George Frederick Vander Weit, remembered by many as the proverbial “Energizer Bunny,” was an outspoken man who threw himself into the life of every church and community to which God called him. When he died on July 5, 2013, following a struggle with severe depression, the Christian Reformed Church lost a man passionately invested in its workings and activities.
After graduating from Calvin Theological Seminary, Vander Weit was ordained in 1968 and served the following congregations: Wayland (Mich.) CRC; East Side CRC, Warrensville Heights, Ohio; North Hills CRC, Troy, Mich.; and Fuller Avenue CRC, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Vander Weit also got involved in the communities of those congregations. He served as the activities director for the City of Warrensville Heights as well as with the Troy Drug Coalition. He also helped found Fuller Area Neighbors. After his retirement in 2008 until the time of his death, Vander Weit was responsible for preaching at the service for second-generation Korean immigrants at Han-Bit Korean CRC in Rochester Hills, Mich.
Vander Weit became known for the numerous overtures (requests) he wrote to the annual synods of the CRC. He was sought out by other regional groups of churches to help write their overtures as well.
He was known as a leading advocate for women in ecclesiastical office. He was a frequent contributor to The Banner—writing articles and contributing to the Q & A page. He had a good sense of humor as evidenced by the jokes he submitted to The Banner and the Friday humor emails he sent out to many people.
Vander Weit loved to garden and travel. One traveling goal he had was to visit all 50 of the U.S. states, which he accomplished in May 2013 when he and his wife took an Alaskan cruise two months before his death.
Vander Weit is survived by Bonnie, his wife of 48 years; his children Tim, Randy and Lisa, Todd and Kerry, Karla and Tristan, and nine grandchildren.
On June 25, 2016, Vander Weit’s ashes will be scattered on land at East Side CRC where he pastored for 18 years and had a large garden.
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