In Memoriam: Rev. Roger Selles Greenway

Roger Selles Greenway, a gifted man who served in numerous roles over his lifetime, was especially known for his involvement in world missions, urban ministries, and seminary teaching. Greenway loved to fish and believed he was also called to be a fisher of men (and women). His book, Fish: The Call of the Master Fisher, published in 2013, was his final testimony to his desire that people from all nations would come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. Greenway died on April 30 following the effects of a stroke suffered in 2014.

After studying at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary, Greenway was ordained in 1958 and appointed by Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM) to serve as missionary in what is now called Sri Lanka. In 1963 the family moved to Mexico City, where he taught at Juan Calvino Seminary and later founded Instituto Mexicano Biblico, an institute for training urban pastors and church planters.

After completing a Ph.D. in 1972 from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Greenway served as Latin America Secretary for CRWM. In 1978 he accepted the call to pastor Burton Heights Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., the same church where his father had been pastor when Greenway was a boy. His son Scott said that it was while singing a hymn during an evening service at that church that his dad felt the call to missions. “That moment set the direction for much of his life.”

Greenway went on to teach at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia and, with a few years in between as executive director of CRWM, taught world missiology at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids until his retirement in 2001. In 2014 Greenway was the recipient of the seminary’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

“My dad loved the Lord, my mom, his family, the church, world missions, big dogs, fishing, and hunting, pretty much in that order,” Scott said. “My dad loved big dogs so much that it never occurred to him that others might not like them as much as he did. He would take his Great Dane or Rottweiler with him to CTS to his office and even to class.”

An only child, Greenway delighted in having a big family. He is survived by Edna, his wife of 61 years; and their five children and spouses: Irma and Francisco Dominguez, Kathleen and Jeffrey De Jong, Jeffrey and Marilyn Greenway, (Roger) Scott and Kelly Greenway, and Robert J. Deurloo, and by 15 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by daughter Wendy Deurloo and grandson Joel Dominguez.

About the Author

Janet Greidanus is a freelance news correspondent for The Banner. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta.

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