Raymond Graves, 89, a humble servant of Jesus, was deeply concerned about the salvation of people and restlessly busy in his ministerial calling. He passed away peacefully on December 29, 2013.
Graves was born near Dike, Iowa, where he grew up on a farm and attended grade school and high school. He served in the military during World War II; afterward he was stationed in Nuremberg, Germany, as part of the units connected with the trials of SS war criminals.
Responding to a desire to serve his Lord in the gospel ministry, he attended Calvin College and Seminary, graduating in 1952.
Graves served the following Christian Reformed congregations: Cedar (Iowa) CRC; Iowa Falls (Iowa) CRC; Bethel CRC, Zeeland, Mich.; Bunde (Minn.) CRC; Calvin CRC, Holland, Mich.; Cadillac (Mich.) CRC; and Woden (Iowa) CRC. He retired in 1988.
Graves was a godly, kind, and compassionate person—a devout student of the Word who loved the congregations he served. He was gifted in keeping harmony in his congregations and was often called upon to resolve discords. Pastoral work was very important to him. Meetings, visits, and teaching classes kept him away from the family circle many evenings. This busy pastor told his minister toward the end of his life that he felt he could have done more.
In three of his seven churches he was involved in major building projects. He served the denomination on some of its boards and was a delegate to several synods.
Graves found replenishment in fishing, camping, playing horseshoes, and bowling. Following their retirement, Graves and his wife served six congregations on an interim basis.
Graves is survived by his wife, Johanna, their children Carole and Doug Pulscher, Philip and Ruby Graves, Colleen and Dan Oosting, Jean and Rick Groenhof, Janice and Frank Artigue, 13 grandchildren, and 21 great-grandchildren.