Dr. Warren Vanhetloo promoted to glory

“This is Corban (Smiertka) Van Dam, Dr. Vanhetloo’s granddaughter. I am sad to tell all of you that Grandpa passed away this morning peacefully in his sleep. I am sure he is praising the Lord in heaven right now! The visitation and funeral activites will be coordinated by Chappell Funeral Home in Fennville, Michigan.”
Email received this afternoon at 3:00 pm. Please be in prayer for the family!

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Steve Davis's picture

Dr. Van will be greatly missed. He was one of my seminary profs and was used by God in the lives of many. Faithful to the end. Our prayers for the family.

Jim's picture


Cogitations is published by Warren Vanhetloo, now retired, who grew up in Ionia MI and graduated from the high school there (1942) at the same time as Geraldine Louise Moore, whom he would later marry. He completed one semester of college before being drafted, and for nearly three years was assistant to a chaplain, serving in Assam, India.

He returned to resume studies, receiving a B.D. in Education from Calvin College. He taught four years in Grand Rapids Baptist Bible Institute (now Cornerstone University) while earning the B.D. degree in Grand Rapids Baptist Theological Seminary. He received the Th.M. degree from Calvin Seminary, majoring in Old Testament, and completed three years toward a Ph.D. degree at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI. During a sabbatical from teaching, he earned a Th.D. from Dallas Theological Seminary.

He served in three pastorates in MI. He was dean and professsor at Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis 1956 to 1976, and then both dean and professor at Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary, Lansdale, PA 1976 to 1998. He continues as Adjunct Professor at Calvary Seminary.

Retirement in Michigan when Mrs. Van became seriously ill was because of three daughters here: Trude Brower, Lindsey Smiertka, and Rachelle MacGirr. A fourth, Sharon Sybesma, resides in the San Diego area. Add four fine sons-in-laws, ten grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren, and family gatherings can be quite lilvely.

Geno's picture

Dr. Van was a fine man. He was my seminary professor. I also considered him a friend. I learned a great deal from him, in Theology class, yes, and many other classes, and in life. We could use some more like him. Yes, he will be missed.

Fred Moritz's picture

Godly man, gifted classroom communicator, great scholar, gentle soul, treasured friend. It was a providential blessing that I came under his influence early in his ministry when he taught at Central. In later years my son-in-law studied with him at Lansdale. We glorify God for his life and ministry. Our lives are the richer for having known him and learned from him.

I got to see him in April on a quick trip to Michigan. He will be sorely missed.

Jeff Brown's picture

I had Dr. Vanhetloo as my professor for Systematic Theology and Hebrew. My wife was his secretary. I always looked forward to his classes as the day began. For all his days of ministry he pointed people to the Scriptures. That is a great testimony. Our sympathies and prayers are with the family. And we look forward to seeing him again in heaven.

Jeff Brown

Dan Burrell's picture

It seems odd to open my email box each day and not find Dr. Van's "Cogitations". His was a stabilizing voice of gentle counsel for many young (and not-as-young) pastors to help balance the cacophony of pragmatic and less-balanced voices which clutter our thoughts these days. Heaven is richer and we are poorer this day. I hope that many of this essays will be reprinted by someone in the future so that even in death, his voice might influence.

Dan Burrell Cornelius, NC Visit my Blog "Whirled Views" @ www.danburrell.com