Hubert Sprik, 84, who was born into a missionary family, grew up on a Michigan farm, and whose ministry never lost the glow of his conversion experience, died on October 9 following a brief hospitalization.
Sprik was born at the onset of the Great Depression in Gallup, N.M., where his father ministered to the Zuni and Navajo people. In 1932, that part of the work in New Mexico was discontinued for lack of funds. The Spriks moved to a farm in Manton, Mich., where they struggled hard to make a living. At age 13, Hubert harnessed and hitched four horses to pull a large harrow.
Sprik attended one-room grade schools and graduated in l947 from Coopersville High School as salutatorian of his class. He entered Calvin College that same year as a pre-law student. The calling toward the gospel ministry, however, remained strong. He switched to pre-seminary courses, graduating from Calvin Theological Seminary in l954. During his seminary days he was deeply involved in evangelism ministries.
Sprik served the following congregations: Olentangy CRC in Columbus, Ohio; Fairbanks (Alaska) CRC; Oklahoma City (Okla.) CRC; Cincinnati (Ohio) CRC; First CRC in Crown Point, Ind.; Fellowship CRC in Greeley, Colo.; and Wayland (Mich.) CRC. He retired in 1986.
Sprik’s intimate relationship with Christ fuelled his restless passion of bringing the gospel to people far and near. He stated regularly at classis meetings: “Evangelism is the first business of the church.”
In Cincinnati he hosted a Summer Workshop in Missions (SWIM) team, a type of youth ministry then still in its early stages. All through his ministry, Sprik showed great interest in community life at the churches he served. In Wayland he was the founder of Son Life Camp and Retreat Center, which is still going strong today.
Sprik loved music. He played the trumpet well and was a fine singer. He was also a patient hunter: after 25 years of trudging the Michigan woods, he bagged his first deer.
Sprik was predeceased by his wife, Barbara, in 2005; his son-in-law Bill Morgan this past summer; and one grandchild. He is survived by his children Patrice and Harry De Haan, Christine and Doug De Haan, Michelle Morgan, Carol and Eric Carlson, Janet and Tom Smart, and Paul and Kelly Sprik, as well as 19 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.