Rev. Dick C. Bouma
September 9, 1927 – March 26, 2007
Rev. Dick C. Bouma, known for a lifetime of witnessing for Christ, died March 26, following a struggle with heart problems.
Bouma was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Mich., where he attended Christian grade school and Christian high school. In 1945, following graduation from high school, he served in the U.S. Army for two years, the greater part of which he spent in the Philippines. Upon his return to the United States in 1947, he enrolled at Calvin College and, subsequently, at Calvin Theological Seminary, from which he graduated in 1954. That summer he married Evelyn Vriend. The young couple spent the following year in Amsterdam, where Dick studied at the Free University.
Rev. Bouma had a diversified ministerial career. During the summer of 1955, while returning from Europe to the U.S., the Boumas received and accepted a call from the Reformed Church of Blacktown, New South Wales, Australia. In 1960 they accepted a call from another Australian church, the Reformed Church of Moe, Victoria. They returned to North America in 1961, where they divided their time between the congregations of Grande Prairie Christian Reformed Church and La Glace CRC, both in Alberta, Canada. In 1965 the Boumas returned to the U.S., accepting a call from Gallatin Gateway Community CRC of Bozeman, Mont.
The Pacific region of the globe, however, held their interest, and in 1968 Dick accepted an invitation from Christian Reformed World Missions to serve in Bacolod City, Negros Island, the Philippines. Following those years, two more U.S. churches profited from Bouma’s enthusiastic ministry: Mountain View CRC of Lynden, Wash. (1975), and Washington (Pa.) CRC (1979). The concluding chapter of Dick’s career, from 1984 to 1993, took place once more in the Philippines, where he served with World Missions in the capital of Manila.
Bouma was a man of unwavering loyalty to the Reformed Christian faith, a faith he diligently studied, practiced, and promoted. Evangelism had the love of his heart. His winsome personality helped him gain the trust of people and share the good news with them. In their church-planting ministries and World Missions work, the Boumas’ warm hospitality also aided them in leading people to Christ. Dick had a gift for making friends with lonely people and strangers.
Bouma is survived by his wife, Evelyn; by their children Paul and Hetty Bouma, Gresham and Wendy Bouma, Carol Bouma, Bethany and Arie Van Muyen, and Sterling and Kaari Bouma; and by 14 grandchildren. He was predeceased by a son, Deric.