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Rev John Rozeboom Kempers

Sioux Center, Sioux County, Iowa, USA
Death 27 Nov 1995 (aged 95)
Holland, Ottawa County, Michigan, USA
Burial Sioux Center, Sioux County, Iowa, USA
Memorial ID 17879781 · View Source
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The Rev. John R. Kempers, 95, died Monday, November 27, at Holland, Michigan. Services will be Friday, December 1, at 9:30 a.m. at First Reformed Church, Sioux Center with the Rev. Mark De Witt officiating. Burial will be in Memory Gardens Cemetery. Visitation will be from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday, November 30, at Vander Ploeg Chapel. Sioux Center.

Kempers was born February 19, 1900, at Sioux Center to John and Annie (Rozeboom) Kempers. He graduated from Northwestern Academy in 1917 and from Hope College in Holland, Michigan, in 1921. He graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1925 and after his ordination into the ministry he married Mabel Van Dyke in August of that year. They were commissioned as missionaries to Chiapas. Mexico, in December 1925 and worked there for the next 44 years.

Chiapas, about half the size of Iowa, was the most primitive slate in Mexico and all inland travel had to be done on horseback or on foot. During the first 20 years, he made countless two- to four-week trips from sea level to 10,000 feet, visiting and encouraging the widely scattered groups of believers, and evangelizing. During the rainy season, there were Bible classes in the home for students invited to the Tuxtla Gutierrez residence for the training of ministers and church workers. For nearly 30 years he was the acting pastor and preacher in the Tuxtla Gutierrez church excepting for brief periods when a Mexican pastor was in charge. He initiated the Chiapas church paper called "El Desperlador" ("The Awakener") and edited that publication for 25 years.

Hope College conferred the Doctor of Divinity degree on Kempers in 1950, at which time he preached the baccalaureate sermon in Dimnent Chapel. On three occasions he was invited to preach commencement sermons in Mexico City, an honor usually conferred upon national orators.

Kempers was a gifted carpenter and besides making the original family-furniture, he was the architect of eight of the Chiapas church buildings and a two-story medical clinic.

-Obituary from The Sioux Center News




  • Created by: Nancy Kiel-Gravning
  • Added: 10 Feb 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 17879781
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Rev John Rozeboom Kempers (19 Feb 1900–27 Nov 1995), Find A Grave Memorial no. 17879781, citing Memory Gardens Sioux Center Cemetery, Sioux Center, Sioux County, Iowa, USA ; Maintained by Nancy Kiel-Gravning (contributor 46572398) .