Rev. Benjamin Becksvoort was a man of singular humility who, although a very able and knowledgeable leader, kept himself in the background. As one colleague described him, “He was a servant leader before being a servant leader was fashionable.”
Known as a great friend and fantastic colleague, Becksvoort was faithful in prayer and a lifelong student and promoter of the spiritual disciplines of the faith. He ministered to people who were lost and those who were found, to young and old, to church plants and established churches. Becksvoort, age 67, died at home on June 6, 2015, of cancer.
Becksvoort graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary in 1972. A pastor for 41 years, he served as chaplain at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He also served the congregations of Akron (Ohio) Christian Reformed Church and Brookside CRC in Grand Rapids, Mich. While in Akron, Becksvoort served with great distinction as regional pastor, visiting his colleagues in Classis Lake Erie. He became a regional leader for Christian Reformed Home Missions (Great Lakes area) in 1997.
Becksvoort will be remembered for his chili, his subtle sense of humor and infectious laugh, his enjoyment of golfing, fishing, and gardening, and his deft and gentle way in denominational leadership. Despite his large physical presence, he will always be remembered as “Gentle Ben.”
Becksvoort is survived by his wife, Beverly, and his children Brian Becksvoort and Beth (Stuart) Foster.