As he served seven different Christian Reformed churches in Canada over a period of 35 years, Albert Vanden Pol touched many people with his pastoral heart and gentle spirit. “He was a follower of Jesus through whom grace flowed freely,” said one pastor who knew him well. Vanden Pol died on January 24 in Surrey, B.C. He was 92.
Vanden Pol graduated in 1948 from the School of Theology Christelijke Gereformeerde Kerk in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. He then pastored a church in Thesinge, Groningen, and served two years in the Royal Dutch Army as a chaplain.
In 1955, with three young children, the Vanden Pols immigrated to Canada where he became pastor at First CRC in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. “Preaching in English, fresh off the boat, so to speak, had its challenges,” related his son, Jack. From there, he went on to serve the following churches: Drayton, Ont.; Living Hope, Sarnia, Ont.; Bethel, Dunnville, Ont.; Georgetown, Ont.; Grace, Cobourg, Ont.; and Fleetwood, Surrey, B.C. Along the way, the family grew with five more children.
In Georgetown, Vanden Pol arranged to bring busloads of mostly African American children from urban centers for a two week holiday with families of the church. In Cobourg, he served on the boards of the local penitentiary and hospital.
After retirement in 1990, Vanden Pol did some volunteer ministry and led many Bible studies. Until the end of his life, his mind remained sharp and inquisitive, and he retained his excellent memory for names and events.
Vanden Pol was predeceased in 2004 by his wife, Harriet. He was also predeceased by two sons, a daughter, and a grandchild. He will be lovingly remembered by his remaining five children and their spouses, and by18 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.