Rev. John Vander Lugt, 84, devout child of the Lord, accomplished storyteller, one-time school teacher, war veteran, and faithful minister of the Word, passed away on December 19 following a bout with cancer.
Vander Lugt was born in Strasburg, S.Dak. As a young child he moved with his parents to Grand Rapids, Mich., where he attended grade school and high school. He served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force during World War II, honorably discharged in 1946 with the rank of sergeant.
Vander Lugt graduated from Calvin College in 1951 and taught for nine years. For some time he had felt the call to the gospel ministry, so he returned to school, graduating from Calvin Theological Seminary in 1963.
In l950, he married Grada Scholten, who preceded him in death in 2002. He married Margaret Balk in 2003.
Vander Lugt began ministry in the Christian Reformed Church at Hope CRC in Muskegon, Mich. Other charges included Second CRC, Byron Center, Mich., 1965; Palos Heights (Ill.) CRC, 1970; and Bunde (Minn.) CRC, 1981. He retired in 1991.
During retirement, Vander Lugt served ten congregations that were without a pastor.
Vander Lugt‘s ministry was marked by a sincere concern for the well-being of his parishioners. His carefully selected illustrations enhanced the effectiveness of his sermons. His years as a school teacher continued to strengthen the educational side of his ministry.
The Vander Lugt home was a place of love where many visitors found a warm welcome.
Vander Lugt is survived by his wife Margaret and his children, Gretchen and Stephen Root, Kirsten and Michael Malak, and Neil and Jolene Vander Lugt, as well as by ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.