Log In | Contact Us
Browse: Collections Digital Content Subjects Creators Record Groups

Eldersveld, Peter (1911-1965) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Eldersveld, Peter (1911-1965)

Historical Note:

The radio voice of the Christian Reformed Church from 1946 to 1965 was silenced the morning of 14 October 1965. After almost twenty years of broadcasting, the Rev. Peter Eldersveld’s ministry ended. After his unexpected death, his voice was heard for a few Sundays through the medium of taped messages prepared and recorded a week prior to his final heart attack.

Peter Eldersveld’s life began in Kalamazoo, Michigan, 18 January 1911. Because he was the son of a pastor, his life and his educational program involved a number of moves. The first years of education were in Kalamazoo Christian School, West Side Christian School of Grand Rapids, Michigan; public and Christian schools of Corsica, South Dakota; and the public high school of Muskegon, Michigan. In 1928, Peter began four years of study at Calvin College in the pre-seminary course. During his college days, he maintained a continued interest in oratory and basketball.

After one year at Calvin Theological Seminary, 1932-1933, he enrolled in the speech department at the University of Michigan. His major paper was on "preaching and its place in public discourse." (See box 1, folder 2.) The following two years were spent at Calvin Theological Seminary from which he graduated in 1936. Peter studied an additional year at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago while interning at the Fourth Roseland Christian Reformed Church of Chicago.

A college courtship with Harriet Kuiper moved toward their marriage on 7 July 1937.

Peter was declared a candidate for the Christian Reformed ministry on 27 May 1937, and he received his first call to serve the Christian Reformed Church in Holland, Iowa. During the more than five years in Holland, Iowa, he participated in a radio ministry over KFJB in Marshalltown and KXEL in Waterloo. (See box 1, folder 7.)

Peter was installed as pastor of the Bethany CRC of South Holland, Illinois, on 1 August 1943. While there his interest in radio ministry increased through broadcasts of services from the church and his membership in the Radio Committee of the denominational broadcast, The Back to God Hour. In 1946, he was appointed by Synod to serve as radio minister. He remained the voice of the denomination until his death in 1965. During the period of that ministry, he preached over seven hundred radio messages.

A review of his radio messages will reveal that the theme of Peter’s radio ministry was to preach, "Jesus Christ and him crucified." He approached that theme from the Old and New Testament passages. The Christ of the Cross was the only way of salvation for contemporary man and the society of the day was in need of that Christ.

Page Generated in: 0.042 seconds (using 111 queries).
Using 2.15MB of memory. (Peak of 2.86MB.)

Powered by Archon Version 3.21 rev-3
Copyright ©2017 The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign