Jacob Uitvlugt, who served Christian Reformed churches in the U.S. and Canada, died March 4. He was 91.
After ordination in 1955, Uitvlugt served Bauer CRC in Hudsonville, Mich. He then became the first pastor of the newly formed Calvary CRC in Wyoming, Mich. He went on to serve Second CRC, Edmonton, Alta.; Creston CRC, Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Beverly CRC, Wyoming, Mich. For 11 year,s while at Beverly, he was also chaplain for the Wyoming Police Department. It is said that his objectivity and sharing the story of the gospel and forgiveness carried influence with detainees and changed many lives, giving hope to those who felt they had none. While at Beverly he also led a two-month missionary expedition to Nigeria, to influence and guide the building of new churches there. Uitvlugt then accepted a call to Central Avenue CRC in Holland, Mich., and then to Beaverdam (Mich.) CRC. He retired in 1994 but returned to serve Beaverdam from 2004-2005 when the church’s pastor went to Iraq as a chaplain.
Uitvlugt loved to read books on theology and history, especially about WWII and the U.S. Navy and Air Force. One of his hobbies was assembling model airplanes and displaying them for family and friends to enjoy. An avid water skier, he skied until he was 75 years old.
“He kept a special place in his heart for his children and grandchildren,” said one of his children. “He was always ready to listen and learn from each situation and kept the promise of eternal life and forgiveness in the forefront of his instruction to us.”
Uitvlugt will be missed by Ruth, his wife of 65 years; their three children and spouses; nine grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his grandson, Andrew.