1922 - 2006
Rev. Tymen E. Hofman, 83, son of Alberta’s prairies, who became a binational church leader, passed away Jan. 6 following a courageous struggle with throat cancer.
Born in Nobleford, Alberta, where he grew up on the family farm, Hofman graduated from the University of Alberta in agriculture, cum laude. But the Lord laid the calling to gospel ministry on his heart, and he enrolled at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary, from which he graduated in 1951. He married Cobi Jorritsma in 1950.
The young couple accepted a call to serve Bozeman (Mont.) CRC in 1951. Tymen was the first Canadian-born preacher to enter the CRC ministry. The Hofman’s second congregation was in Tymen’s native Alberta: First CRC of Calgary, which he served from 1955 to 1962. An entirely different ministry was to follow: First CRC of Los Angeles, where a Christian Reformed congregation struggled to meet the gospel’s challenge in a burgeoning metropolitan center. Service in three more U.S. congregations followed: Allen Avenue CRC, Muskegon, Mich. (1968); Neland Avenue CRC, Grand Rapids, Mich. (1972); and Faith CRC, Tinley Park, Ill. (1981). The Hofmans retired in 1987.
Hofman was a man of many talents: a gifted preacher, an organizer of congregations, a restless theologian, a forthright church leader, a prolific writer, a devoted ecumenist, and a sympathetic pastor to the flocks he served. He loved the Reformed faith and defended his positions with fervor, but his sense of humor, integrity, and self-deprecation assured him of a welcome presence at any church gathering. He served the denomination as a member of its major boards and committees and was a frequent delegate to CRC synods. Of his writings, The Canadian Story of the CRC: Its First Century will remain a significant source of CRC church history.
Hofman is survived by his wife, Cobi; by their children, Jim and Bev. Hofman, Ron and Heidi Hofman, and Ken and Sandy Hofman; and by 12 grandchildren.