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Pekelder, Bernard | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Pekelder, Bernard

Historical Note:

(1922- 2012)

Bernard Pekelder was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on December 17, 1922. His family moved to Sheboygan, Wisconsin where Pekelder spent his childhood and teenage years. Pekelder initially thought about pursuing a career in law until he consulted with a Christian mentor which helped shift his career path toward ministry.

He moved back to Grand Rapids to attend Calvin College and Seminary in which he graduated from in 1947. He also went on to earn his master's degree from Northwestern University in Chicago.

In 1947 he accepted the call to serve the congregation of Jamestown, Michigan. He went on to serve the churches of East Leonard Street, Grand Rapids, MI (1951-1955) and Midland Park, New Jersey (1955-1962).  In 1962 he accepted the position as the first Chaplain of Calvin College.  By 1963 he took the role of Vice-President of Student Affairs at Calvin College. In 1985 Pekelder retired.

Bernard Pekelder was married to Jane Vander Griend. Together they had five children, four daughters and one son. He served as an elder at the Calvin Christian Reformed Church. He also served on the Education Committee and Calvin Board of Trustees. He also found time to publish two catechism books, Saved from Sin and Saved to Serve. He wrote articles for The Banner as well. On September 21, 2012 Rev. Bernard Pekelder passed away due to congestive heart failure.

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