GS 2004 art 38

GS 2004 Article 38 – Welcome to the Newly Appointed Professor: Dr. A.J. de Visser

On behalf of Synod, the chairman welcomed the faculty of the Theological College and especially the newly appointed professor, Dr. A.J. de Visser.  He then invited Dr. de Visser to address the assembly.

Dr. de Visser thanked the assembly for appointing him as Professor of Ecclesiology and Diaconiology. He also brought greetings from his wife.  Next he reflected on the unity of faith that exists between the churches in South Africa and here in Canada.  He acknowledged that he has been appointed to a weighty task which has profound implications for the life of the churches.  For this reason he felt humbled by the call that has been extended to him.  At the same time, he wished the assembly to know that he holds the mission work in South Africa close to his heart.  His concern was: what will be the impact on this mission work if he accepts the call to professorship at the College?  He also recognized that the need at our College was great and came up unexpectedly due to the illness of Dr. De Jong.  He requested that the delegates would remember him and the South African churches in their prayers as he contemplates this appointment.  He also mentioned that Synod could expect to hear his final decision, the Lord willing, by the end of the week.

Rev. J. Moesker then responded to Dr. de Visser.  He had been in South Africa himself and could testify to the work of the Lord in that country.  He assured Dr. de Visser that Synod, and our churches, would keep him and the South African churches in our prayers.

Next the Principal of the Theological College, Dr. C. Van Dam, was given opportunity to address the assembly and Dr. de Visser.  He thanked Synod for the invitation extended to the faculty.  Then he reported that there are presently seventeen students at the College, some of which are foreign students and diploma students.  With the sudden illness of Dr. De Jong, the last year has not been easy at the College.  However, the Lord has provided and the work could continue.  The Principal took this opportunity to publicly express gratitude to the Lord for the thirteen years of Dr. De Jong’s professorship, during which time he served the churches honorably.  Dr. Van Dam also thanked Synod for the appointment of Dr. de Visser, wishing him and his wife much wisdom in the coming days.

The chairman thanked the various speakers for their words.  He then proposed that the clerks draft a letter from Synod to Dr. and Mrs. J. De Jong expressing our heartfelt gratitude for the labours of our brother in the midst of the churches.  Synod agreed to this proposal.  The chairman led us in prayer, remembering the De Jong and de Visser families, as well as the Theological College.  We sang  Hymn 48:1,4.