Compassionate and caring, Jim Molenbeek had a soft-spoken presence that calmed the people around him. He dedicated his whole adult life to ministry and continued to minister to his family and caregivers up to his final hours. Jim, age 73, died April 20 after being diagnosed a year ago with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
A graduate of Calvin College (now University) and Seminary, Jim was ordained in 1975, then served the following congregations with quiet strength and humility: Luctor Christian Reformed Church, Prairie View, Kan.; First CRC (now Life in Christ CRC), Salt Lake City, Utah; Pine Grove Community Church, Howard City, Mich.; East Muskegon (Mich) CRC; and Plymouth Heights CRC, Grand Rapids, Mich. He also served as chaplain at Sunset Senior Communities in Jenison, Mich., and at Emmanuel Hospice in Grand Rapids, Mich.
As well as preaching, Jim also shared in music ministry—leading congregational singing and singing solos, accompanied on the piano by his wife, Sue.
Creative and funny, with an insatiable love for learning, Jim enjoyed geology, art history, jewelry making, woodworking, stained glass, pottery, and gardening. He loved to research and plan trips to explore new places. In 2021 he published a devotional book, Wilderness Survival: Sustained for 40 Days in Faith, Hope, and Love.
A faithful husband, dedicated father, and beloved grandfather, Jim will be dearly missed by Sue, his wife of 53 years; four children and their spouses; and eight grandchildren.