posted October 2, 1998

H-Club to Present "Hope for Humanity Award" To James W. Baar on Homecoming Saturday

The alumni H-Club at Hope College will present its "Hope for Humanity Award to the Rev. James W. Baar of Holland on Saturday, Oct. 10.

          The award, first presented in 1990, recognizes
  Hope athlete alumni for service to others, transformation of
  Christian values and consistency of commitment.  The H-Club
  will recognize Baar during its annual Homecoming luncheon,
  which will be held in the Haworth Inn and Conference Center.
          Baar's career in ministry spanned more than 50
  years.  Most recently, from 1986 to 1997, he served as an
  assistant for adult ministries with Fellowship Reformed
  Church in Holland.
          Baar graduated from Hope in 1942, and from Western
  Theological Seminary in 1945.  He was a chaplain with the
  U.S. Navy from 1945 to 1946.
          He was pastor at Maplewood Reformed Church in
  Holland from 1946 to 1953.  The ceremony will include a
  tribute from the Rev. John R. Kleinheksel Sr., who from his
  experience as a young parishioner at Maplewood was
  ultimately inspired to go into the professional ministry
  himself.
          "He came as a young pastor full of enthusiasm, and
  I definitely looked up to him as a model," said Kleinheksel,
  a 1960 Hope graduate who was an ordained pastor in the
  Reformed Church in America (RCA) for 25 years and is
  presently associate pastor for membership and nurture at
  First Presbyterian Church in Red Bank, N.J.  "He was very
  formative in my views about how to live my life as a
  Christian."
          Baar subsequently served First Reformed Church in
  Denver, Colo., from 1953 to 1961, and Second Reformed Church
  in Wyckoff, N.J., from 1961 to 1968.  From 1968 to 1971, he
  was assistant director, promotion, with the Reformed Church
  in America in New York City.
          Other pastorates included Fellowship Reformed
  Church in Lombard, Ill., from 1971 to 1976; Trinity Reformed
  Church in Grand Rapids from 1976 to 1979; Aberdeen Reformed
  Church in Grand Rapids from 1979 to 1982; and Garfield Park
  Reformed Church in Grand Rapids from 1982 to 1986.  He also
  worked part-time in human resources at Herman Miller Inc.
  for eight-and-a-half years.
          His other activities include serving on the board
  of the Geneva Camp and Conference Center; the board of
  Western Theological Seminary; the RCA Chaplain's Commission;
  the RCA Board of North American Missions; the board of
  Christian Health Care; and the board of Children's Retreat.
          Baar is a past president of "Temple Time" (now
  "Words of Hope") radio, and has been a volunteer at Holland
  Community Hospital.  He was recognized for his central role
  in the fund-raising efforts for a gymnasium for Southern
  Normal School, an RCA preparatory school in Brewton, Ala.
          As a student at Hope, he was a member of the men's
  golf team and football manager, in addition to being a
  member of the Cosmopolitan Fraternity, Drama Club and Blue
  Key honorary society, and vice president of the senior
  class.  He has been an active patron of Hope activities,
  including athletic competitions, arts events and lectures.
          He and his wife, Eunice, have five children:
  James H. Baar of Holland; Timothy J. Baar of Pella, Iowa;
  Deborah E. Baar of South Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; Miriam
  D. Baar Bush of Muskegon; and David J. Baar of Evergreen
  Park, Ill.
          The Hope College Alumni H-Club consists of Hope
  alumni who were athletic letter winners and other honorary
  letter winners as approved by the H-Club's Board of
  Directors, and currently has more than 2,800 members.
          The previous recipients of the "Hope for Humanity
  Award" are:  Ekdal J. Buys of Holland, a 1937 Hope graduate
  (1994); Robert N. DeYoung of Holland, a 1956 Hope graduate
  (1995); Mary Dykema of Holland, a 1973 Hope graduate (1992);
  Jack Klunder of Hopkins, a 1974 Hope graduate; the late
  Herman Laug of Coopersville, a 1929 Hope graduate (1990);
  George Moger of Fort Gratiot, a 1978 Hope graduate (1991);
  and Ross Nykamp of Fennville, a 1980 Hope graduate (1993).