Memorial Service for Long-time Grand Haven Pastor

For immediate release.

December 11, 2013 Grand Haven, Michigan.

The Rev. George P Timberlake, was an Episcopal priest who served for over sixty years in ten different churches and institutions in Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, and Washington, including serving as the 29th Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Grand Haven. He died of complications from heart and lung ailments ion August 27 at the age of 89.

George_TimberlakeforwebsiteIn celebration of his life and ministry, St. John’s Episcopal Church is offering a Memorial Service and Requiem Eucharist on Monday, December 16, at 6:30pm, the sixty-third anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.

Father Timberlake played a significant role in the Tri-Cities area during his twelve-year tenure from 1958 to 1970. The church had explored moving to another location, but decided to stay in their one-hundred year old historic building and instead purchase the property around the church. This led to the construction of the Parish Hall, offices, and Sunday School wings, connected to the church in the now familiar “Y” design that dominates the east end of the block at Washington and Sixth Street in Center Town. The structure is meant to create an impression of Christ’s arms embracing the community.

Father Timberlake also expanded in ministry to young people, opening up a coffee house known as “The Oasis” that became a regular hangout for area teenagers. He took a leading role in debates relating to social issues, advocating for the poor and racial minorities, opening the first Thrift Shop in our area, and speaking out against the involvement in Vietnam.

“Each rector of this church is aware that we stand on the shoulders of this great man,” said the Very Rev. Jared Cramer, current Rector of St. John’s. “That is why every living rector of St. John’s will be participating in this special service.” The Rev. Henry Idema, III, the 31st Rector of St. John’s and a columnist for the Tribune will be assisting in the service along with the Rev. John B. Hills, the 29th Rector of St. John’s. Father Hills followed Father Timberlake as Rector. Both Father Hills and Father Idema live as retired priests here in Grand Haven.

“I know that many people in the Tri-Cities knew Father Timberlake and will want to be there on Monday to celebrate his legacy even as we are called to greater service in the world,” Father Cramer continued. “It will be a powerful day.”

St. John’s Episcopal Church is a diverse Christian community in the heart of downtown Grand Haven. One of the oldest places of worship in Grand Haven, they seek to blend historic liturgy with challenging education and active outreach. They gather together for Holy Eucharist on Sundays at 8:30am and 10:30am and on Wednesdays at Noon and for Daily Prayer at 8:30am and 5:15pm Monday through Thursday.

December 11, 2013

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