This article was written in the fall of 2012. Rev. Van Heest has since entered his heavenly home.
Rev. Jack Van Heest,
When one retires from being a minister, often it's not the end of the ministry. Such is the case with Rev. Jack Van Heest, a resident of Resthaven's Care Center. While confined to a wheelchair, he still participates in weekly Bible studies, frequently goes on bus trips (including a recent fishing trip), and is a "construction observer" as the new additions to the Care Center are near completion.
Ordained in the Reformed Church, Rev. Van Heest served congregations in upstate New York, California, Illinois, and Michigan. He began a new church plant in Hudsonville in 1966 and retired in 1987 after serving Overisel Reformed Church. He and his wife, Jo, raised five children. Today, Jack claims seven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Jo passed away in 2005.
"Jack is an inspiration to me," says Rev. Leigh Van Kempen, Resthaven's Chaplain. "He provides me with insight and wisdom, and offers encouragement to other residents who experience declining health."
At the dedication of the James I. and Jean Cook Chapel in June, Rev. Van Heest wrote and delivered the dedicatory prayer. Excerpts follow:
"...We praise you for the dedicated staff, nursing force, office employees, kitchen staff, spiritual leaders, and activities staff for the blessings that we residents receive daily. The love, Christian peace, and joy the staff portrays are experienced every hour of the day."
"We praise and thank you for such a beautiful building... it will help us to see the leading and grace of God through the vision of believers in the church of Jesus Christ our Lord... We are proud of the addition the will add grace to our living environment."
Rev. Jack Van Heest and his great grandchildren