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IN MEMORIAM: Rev. John Botting

April 26, 1916 – July 2, 2010

Rev. John Botting, 94, diligent in a broad range of  ministries, theologically well-versed, and a fine musician and gardener, passed away on July 2 of congestive heart failure.

Botting was born in Grand Rapids, Mich., where he attended Oakdale Christian School and Grand Rapids Christian High School. Hoping to enter the Christian ministry, he enrolled at Calvin College in l936. Upon graduation in l939 he was accepted as a student at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Penn.

He graduated three years later and accepted a call to the Canadian Presbyterian Church of Valleyfield, Quebec.

In l944 he moved to the Canadian Presbyterian Church in Kemptville, Ontario, where he served until l948. In l945 Botting and a joyful congregation welcomed his new bride, Leona Mae Zylstra, from Grand Rapids. Their marriage is remembered for its legendary hospitality.

Botting served one more Canadian Presbyterian  congregation, in Glencoe, Ont., until 1948.

In l952 Botting entered the Christian Reformed ministry by accepting a call to the New Era (Mich.) CRC. Five more Christian Reformed congregations were to follow: Faith CRC, Holland, Mich., 1957; First CRC, Vancouver, British Columbia, 1963; New Holland (S.D.) CRC, 1968; Bethel CRC, De Motte, Ind., 1975; and Noordeloos (Mich.) CRC, 1980. He retired in l983.

Throughout their ministry, Botting and Leona did all the pastoral calling together. During their retirement years they continued that practice for almost a decade at Seymour CRC of Grand Rapids.

Botting combined in his person diligent pastoral faithfulness and broad theological interests. He belonged to that generation of pastors who wrote two sermons a week, taught all the catechism classes, managed the  congregational program, and visited tirelessly.

Botting was a fine trumpet player, enjoyed a variety of sports, and was a master gardener. He loved and promoted missions. During his earlier years in Canada he cooperated with Dr. M.J. Kik in founding a magazine, Biblical Christianity, the forerunner of Christianity Today.

During his years in Vancouver he was active in settling Dutch immigrants, and later he ministered to Mexican immigrants.

Botting was predeceased by his son-in-law, Glen, and one grandchild. He is survived by his wife, Leona, and their children Audrey Watson, JoAnn and William van Vugt, Judie and Phil Hamstra, John Arthur Botting, James Richard Botting, Lori and John Schout, as well as 13 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

About the Author

Louis Tamminga is the Banner's writer of In Memoriams for pastors.

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