Rev. Anthony De Jager, 88, all-around pastor and serious Bible student, equally kind as a minister and a father, as serious in his prayers as in his pulpit work, passed away on September 25, at Holland Christian Homes in Brampton, Ontario, following a series of strokes.
De Jager was born in Kampen, The Netherlands, where he attended grade school and the classical high school, before entering the theological university in the city of his birth. He completed his candidate’s exam in l951, the year that he married Janna Roelfina Smid. In the course of that year the young couple migrated to Canada.
De Jager subsequently graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary in l952.
De Jager served all across the continent, both in Canada and the U.S. He began his ministry in l952 in the Taber (Alberta) Christian Reformed Church.
He also served Westend CRC in Edmonton, Alberta; Bethel CRC in Brockville, Ontario; First CRC of Toronto; Second CRC in Sarnia, Ontario; Trinity CRC in Artesia, Calif.; and Rehoboth CRC in Bowmanville, Ontario.
He retired in 1987.
De Jager was as liked as a person as he was respected as a pastor. A man of energy and diligence, he served his busy family with as much devotion as he did his demanding immigrant congregations.
He was a self-effacing pastor who, unawares, acted and spoke with authority; at church meetings, when he spoke, people listened. He was a frequent delegate to the Christian Reformed synods.
Both The Banner and Christian Courier valued his contributions. When the latter was still called Calvinist Contact, De Jager wrote the highly popular series titled “Arie en Katrien”(sketches of the Dutch immigrant life in Canada) with the pen name Arie Doff—for years a well-kept secret.
As the years went by he increasingly quoted Lords Day 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism from the pulpit as well as at visits. Prayer assumed an ever growing place in his daily life.
De Jager is survived by his wife, Jane, and their children: Henry and Nancy De Jager, Jack De Jager, Peter De Jager, Calvin and Wilma De Jager, Paul and Dorothy De Jager, Betty and Rob Boomsma, Ted and Dionne De Jager, 13 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
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