A great oak has fallen. Dr. Simon Kistemaker (Oct 21, 1930 – Sep 23, 2017) went home to be with his Lord leaving a unsurpassed legacy of faithful service to Christ and His Church.
When we came to serve the Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) family, I wanted to discover the heart of this Christian community. I found it in a friendship forged with Dr. Kistemaker. So impressed was I that we used the story of his life and ministry, Memoirs: A Life of Service in our family devotions. And I commend that wonderful little testimony to others. Dr. Kistemaker’s expansive soul was overflowing with the presence of His risen Savior. His engaging mind was a consecrated instrument of grateful service to that Savior. But it was his great heart—the essence of his remarkable life—that demonstrated the gratefulness and humility of a little Dutch farm boy who could never get over the glorious grace of God in Christ. This heart must always be the heart of theological education.
“Our heavenly Father, You sent Your only begotten Son to be the Word of life for sinners like us; thank You, also, for sending us a faithful pastor-scholar, Dr. Simon Kistemaker, to interpret and teach the Word to future pastors, teachers, missionaries, and so many others in the Body of Christ; for Dr. ‘K’ revealed Your heart to us for so long and so well; so that as this cherished and great oak has fallen his little acorns may also grow into oaks of righteousness in Your Kingdom. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen”