I wonder if you could find a little space in our STANDARD BEARER for a few lines from your Business Manager. If so, will you please print the following?
At our recent annual RFPA meeting you spoke to your audience regarding historical events concerning our organization. Your speech was most interesting! Hopefully it will be printed in a forthcoming issue of THE STANDARD BEARER.
One interesting fact you presented was that only one of the charter members of the RFPA is still living who is with our churches. That is indeed remarkable, and according to our files, Mr. John Rust, residing in Kalamazoo, Mich., is to this day a subscriber, a member of the RFPA and a faithful contributor to our magazine.
However, it occurred to me while listening to your speech that evening, that many of our Protestant Reformed people have been reading THE STANDARD BEARER these many years. But—do you know that of all the homes to which our magazine has been mailed these past 50 years, only ONE has been sent to the same address?
I wrote Mr. Rust, asking him if he had changed his residence during the past 50 years. Mr. Rust wrote back to me the following: “Dear brother Vander Wal, Thank you for your letter. I was born in the Netherlands and come to the United States in 1907 at the age of 17 years. I am 84 years old and two weeks ago I spent a week in the hospital for the first time as a patient for test and examination. Yesterday I was able to attend church services again. I attended the first meeting of the RFPA in the basement of the First Christian Reformed Church in Kalamazoo. I have been a subscriber and reader of THE STANDARD BEARER for fifty years. For your records we lived at 628 W. Paterson Street from 1922 to 1951. In 1951 we moved to Jenks Blvd. Sincerely, John Rust.”
So, Mr. Editor, you now have another interesting fact you can add to the history of our STANDARD BEARER! That fact is this: the only address to which (at least to the best of my available information) our STANDARD BEARER has been sent the past 50 years is 843 Logan St., S.E., Grand Rapids, Michigan.
843 Logan St. is only a stone’s throw from the Eastern Ave. Chr. Ref. Church. Fifty years ago this home was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Dirk Karsies and family. Mr. Karsies was known by many of the “Hollanders” here in Grand Rapids by the nickname of “Bakker Karsies.” He was a baker by trade—hence the term “Bakker.” He was well known for his excellent Hollandseroggebrood (Dutch rye-bread) and also for hiskrentenbrood (raisin-bread). No doubt, Mr. Editor, your father and mother, and perhaps you also, enjoyed his delicious varieties of baked goods.
At the present time THE STANDARD BEARER is still mailed to 843 Logan St. Miss Jennie Karsies still resides at the home in which she was born—more than 50 years ago.
After I phoned Miss Karsies, she remarked: “Dear Mr. Vander Wal: From our recent interview I learned this old family home has made ‘Historical Heritage.’ I am one of the three remaining of eleven children. So with father and mother making 13, there has been ‘plenty of living’ here. But best of all, we have the memory of Godly parents. Training us in the ways of God’s covenant is a ‘spiritual legacy’ to us. My father was ‘voorlezer and voorzinger’ and also in the consistory of the Eastern Ave. Chr. Ref. Church before we became the Protestant Ref. Church. Now that they have joined the Church Triumphant and we stand in their shoes, the question is what are we leaving to this generation as a legacy? How long THE STANDARD BEARER will still be sent to 843 Logan St.—well?”
We thank our faithful Covenant God for faithful subscribers such as Miss Karsies and Mr. Rust.
H. Vander Wal