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Rev. Dr. Edwin George Mulder

Obituary for Rev. Dr. Edwin George Mulder

March 25, 1929 - May 1, 2018
Holland, Michigan | Age 89


The Rev. Dr. Edwin George Mulder was born in Raymond, Minnesota, on March 25, 1929. He was a history and philosophy major at Central College in Pella, Iowa, where he graduated in 1951 and was later awarded a Doctor of Divinity in 1979 and an Alumni Award in 2001 for his service to the Church and world. He graduated from Western Theological Seminary in 1954, and was awarded that institution's Distinguished Alumni Award in 2003.

The greatest love of his life was Luella Beth Rozeboom, whom he married in 1952 and with whom had four children: Timothy (Linda), Mary (James), Mark (Melissa) and Betsy (George). They have eight grandchildren: Thomas, Blakely, Isaac, Samuel, Hillary, Maggie, Matthew and Claire; and four step-grandchildren: Lindsay, Ryan, Kelly, and Tracy.

Ed was an energetic, competitive and accomplished athlete who loved basketball, softball, pool, tennis, handball and golf. He had a decades-long cribbage competition with Betsy.

Although he was honored and trusted as a major figure in global Protestantism in the 20th century, his foundational core was as a pastor. He served the English Neighborhood Reformed Church in Ridgefield NJ, founded the Christ Memorial Reformed Church in Holland MI, and served as pastor at the Marble Collegiate Church in New York and Second Reformed Church in Hackensack NJ. As both Minister of Evangelism and General Secretary of the Reformed Church in America, he energized his denomination by inviting them to tell their stories of faith, "A Story Telling People", and then, dreaming of local mission and outreach, to support "Putting People in Mission", which raised millions of dollars to assist local congregations in reaching out into their neighborhoods to share God's love and care.

Ed was a reluctant but committed and effective prophet. He was reluctant because he never sought conflict and was revered for looking at the situation through the other person's eyes. But when the mattered called his heart and soul, he would hold nothing back to work for women's ordination in the RCA, a conclusion of apartheid in South Africa and the Reformed Church there, nuclear disarmament, and most recently inclusion and respect for LGTBQ community within the Church. He did all this work primarily through listening and building relationships.

He served as President of the General Synod of RCA, President of the Regional Synod of the Mid-Atlantics, Chairman of Religion In American Life, and Chairman of U.S. Church Leaders, and on the executive committees of the World Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches, and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches. He also served as Interim President of New Brunswick Theological Seminary.

He may have retired from professional ministry, but never retired from serving his God and community all of his days. His favorite sermon, preached many times in many places, was about the New Testament character Barnabas, whose name means "the son of encouragement." Ed was the embodiment of affirmation, celebration and encouragement. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

A service to honor the faith and life of Edwin George Mulder will be held at 10:30 am, Saturday, May 12, 2018, in the Sanctuary of Christ Memorial Church, 595 Graafschap Rd., Holland MI 49423. (PLEASE USE ENTRANCE C). Interment will be in Marble Collegiate Church in New York City. Memorial donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Western Theological Seminary, 101 E 13th St
Holland, MI 49423, New Brunswick Theological Seminary, 35 Seminary Place, New Brunswick , NJ 08901, or Hospice of Holland, 270 Hoover Blvd
Holland, MI 49423.

The Mulder family is being served by the Langeland-Sterenberg Funeral Home, 315 E. 16th Street, Holland MI 49423.

Suggested Memorial Donations

  • Western Theological Seminary
    101 E 13th St
    Holland, MI 49423

Arrangements By

Langeland-Sterenberg Funeral Home

315 E 16th St
Holland, MI 49423
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