People sending condolences to the family of retired pastor and professor Sidney DeWaal included words such as “great and memorable preacher,” “inspirational leader,” “wise counselor,” “visionary leader,” “builder,” “loving man,” “mentor,” and “a blessing to many” to describe him. Sidney, 87, died Jan. 1 in Laredo, Texas, after suffering significantly for several years with Alzheimer’s Disease. “Sidney’s deepest sorrow and frustration during the last years of his life when he was bedridden and unable to move about or sometimes speak,” said his wife, “was what he saw as his inability to serve God by serving others.”
A graduate of Calvin College (now University) and Seminary, Sidney also obtained a Master of Education from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and a Doctorate of Religion from Chicago Theological Seminary. He was ordained in 1963 and began ministry at New Hope Community Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
From Fort Lauderdale he went to Mexico where he served as missionary and professor of theology at the Seminario Juan Calvino (John Calvin Seminary); he was then professor of psychology at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Ill.; campus pastor at the University of Alta.; the first president of The King’s College (now The King’s University) in Edmonton, Alta.; pastor of Inglewood CRC in Edmonton; VP Academics at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass.; and president of Jerusalem University College in Israel. Although he officially retired from full-time ministry in 2007, Sidney continued to serve as an interim pastor in several CRC congregations and from 2016 to 2017 at a Presbyterian church in Laredo, Texas.
Sidney is survived by Janet, his wife of 62 years; two children; and five grandchildren.