Portraits:Rev. Herman Van Stedum

I was born and raised in Vesper, WI, on a small dairy farm. I was one of 12 children raised by godly parents and faithfully attended and participated in the local Christian Reformed Church. I went to a one-room country school for the first eight years. (Walking over a mile both ways uphill). I attended and graduated from Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids. I attended Calvin College, taking pre‑engineering courses, but between my Freshman and Sophomore year was convicted that God was calling me to the gospel ministry. I then attended Trinity Christian College for a year before returning to Calvin where I received my B.A. degree.

It was during those years that I met Rev. Paul Treick. He was instrumental in my decision to attend Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, PA. I am forever grateful for that decision, and the honor for having received my degree from Westminster.

In the Spring of 1970, Paul Treick, Neale Riffert and I successfully sustained our licensure examination at a special meeting of Eureka Classis held for the purpose of examining us. I received and accepted a call to serve the Hope Reformed Church of Pierre, SD, and was ordained to the gospel ministry in the Fall of 1970. I was blessed to serve God’s people there for 5 years, when I accepted a call in 1975, to serve the congregations of Upham and Lincoln Valley, ND. In May of 1980 I accepted the call to serve our mission church in Hastings, NE. I served the Lord’s people there until February of 1983. I then accepted the call to Menno, SD. It was truly a blessing to minister to God’s faithful people there until the fall of 1990. I then served my Saviour in Eureka, SD, until 1997. By this time the RCUS had become four classes. I had the honor of serving as president of the Northern Plains Classis for several years. In 1997 I accepted the call to serve the dual charge of Aberdeen and Leola, SD. where I served until 2002. With every congregation I was blessed to serve, the precious love, care, convictions and devotions to Christ of His people, was such a delightful enrichment to our lives. In 2002 I accepted the call to Sioux Falls SD, where I served until 2008 when I retired from the active ministry. Since then I have been supplying area churches in the surrounding areas on a fairly regular basis.

My wife Phyllis and I have had the joy of being married for 46 years. The Lord has blessed us with four children. John and his wife Ann live in Sioux Falls with their three children and are members of the RCUS there. Becky and her husband Ken, who is an officer in the Air National Guard, live in Little Rock, Arkansas. They have 2 children. Daniel and his wife, Chrystal are both in the Army at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, NC. Sarah who has taught for several years in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, is now teaching in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Our family has truly been enriched through adoption, as three of our children and two of our grandchildren were received from God in this manner.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all His benefits.”

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