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Director of Synodical Services Passes Away

May 1, 2024

Rev. Scott DeVries, who served as director of synodical services for the CRCNA since January 2023, passed away from an aggressive form of cancer on April 27. DeVries received his diagnosis on March 18, a mere five weeks before his death. 

“Those of us who had the privilege of conversing with Scott during the final weeks of his life witnessed the steady courage and unswerving trust that characterized Scott throughout his illness. That courage and trust was rooted in Jesus Christ and his unshakable promises to Scott and all his people,” said Rev. Zachary King, general secretary. 

Before serving as director of synodical services, DeVries studied mechanical engineering and then switched to earn a master of divinity degree at Calvin Theological Seminary, after which he pastored two churches in West Michigan, served as classis ministries coordinator for Classis Holland, and spent five years working for the denomination as project manager of Connections – an initiative aimed at bringing together denominational ministries and developing closer relationships with classes and congregations. 

When he was hired for his most recent role, DeVries explained that his love of polity drew him to apply, but one of his main goals was to foster greater spiritual disciplines as part of church governance.

“I believe that the director of synodical services has a lot of influence on how spiritual practices make their way into the structure of COD and synod meetings. The more our governing bodies can exemplify solid relationships and spiritual health, the easier it will be for the whole CRC to continue growing spiritually,” he said.

DeVries modeled this in his own life even through his time of sickness. During his last visit with King and Council of Delegates chair Michael Ten Haken, while in hospice care, DeVries shared the phrase “Come further up, come further in” – a quote from the final volume in C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia titled The Last Battle. At this point in the book, Narnia has been renewed after the final great battle between Aslan and his enemies, and a unicorn, taking in the beauty of this renewed land, says, “I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this. Come further up, come further in.” 

This summarized how DeVries viewed the final episode of his life and the faith he had for his future, which served as an encouragement to family, friends, and staff left behind.

“While we do not grieve without hope, we do grieve, especially as we remember Scott’s wife, Sara, and their two children, Sami and Isaiah, who have many challenging days ahead,” said King in a note to staff. “Please join me in praying for comfort, peace, and God’s presence for Scott’s fellow staff members, friends, and family.”

While DeVries was ill, a committee of the Council of Delegates approved the temporary hire of Rev. Joel Vande Werken as associate director of synodical services. The intent of that decision was, pending full approval by the COD when it meets this week, for Vande Werken to work part-time over the next few months to assist with details for Synod 2024. Other staff in the synodical services department have also picked up additional duties with a commitment to ensuring that Synod 2024 can run as smoothly as possible. 

Visitation for DeVries will take place on May 9 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. (ET) at Langeland-Sterenberg Funeral Home, 315 East 16th Street, Holland, Mich.

A memorial service will be held on May 10 at 2:00 p.m. (ET) at Faith Christian Reformed Church, 85 West 26th Street, Holland, Mich..

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to a scholarship fund that will soon be set up for Scott and Sara’s children. More information can be found in the coming days at!/Obituary.