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Memories of ‘Bill’

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Brownson Dr BillOfficials are planning a May 16, 2022 funeral service for Dr. William "Bill" Brownson Jr., long-time voice of the West Michigan-based radio ministry "Words of Hope" and former seminary professor.

Brownson died in Holland on April 1. He was 93
Following his own seminary training, Brownson served in two church pastorates. Then he came to Holland in 1964 to become a professor of preaching at Western Theological Seminary. He took his pastoral approach to his role at the Words of Hope ministry, which he joined in the early 1970s.

In his years at Words of Hope Brownson anchored hundreds of weekly radio broadcasts and also wrote devotionals for the ministry's printed outreach before his 1994 retirement. Author of several books, he is perhaps most noted for "Billy and Dave," a memoir written with his wife Helen about their life journey with their sons Billy and David, who died in 1977 and 2003 respectively.

The couple also ministered at Freedom Village in Holland, their residence during most of their retirement years.

Helen passed away seven years ago.

"Bill" was a familiar and beloved figure, especially in Reformed Church circles. He served as president of the denomination's General Synod in 1984. Two of Brownson's sons, James and Jonathan, also have ministry careers.

"Bill was remarkable for his brilliance and his warmth - and I feel so lucky to have known him," noted Lee Barker, one of several friends posting on the funeral home website. "He lived his life well."

Visitation with family and friends is set for Sun. May 15 from 5 to 7pm at Langeland-Sterenber Funeral Home, 315 E. 18th St. Holland.

There will also be visitation from 9:30-10:30am. before the 11am Mon. May 16 funeral service at Christ Memorial Church, 595 Graafschaap Rd., where Brownson was a member.
Author Information
Terry DeBoer
Author: Terry DeBoer
Terry is a journalist/feature writer for newspapers, magazines and websites, with a background in radio broadcasting. His usual beat is arts and entertainment, specializing in Christian/gospel music. A married father of two, he is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan Contributing Writer: West Michigan Christian News August 2011 – Present Feature writer: -Mlive.com (website and various newspapers) 1988– 2016 -Spotlight New Christian Music Magazine 1997-2008 -Church News Editor, Church Herald Magazine 2004-2009

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