"BROTHER VAN PASSES On August 24, 1946, a congenial little Dutchman and an American companion entered the Netherlands, intent upon carrying the gospel of Christ to the people of that nation. The chain of seemingly insignificant events which had led these two gospel preachers to Holland had begun many years earlier with the birth of Jacob Vandervis in southern Holland, June 18, 1876. After attaining manhood brother Van, as he was affectionately called by his many friends, married, living in Holland with his wife until 1921 when they came to the United States.
The motive which prompted brother Van's emigration to the United States was Mormonism; for in 1910 missionaries of the Mormon Church had contacted brother Van and had converted him to their faith. Becoming a leader among the Mormons in Holland, brother Van thought greater opportunities for service awaited him in America and made the long trek to the Mormon mecca of Salt Lake City, Utah. Here he was joined by his wife, was ordained into the priesthood of the Mormon Church, was baptized for the dead hundreds of times in the great Mormon temple, and participated in many of the secret temple ceremonies.
In 1942 brother Van attended the Gatewood-Farnsworth debate on Mormonism, was convinced that he was in error, and was baptized into Christ. After the death of his wife brother Van determined to spend the remainder of his life serving the Lord and entered Abilene Christian College, preparatory to returning to Holland with the gospel story. Thus in 1946 two lonely Americans, brother Van and B. L. Phillips entered Holland and planted the church of Christ there. Receiving a Macedonian call from Belgium, they visited that country and planted the cause there also. In each country it was brother Van who baptized the first precious souls into Christ.
In 1949 brother Van returned to the states, remarried, and returned to Holland with his wife; but by September, 1950, both of them were back in the United States. For the past year brother Van has been working with the Ninth Avenue church, St. Petersburg, Florida, devoting his full time to personal work. Several weeks ago he was struck by a car, but he appeared to be well on the road to complete recovery. On Tuesday, January 29, he attended a gospel meeting in Tampa to hear Foy E. Wallace; the following evening he attended prayer meeting as usual. Following the service, he retired and died as he slept, apparently without waking.
Funeral services were conducted February 2 by Bill Richardson who worked with brother Van in Holland and by this writer. Burial was in Memorial Park, St. Petersburg.
A few months before his death brother Van prepared a brief autobiography which was published in The Preceptor. In concluding his life's story brother Van wrote, "I believe I truly can say that the Lord has had a guiding hand all through my life. Now I have a desire to give the rest of my life in the cause of truth and righteousness and to help others find the way to the cross, which also may lead them to heaven by being obedient to the end." His desire was fully realized!
— Bill J. Humble
Carl A. Collins, Box 172, Lipan, Texas, Feb. 5: "The work here moves on in a good way. One meeting was held at home and one near by last year and a good vacation Bible school was conducted. Seventeen were baptized, several placed membership and a few restored. A full time preacher was supported in Mexico and his support is to continue this year. Seven or eight hundred pounds of quilts and used clothing were sent to Las Vegas, New Mexico, and two orphan homes and Home for Aged were assisted. Even though our community is not growing our congregation is growing and our contributions have doubled in the last two years. Nineteen hundred fifty-two starts off in a good way with five placing membership and one fine young father, a university graduate, being baptized. Two meetings and a vacation Bible school are being planned for the year. We thank God for His mercy and goodness and take courage."
Joe H. Morris, 2707 Ky Ave., Paducah, Ky., Feb. 4: "Work at Clements Street moves on splendidly with large audiences at every service. One was baptized yesterday. We hope to move into our new building within 90 days. Bro. Yater Tant begins our meeting on June 1."
B. G. Hope, 211 East 12th St., Bowling Green, Kentucky, Feb. 4: "Three were baptized yesterday at Twelfth St. One was a Methodist. Four hundred fifty-six attended Bible school."
CHURCH IN AURORA, NEBRASKA, NEEDS MEETING HOUSE There is a good opportunity to establish the cause in Aurora, Nebraska, a town of 2600 people, provided a suitable meetinghouse can be obtained. This small congregation of twelve members has an opportunity to purchase a dwelling house for $6,000 that can readily be converted into a meetinghouse and living quarters for the minister.
Brother E. L. Stumbo and family moved from Lawrence, Kansas, last May to do full time work in Aurora. At the time there were only two members in the town. Since that time however, five have been baptized and two have come from the Christian Church. The efforts in Aurora the past few months have been very encouraging.
At the present time the church has on hand $1,700 that can be used to secure the building until the balance of $3,300 can be raised. Several congregations have already expressed a willingness to help in this work and we believe there are others that will want to help. We believe the property selected by the members at Aurora is well worth the money and for that reason we hesitate not to tell others about it.
If you can help us, please send your contribution direct to E. L. Stumbo, Min, Church of Christ, Aurora, Nebraska, or to us here at Lawrence and we will forward on to Aurora.
Signed: Elders Church of Christ 1501 New Hampshire Lawrence, Kansas Owen Mitchell A. W. Luallin