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Man of the First Hour

George Vanpopta

$25.00

RPPress is putting the last touches on our first biography, Man of the First Hour: A Son’s Story. The story of Jules (Jelle) Van Popta is a remarkable one and it has fallen to his youngest son to give an account of his father’s struggle and triumph. This is the story of the first minister who served within the Canadian Reformed Churches. As such, we gain a uniquely personal perspective of some of the ecclesiastical issues that have faced our church federation. In addition, the details of the political and ecclesiastical trials in the Netherlands during the war years, and the early years in Canada will no doubt resonate with all children of Dutch immigrants. We have benefitted enormously from the choices of those who, post WW II, voyaged across the Atlantic to make a new beginning for themselves and their offspring. How the Lord has blessed those who had the courage to cast their bread upon the waters! This story provides reasons for opportunity to shed tears, laugh heartily, and truly, to thank the Lord for His faithfulness! With this book, George van Popta goes beyond family history, as fascinating as this is, and salutes all parents who journeyed as pilgrims in a strange land, never losing sight of the heavenly city.

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Description

Man of the First Hour is a personal account of a loving son who invites the reader into the life and times of Rev. Jules Van Popta. It’s a glimpse behind the scenes presented in a multidimensional narrative that touches on topics including family, church, struggles, war, and immigration. Using a combination of personal recollections and fragments of letters, documents, and articles, the author sketches an honest portrait of a “good and faithful servant” (Matt 25:21).

Rev. Jules Van Popta was a godly man, who was granted an excellent cognitive ability which he used generously for the benefit of the churches and his fellow believers. This ability was accompanied by human characteristics which added difficulties as well as humour to his

life.

The story of Jules (Jelle) Van Popta is a remarkable one and it has fallen to the youngest to give an account of his father’s struggle and triumph. We gain a uniquely personal perspective of some of the ecclesiastical issues that have faced our church federation. The details of the early years in Canada will no doubt resonate with all children of Dutch immigrants. We have benefitted enormously from the choices of those who, post WW II, voyaged across the Atlantic to make a new beginning for themselves and their offspring. How the Lord has

blessed those who had the courage to cast their bread upon the waters! With this book, George van Popta goes beyond family history, as fascinating as this is, and salutes all parents who journeyed as pilgrims in a strange land, never losing sight of the heavenly city.

In Man of the First Hour the author presents a brief but balanced account of his father’s uniquely significant role in the early history of the Canadian Reformed Churches. In-depth descriptions of Jules Taco Van Popta’s ecclesiastical involvement and personal struggles are delightfully interspersed with often humorous family anecdotes. All in all, the book offers illuminating and edifying insight into the mindset and motivations of a pioneer who went before us.   William Helder Retired teacher of English
The time is ripe for more histories of the Canadian Reformed churches to be written—while those who lived through the early days are still able to tell the tales. A wonderful blend of church history and family lore, Man of the First Hour tells the story of the first Canadian Reformed minister—his life and ministry, his character and worldview, his quirks and his legacy. Follow the journey of a Dutch village pastor whose parish became the Canadian West, the absent-minded family man whose thoughtful writings and sermons guided the immigrant churches through heady debates about union membership, integration into Canadian society, and the race to land a man on the moon.   Jannes Smith Professor of Old Testament, Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary
Title: Man of the First Hour: A Son's Story
Topic: Biography
Author: George VanPopta
Book Type: Biography
ISBN: 978-1-7771155-5-5