Harvey Baas, 84, a congenial, outgoing, and devout pastor, passed away on July 20 after a nine-month struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Baas was born Falmouth, Mich., the youngest of 13 children born to Tys and Maggie Baas. He graduated from Northern Michigan Christian High School in nearby McBain in l947 and was the only member of his family to graduate from high school.
After completing three years of education at Calvin College, he became the teacher of a one-room school in Lucas, Mich. A year later he returned to school, graduating from Calvin College in 1955 and subsequently Calvin Theological Seminary, where he was granted an M. Div. degree.
Baas served the following Christian Reformed congregations: Second CRC, Randolph, Wisc.; Bradenton (Fla.) CRC; Evergreen Park (Ill.) CRC; Bethany CRC, Holland, Mich.; and Pioneer CRC, Cedar Springs, Mich. He retired in l994.
Baas was very much a “people person,” totally approachable. But he will be remembered especially as a person of joy. He was deeply interested in the well-being of people in his congregations and beyond. Friends remember him for the meaningful visits they enjoyed with him.
Discreet and helpful wherever he went, the congregations he served were blessed. He was a self-effacing pastor, humble and affirming. Baas loved the Word of God and preached it with joy. The churches he served were generally on the large size. Baas belonged to that generation of pastors who did an astounding amount of work: making family visits, sick calls, teaching all the catechism classes, leading all societies, and being responsible for the entire church program.
Theological issues and developments in church and kingdom interested him deeply. He was a frequent delegate to the meetings of the CRC’s annual synods.
Baas and his wife continued to make pastoral calls for many years after his retirement.
He is survived by his wife, Marilyn, and their children Kathee Watkins, Leslie and Michael Yoder, Ruthann and Richard Ford, Ellen and Jerry Romer, and David and Jennifer Baas.