Rev. John C. Ribbens
1922 - 2007
Rev. John C. Ribbens, pastor, World War II veteran, Bible teacher, and car enthusiast, passed away Dec. 3, 2007, after a bout with a lung ailment.
Born in the Netherlands, Ribbens came to the United States as a little boy with his parents. The family settled in Sheboygan, Wis., where John attended the Christian grade school and North High School.
In 1942 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and saw action in China. Following his discharge he enrolled at Calvin College, from which he graduated in 1949. In l952 he graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary. He and Gertrude Raetz married in 1946.
In subsequent years Ribbens attended courses at the U.S. Civil and Defense Mobilization Staff Office (1959) and at Pine Rest Christian Hospital, Grand Rapids, Mich. (1960). He also was trained to be a Bethel Series Leader.
The Ribbenses served the following ministries: Calvin CRC, Rock Valley, Iowa, 1952; Battle Creek (Mich.) CRC, 1956; CRC Radio Ministry for northwest Iowa, 1961; Hope Community CRC , Indianapolis, Ind., 1963; Lafayette (Ind.) CRC, 1965; First CRC, Bellflower, Calif., 1974; Thirty-Sixth Street CRC, Wyoming, Mich., 1980; and Home Missions, Classis Florida, 1985. They retired in 1987.
John was a people person. He related especially well with the sick, the sorrowing, and the elderly. He loved young people’s work. He was known to be a faithful visitor. John was humbled by the wonder of his Savior’s love for him and grateful to be used in spreading God’s love to others. He was instrumental in opening the Christian radio station WXUS-FM in the Lafayette, Ind., region. And he loved cars and during his retirement dealt in them.
Rev. Ribbens is survived by his wife, Trudy; their children, Bryan John, John Carl Jr., Leigh Michael, and Mary Gail and Brad Gilman; and by two granddaughters and two great-granddaughters. He was predeceased by two sons, Bruce Phillip and Joel William.