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“My dad was faithful to his God and to his calling,” said one of Joseph Brinks’ sons. “For more than 45 years, dad proclaimed Christ to the people in more than 5,000 sermons. He found joy in preaching and teaching.” Brinks died March 8 after living with prostate cancer for almost 18 years. He was 72.

The oldest of seven children, Brinks wrote and talked often about his fond memories of helping his grandpa on the family farm throughout his childhood. He eventually graduated from Calvin College (now University) and went on to earn Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees from Calvin Seminary. He later obtained a doctorate in ministry from Trinity Evangelical Seminary.

Ordained in 1975, Brinks pastored Noordeloos Christian Reformed Church, Holland, Mich.; Jamestown CRC, Hudsonville, Mich.; Sully (Iowa) CRC; Grace CRC, Kalamazoo, Mich.; and Peace CRC, Menno, S.D. Brinks loved people and hearing their stories and especially enjoyed teaching catechism to young people and mentoring young pastors. 

After retiring in 2015, he served as an interim pastor for two years at Cottage Grove CRC in South Holland, Ill. He continued in church work, preaching and teaching whenever he had the opportunity. He preached his last sermon Dec. 19, 2021. He was scheduled to preach again the following week but when he was physically unable to do so, he realized his life was nearing its end.

Brinks enjoyed traveling, reading, and genealogy, and stayed physically active by walking, jogging and biking. This past October, he met one of his goals when he surpassed the 20,000-mile mark on his road bike with a final bike ride of 50 miles.

He is survived by his wife, Linda; five children and their spouses; and 15 grandchildren.   

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