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Boer, Harry Reinier (1913-1999) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Boer, Harry Reinier (1913-1999)

Historical Note:

Harry Rainier Boer graduated from Calvin in 1938; he served as chair of missions at Calvin Theological Seminary in 1951. Harry co-founded the Reformed Journal and advocated for the new theology in the Christian Reformed Church. His parents were Anna Vijfhuizen and Jacob Boer. Harry's father was born in Nieuwerbrug, worked as a bookkeeper for the bulb-growing nursery businesses and served as a deacon. His mother was a domestic maid and participated in the Ladies' Aid Society. The family arrived in the United States in April 1922. Harry Rainier did his confession of faith in 1934 in Holland, Michigan. Harry's grandparents were Hendrick Vijfhuizen, Willem Boer, and Elizabeth Mulder. Harry had a sister, Elisabeth Datema, and a brother, William, and several nieces and nephews.

Harry attended the Holland Christian High School, Hope College, and then to Calvin Theological Seminary in 1942. Harry served as a chaplain in the United States Navy (he was the first CRC pastor to be a Navy chaplain), a missionary to Nigeria, and was part of the faculty for the Calvin Theological Seminary. Harry founded and worked as the first principal of the theological college of Northern Nigeria. He also led weekly Bible studies for the inmates of the Muskegon, Michigan, Correctional Facility.

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