Jan. 15, 1911 – Oct. 23, 2008
Rev. Henry DeMots, the Christian Reformed Church’s oldest minister at age 97 and the longest in CRC ministry (70 years), occasional president of synods (the annual leadership meetings of the CRC) and the Calvin College board of trustees, churchman, scholar, preacher, but foremost pastor to the flocks he served, passed away Oct. 23, 2008, in good health to the end.
DeMots was born and raised in Edgerton, Minn. He graduated from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1935 and enrolled in Calvin Theological Seminary, graduating in 1938. That same year he married Bertha Vander Pol, who remained the love of his life even during the years he lived alone following her death in 1985.
DeMots served the following churches: Delavan (Wis.) CRC, 1938; First CRC, De Motte, Ind., 1943; First CRC, Bellflower, Calif., 1947; Mayfair CRC, Grand Rapids, Mich., 1954; Orland Park (Ill.) CRC, 1969. He retired in 1976 but remained active in the service of congregations and the denomination for many years afterward.
DeMots was widely recognized as an able and knowledgeable denominational leader. He read widely and was well informed about cultural and public matters. He was a man of wisdom and humor; his presence at meetings and assemblies seemed to bring a spirit of acceptance and understanding. He often ministered to troubled churches. The congregations he served remember him as a loving pastor.
DeMots is survived by his three sons and their wives: Henry and Myrna DeMots, Glenn and Mary DeMots, and Wes and Bonnie DeMots, as well as by nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.