Douglas Vander Wall, 84, preacher of grace, competent theologian, and caring pastor, passed away on October 18 of a heart attack.
Vander Wall was born in Munster, Ind. He graduated from Calvin College and Seminary in 1953 and was awarded a Master of Theology degree from Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia a year later. He continued his studies toward a doctorate in theology at the Free University of Amsterdam. By the time the family returned to the U.S., the children spoke only Dutch.
Vander Wall served the following Christian Reformed congregations: Peoria (Iowa) CRC; Phoenix (Ariz.) CRC; Modesto (Calif.) CRC; Shawnee Park CRC in Grand Rapids, Mich.; Summitview CRC (now called Faith Alive Church) in Yakima, Wash.; and Avery Street CRC in South Windsor, Conn. He retired in 1995.
Missions and church growth figured prominently in Vander Wall’s ministry. This, together with his love for preaching and deep caring for his parishioners, made for effective ministry. He combined godliness with broad theological and biblical knowledge. The Vander Walls were avid travelers. In each of the places they lived,
Vander Wall was proud of his splendid garden. He was also a fine golfer. Vander Wall was predeceased by his wife, Leanne, in 2000. He remarried in 2014 and is survived by his wife, Helen.
He is also survived by Pamela Faye and Earl William Wiersma, Debra Lee and Michael Zacharia, Carla Anne and Steven Dion Hendricks, Laura Jean Vander Wall, Dale Edward Vander Wall, and 16 grandchildren.
He is also survived by the children of Helen Vander Wall: Edwin Lee Vermeulen, Laura Lee and William Van Nieuwenhuizen, and David Henry Vermeulen and Karen Cantele.