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In Memoriam: Rev. James Peter Vosteen


A man of great humility, Peter Vosteen loved to preach and to teach others to preach.  Even during his last hospitalization, he was planning future opportunities to preach and teach in case he recovered. Vosteen passed away on November 2 after a period of declining health. He was 85.

Vosteen graduated from Philadelphia’s Westminster Theological Seminary in 1956 and did further graduate studies at Luther Theological Seminary. After ordination, he served in the United Presbyterian Church in Lisbon, N.Y. He entered ministry in the Christian Reformed Church in 1959 and served the following congregations: Emo (Ont.) CRC; First CRC in Minneapolis, Minn.; Smithers (B.C.) CRC; Pleasant Street CRC in Whitinsville, Mass.; First CRC in Paterson, N.J.; Cloverdale CRC in Boise, Ida.; and New Life Fellowship Community CRC in Lynnwood, Wash. In 1994, Vosteen and the Lynnwood congregation joined the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. While serving this church, he was also professor of homiletics and pastoral theology at Northwest Theological Seminary.

Vosteen is the author of  “Pastoral Preaching,” a chapter in The Preacher and Preaching (1986). His recollection of the classrooms of Cornelius Van Til, Ned Stonehouse, John Murray, and Meredith G. Kline was the basis of his lifelong commitment to biblical theology and presuppositional apologetics.

Many will remember Vosteen, already well into his 70s, riding his BMW motorcycle to church meetings and preaching assignments, showing up dressed in black leather. Driving was also a hobby, especially behind the wheel of a vintage BMW. He enjoyed hunting and was an excellent tennis player and an award-winning photographer. He will also be remembered for the way he loved and served individuals who were in difficult circumstances and whom many considered to be “tough cases.”

Vosteen leaves behind his wife, Mary Sue; six stepsons and their spouses and children; as well as four children with his first wife, Winifred, who died in 1998; and grandchildren and great- grandchildren.


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