For 25 years the 1,000-mile stretch of California has been the beat of Banner news correspondent Ruth Donker.
One of the first 12 correspondents appointed to provide regional coverage for CRC News in 1983, Donker is retiring from her Banner post at age 84.
In her quarter-century on the Banner team, Donker has written 525 articles, 50 classis reports, nine “Slice of Life” features, and a series of meditations.
In addition, she penned six devotional books, a book of poetry, 160 features for her church newsletter, and most recently a 250-page autobiography for her children.
A lifelong member of First Christian Reformed Church, Ripon, Calif., Donker has traveled around the state to share with Banner readers many innovative church-growth and expansion efforts. “There’s been such growth in California—always so much to write about,” said Donker. “I’ve met so many interesting people and learned so much about the church.”
Donker said when she started as a news correspondent, The Banner was published weekly and she had no word limits. In the transition from weekly to biweekly to monthly, along with tremendous church growth in her region, Donker said she has learned to prioritize news and use words more efficiently.
Some of her most memorable assignments include interviewing a woman who sobbed while telling her abortion story, a man who ministered to CRC men with AIDS in San Francisco, and an Air Force chaplain who took her on a top-secret tour of a stealth plane.
Aside from the interesting people and stories, Donker said her best memories are the relationships she developed with Banner editors, staff, and correspondents. “I won’t miss the deadlines, but I will miss the fellowship and the good things to write about.”