MERCER ISLAND, WA (November 22, 2013)—Earl M. VanDerVeer, retired Covenant pastor and the denomination’s first executive secretary of the Board of the Ministry, died this morning.
VanDerVeer, 94, was born July 30, 1919, in St. Paul, Minnesota. He graduated from the University of Minnesota, where he studied the classics, and from Bethel Theological Seminary in St. Paul. He was ordained in 1950.
He married Dorothy Huntsperger on June 2, 1948. She preceded him in death.
VanDerVeer served pastorates at Bethany Covenant Church in Stillwater, Minnesota; Elim Covenant Church in St. Paul; Highland Covenant Church in Bellevue, Washington; First Covenant Church in Duluth, Minnesota; and Eagle Rock Covenant Church, in Los Angeles.
He became the first executive secretary of the Board of the Ministry in 1968 and served in that position until 1984.
At the time of VanDerVeer’s retirement, Pastor Norbert Johnson wrote in the Covenant Companion, “Together with his gentle graciousness, Earl has modeled a remarkable patience and kindness, sometimes under extremely heavy pressure. A person more vocal and less patient would easily complain.”
Keith Fullerton, former conference superintendent of the Evangelical Covenant Church of Canada, wrote, “We as Covenant pastors owe a great debt of gratitude to Earl for pioneering the office of secretary of the ministry for the past sixteen years and making it a position noted for loving concern and fairness.”
Services are pending.