Rev. Clarence Werkema was called home by the Lord on Wednesday, October 2, 2002 at the age of 82. During his life, Rev. Werkema faithfully served as Minister of the Word and Sacraments in three denominations and several independent churches.
Rev. Werkema began studies at Westminster Theological Seminary East after serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Upon graduation in 1954, he began working at Hope Reformed Church in Clifton, New Jersey. After five years in the RCA, Rev. Werkema was called to the Christian Reformed Church where he pastored five different congregations: Holland Center CRC, Lodgepole, South Dakota; Monroe CRC, Monroe, Washington; First CRC, Waupun, Wisconsin; Walker CRC, Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Bethany CRC, South Holland, Illinois. He retired from the Christian Reformed Church in 1983.
Ever faithful to his calling to the ministry, Rev. Werkema came out of retirement to serve the Nelson Reformed Church in Nelson, New Zeeland for two years. Once back in the United States, Rev. Werkema was often called upon to serve as interim pastor at several congregations.
Known to be a man of strong convictions, Rev. Werkema was asked to help conservative churches in their struggle against progressive trends in the Christian Reformed Church. He was instrumental in beginning the Champlain Valley United Reformed Church in Vermont; the Reformed Heritage Church in Holland, Michigan; and the Allendale United Reformed Church in Allendale, Michigan.
Rev. Werkema is remembered as a man who had a true love for the Church of Jesus Christ; a commitment to the precious truth of God’s Word; and passion for the salvation of people.
He is survived by his wife, Thelma; his children Kathy and Arch Vanden Bosch, Criss and Terry Vander Meulen, George and Nancy Werkema, Andrea and Paul Pennings, Jeanie and Bill Elgersma, and Sam and Kathy Werkema; and twenty-one grandchildren.