Jehovah, who calls the death of His saints precious, called Rev. George Lanting home to his eternal reward on Monday morning, October 18, 2004. Rev. Lanting, at 82 years of age, was, from an earthly perspective, in good heath. He did not even have a regular physician. But our sovereign Lord, who determines all things, determined that Rev. Lanting’s earthly pilgrimage was finished. By means of a massive heart attack, while taking care of his regular Monday morning chores, he was given the victory described in Psalter #32, stanza 4: “When I in righteousness at last Thy glorious face shall see; when all the weary night is past, and I awake with Thee to view the glories that abide, then, then I shall be satisfied.”
Rev. Lanting was born on July 28, 1922 in Lansing IL, the son of Lammert and Mienke Lanting. He graduated from T.F. North High School and learned the electrician trade before serving his country with the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific during WWII. While in the navy he felt a burden for the ministry, and he even received some early training for it when he volunteered to lead a Bible study with fellow soldiers.
Upon returning from the army, he was united in marriage to Wilmina Rutgers on May 15, 1946. For a couple of years he worked with his father on a farm in Illinois, but the burden for the ministry increased. The need for pastors was also increasing in the denomination. Finally, at the prodding of Rev. Schipper, he decided to pursue both his pre-seminary and seminary courses at the Theological School of the Protestant Reformed Churches (PRC). In 1948 he was admitted to the Protestant Reformed Seminary. He completed all his college and seminary training by June 9, 1953, when he graduated along with E. Emanuel, R. Harbach, M. Koerner, and J. McCollum. He was ordained and installed in the ministry in October 1953 at Grand Haven, Michigan Protestant Reformed Church. In 1959 he accepted a call to serve in First PRC Holland, Michigan. In 1966 he went to serve in First PRC Edgerton, Minnesota. In 1974 he accepted the call to labor in Loveland PRC in Loveland, Colorado. He accepted the call to Pella PRC in Pella, Iowa in 1981. He retired from the active ministry in 1986 and moved back to South Holland, IL.
Rev. Lanting was my pastor in Edgerton, MN for the first five years of my life, baptizing me in 1969. In 1998 God reversed the roles, when I was called to serve as his pastor in South Holland. He made these years a privilege and joy for me, helping out with pastoral visits whenever he could. When prompted, he would give, in his careful and kind manner, wise words of advice.
Rev. Lanting was soft-spoken, unassuming, not one to seek prominence among men. After his retirement he served many years as church visitor of Classis West, as well as helping out with preaching and catechism teaching, especially during South Holland’s vacancies and at the time of the organization of Peace Protestant Reformed Church. At the age of 74, after experiencing memory lapses while teaching catechism, he made the difficult decision to quit preaching in the churches.
Rev. Lanting is survived by his wife Wilmina of 58 years; ten children; thirty-three grand children; and three great-grandchildren.
He was a respected spiritual leader in his family, in the church, and in the local school societies. He enjoyed the company of his children and grandchildren and was often known to say: “Come again when you can’t stay so long.”
Now this faithful servant rests from his labors. He would be the first to remind us that it was only by grace and with much imperfection that he performed his work. In Rev. Lanting, God gave us an example of a humble servant in the cause of Jesus Christ. May God continue to give our churches humble men who love His church and are committed to the gospel ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our prayers are with his bereaved widow, Mrs. Wilmina Lanting, and the family. May God comfort them in this time of need. “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also” (John 14:18, 19).