 he and Rev. Martin Monsma co-authored the Church Order Commentary. He served on the committee which prepared the 1965 revised edition of the church order.

His active pen produced a number of books, including an autobiography, In God's Crucible. He wrote meditations for several periodicals and for years he supplied a weekly column, "Postduiven," for De Wachter.

Rev. Van Dellen helped to establish Bethesda Hospital and was active in promoting the hospital's cause in other parts of the country. He was the spiritual adviser to the tubercular patients at Bethesda for many years.

Both Christian education and missions were of vital concern to Rev. Van Dellen. He was a member of the Foreign Missions Board and displayed a particular interest in the mission work among the Indians in nearby states. His pioneer work in the promotion of local Christian schools has been recognized by the naming of one of the Denver Christian Schools in his honor. For forty years he was a member of the Board of Trustees of Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary.

Rev. Van Dellen's capacities for leadership and his spiritual qualities were recognized in the church. At several meetings of the annual synods, he was chosen to be the president of that body. Although he was not blessed with children of his own, many felt that when this aged servant died on 29 October 1965, a spiritual father had passed away.

Idzerd Van Dellen spent a lifetime in service to the Christian Reformed Church. For a number of years, he was its nester and his contributions to the denomination, both during his active ministry and lengthy retirement, were many and varied.

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