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Buursma, William D. (1925-2013) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Buursma, William D. (1925-2013)

Historical Note:

William D. Buursma (8/16/1925 - 7/6/2013) found his life's highest purpose at the foot of the cross, eloquently proclaiming the truth and beauty of the Christian message as a minister of the Christian Reformed Church. He was an exemplary churchman, committed to the Reformed expression of Christianity yet warmly ecumenical in spirit. His parishioners appreciated his crisply reasoned, biblically rooted, and imaginatively crafted sermons that sought to inspire deep thought and abiding faith. Born in a small village in northern Friesland, he emigrated to Holland, Michigan, with his parents at the dawn of the Great Depression. After enlisting in the U.S. Army's 100th Infantry during WWII, he was educated at Calvin College and Calvin Seminary. He pastored churches in Strathroy, Ontario; Munster, Indiana; Bethel in Grand Rapids; and Third Kalamazoo. In his retirement, he returned to Grand Rapids and served at Ridgewood CRC in Jenison and Ada CRC, as well as at the VanRaalte Institute at Hope College. He deeply loved languages and etymology and was fluent in Frisian, Dutch, English, and German until dementia cruelly robbed him of his ability to speak. He was a faithful fan of Calvin College basketball teams, classical music, British poetry, antique furnishings, vegetable gardening, the Heidelberg Catechism, and his family. He was a frequent contributor to the CRC's magazine, The Banner, and hosted weekly television shows in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids focusing on the interplay of faith and culture.


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