Rev. Jon De Bruyn, 64, an educator before he entered the ministry, planter of Fellowship Christian Reformed Church in Traverse City, Mich., and founder of Prayer Missions International, passed away on June 22 from metastatic melanoma.
Born in Sioux Falls, S.D., De Bruyn grew up in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Rock Rapids, Iowa. He attended Calvin College and taught in the Kent Intermediate District of Grand Rapids. The desire to serve his Lord in the gospel ministry, however, continued to grow. He attended Calvin Theological Seminary, graduating with an M.Div. in l978. His wife, Maellen De Young, would remain a close partner in his professional endeavors.
DeBruyn’s first charge was Rudyard (Mich.) Christian Reformed Church. While there he was instrumental in starting New Hope Community CRC in the neighboring community of Kincheloe.
In 1983, De Bruyn moved to Traverse City, Mich. Working with Christian Reformed Home Missions, he planted Fellowship CRC and ministered there for 26 years until his retirement.
Following retirement, De Bruyn became an active leader in Presbyterian-Reformed Ministries International’s Dunamis Project. He also founded Prayer Ministry International in 2008 and led conferences in many centers abroad.
The Lily Foundation awarded him its Foundation scholarship, which enabled the De Bruyns to devote an entire half year to traveling around the globe to study praying churches and establish believers in the practice of prayer. For the last several years of his life, he was instrumental in beginning and participating in Deeper Journey retreats for church workers and leaders. He also served Classis Northern Michigan as its prayer coordinator.
A kind man, De Bruyn had a winsome way of relating to those not in the faith. Their salvation was the object of his fervent prayers. Though gregarious, he was persistent in pursuing goals. The healing ministry became important to him, as did ecumenical concerns.
When cancer struck last year, the outpouring of affection for this pastor assumed huge dimensions. Around the world prayer teams formed spontaneously and prayed for his healing. God heard those prayers by transforming countless lives rather than granting physical healing. On June 22, 2013, the Lord brought this faithful servant home.
De Bruyn is survived by his wife, Maellen, and their children Michael Jon and Amanda De Bruyn, Kevin Mark and Kelly De Bruyn, and Sara Joy and Tony Bonacci, and by 12 grandchildren.