At his memorial service, Jerry Alferink was described by his daughter as “a compassionate, affectionate, affirming, generous man, and a beautiful spiritual leader in our family.” Jerry loved preaching and was a very relational person. He was always willing to help and interact with neighbors; strangers would quickly become friends. Jerry, 78, died Dec. 29, 2023.
Jerry graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary with an extra year of Clinical Pastoral Education. After ordination in 1971, he pastored Winfield (Ill.) Christian Reformed Church and co-founded, in 1973, the Chicago Christian Counseling Center. Supported at the time by two congregations of the Reformed Church in America and the three Christian Reformed Church classes (regional assemblies) in the Chicago area, the center is still providing Christ-centered professional counseling 50 years later. Jerry went on to serve Trinity CRC in Ridgefield, Wash., and First CRC in Redlands, Calif. He was then chaplain for two years at Pine Rest Christian Hospital in Grand Rapids, Mich. Jerry continued in parish ministry, serving Hillcrest Christian Church, in Denver, Colo., and Overisel CRC in Holland, Mich. While at Overisel, Jerry volunteered as chaplain for the local fire department. He then served The River Church in Allegan, Mich., and retired in 2006.
Jerry loved to laugh and joke and was a great storyteller. He had a wonderful voice and sang in choirs throughout college and seminary. He enjoyed congregational singing and singing duets with his wife. While pastoring in Washington, he played the role of Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music for a community theater company. Jerry also found joy in farming, fishing, hunting, and travel. He was an excellent handyman and could repair almost anything.
Jerry is survived by Darlene, his wife of 57 years; three children and their spouses; and 10 grandchildren.