Pastor Biography

Howard Vanderwell

Howard Vanderwell was ordained in the Christian Reformed Church in 1962. He received his M.Div. and Th.M. degree from Calvin Theological Seminary and his D.Min. at Westminster Theological Seminary in California. He has served as pastor to four congregations over 40 years in Iowa, Illinois and Michigan. After leaving the pastorate in 2002 he began a new ministry at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary.

He is currently a staff member at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI and Adjunct Professor of Worship at Calvin Theological Seminary. He consults with local congregations, provides worship materials, leads conferences and workshops, and teaches courses on worship at Calvin Seminary. Howard''s interests include planning, leading and evaluating worship, preaching, and worship renewal throughout the evangelical church.

"My life-long prayer, from my days as a child, was that I might be honored to serve as a Christian Reformed pastor preaching the Word of God to encourage and challenge his people. I consider the forty years of my pastoral ministry to have been the most valuable way in which I could have invested those years! When I consult with pastors, teach and mentor students, hold conferences for worship leaders, or write worship planning materials, my aim is to equip and inspire others to serve their Lord and Savior by making a whole-hearted investment in his church and his people. Such ministry is certainly not without its stresses and discouragements, and those of us who have found such joy in a life-time of ministry are uniquely fitted to encourage others."

Howard lives in Hudsonville, MI with his wife Eleanor.  They have three married sons and ten grandchildren ages 5 through 19. His hobbies are yard-gardening, walking, photography and model railroading.

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Why Isn’t God Answering?

Air Date: 03-08-2010

Bible Verse: Psalms 10, 13

You know… this question that we’re talking about today is an unusually painful one. It’s a very hard thing to think that God might not be answering me. This question comes up when some hard things are going on in our lives that make us look to God for help. …

Why Do Good People Suffer?

Air Date: 02-28-2010

Bible Verse: Job 1, 2

You know it’s so important to remember that Job really was a good man. And, yes, like so many of us, Job knew about suffering first hand. Dr. Richard Selzer is a surgeon. And he has written a book for young doctors in which he addresses our experience of suffering. …

Can I Know The Will Of God?

Air Date: 02-21-2010

Bible Verse: Ephesians 5:15-21

Look at what Paul says in Ephesians 5 v.15—21…it’s a paragraph in which virtually every statement and clause warrants close consideration. Here are some of the things he says: Be very careful how you live and make sure it is done wisely. Make the most of every opportunity you have …

Can I Really Be Sure Of My Salvation?

Air Date: 02-14-2010

Bible Verse: 2 Peter 1:1-11

When I hear those words, especially the words of v.11 in which Peter calls us to "be all the more eager to make our calling and election sure", I hear him calling us to be folks who are confident that God has chosen us. And then I think of a …

Why Isn’t My Christian Life More Dynamic?

Air Date: 02-07-2010

Bible Verse: 1 Corinthians 3:10-15

Opening Let me begin by telling you about the time a fellow came to my office. We had set up an appointment to talk. When he entered I could see that he had a very frustrated look on his face and I knew something was bothering him. I had known …

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