Marinus Harberts, also known as Mike or Reeney, ministered for 35 years in New Mexico, where he grew to love the people of the Navajo Nation. A humble and generous man, he was always willing to give what God had blessed him with to others. “Live life as though it was your last day,” was one of his sayings. Harberts died on March 19 after spending his final years at Visions Assisted Living in Apache Junction, Ariz.
Harberts dropped out of high school and delivered telegrams on a bicycle for Western Union. He worked in a furniture factory and served two years in the U.S. Army before hearing the call of God to ministry and enrolling at Reformed Bible Institute. He remained in the Army Reserves for six years.
All his years of ministry took place in New Mexico. After two years of pastoring Shiprock CRC, Harberts went on to serve Naschitti CRC, where he learned the Navajo traditions and took classes to learn the language of the Navajo people. He then accepted a call to Tohlakai CRC, where he continued to pastor while studying at Calvin Seminary in the first cohort of the extension program. He was ordained in 1983 after examination at the first fully constituted meeting of Classis Red Mesa. In 1990 he began serving Crownpoint CRC. He retired three years later to Ocheyedan, Iowa. He remained there for seven years after the death of his wife before moving to Apache Junction to be closer to his children. He continued to preach well into his retirement.
Harberts is survived by his son, four daughters and their spouses, 16 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, Jacoba (Cubby), in 1998, and his daughter Michelle in 2017.