Rev. Jacob H. Binnema Sr.
1921 – 2007
Rev. Jacob Binnema, who was Christ’s faithful representative on three continents, passed away May 28, following some years of struggle with cancer. He was 86.
Binnema was born Jan. 1, 1921, in Munnekezijl, in the Dutch province of Friesland, but grew up in the town of Landsmeer, in the province of Noord Holland. He graduated from the Christian Gymnasium in Amsterdam in 1940 and pursued his theological education at the Free University of Amsterdam, from which he graduated in 1947. That was also the year he married Hilda Scholtens.
The young couple’s first congregation was the Gereformeerde Kerk of Siegerswoude, 1947. During the late 1940s the Netherlands was militarily involved in the former Dutch colonies of Indonesia, and Binnema felt compelled to offer his services as a chaplain. After two years he returned to Holland, where he accepted a call to the Gereformeerde Kerk of Oude Pekela, in the province of Groningen. Five years later the Binnemas agreed to serve the Gereformeerde Kerk of Lemmer, Friesland.
During the early 1950s, emigration from the Netherlands to Canada (and other places) was in full swing, and the Binnemas felt called to minister to the new church communities there. They served the following churches in Canada: First CRC, Rocky Mountain House, Alberta (1960); Maranatha CRC, Cambridge, Ontario (1965); Emmanuel CRC of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia (1969); Cochrane (Ont.) CRC (1973); Telkwa (B.C.) CRC (1978); and Nobleford (Alta.) CRC (1983). The Binnemas retired in 1987.
Rev. Binnema was a thoughtful, gentle pastor who loved and understood the people he served. But he was equally concerned about bringing the gospel into the neighborhoods around the churches. An unassuming man, he was a biblical scholar in his own right. He also was an accomplished linguist, fully familiar with some eight languages. He was deeply interested in the coming of God’s kingdom in the sciences as well as in society. His family remembers him as a sweet, caring father with a broad range of hobbies and interests.
Binnema is survived by his wife, Hilda; by their children, Aukje Willemina Kapteyn, Jake and Magda Binnema, Harmanna Binnema, Hank Binnema and Mary Swytink, Garry Binnema, Calvin and Wilma Binnema, Ted and Helen Binnema, and Tim and Christine Binnema; and by 23 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.