The Rev. Richard Rhem is pictured here with his wife, Nancy. Rhem, the longtime leader of Christ Community Church in Spring Lake, died Sunday. He was 85.

During his days on earth, the Rev. Richard A. Rhem embraced God, his family and all of humanity. Like the celery stalks he planted and harvested as a youth, he spent a lifetime tending to the tender.

The longtime leader of Christ Community Church in Spring Lake believed in his spiritual calling so deeply that he was willing to endure criticism and crude comments to remain standing with firm foothold for what he believed in – an inclusive church where are all welcome.

Contact Marie Havenga at mhavenga@grandhaventribune.com.

(2) comments


Thank you, Marie, for this wonderful article written in your usual sensitive and caring style. By interviewing Rev. Rhem's children and coworkers, you were able to capture the heart and spirit of this very special person who lived with us, moved us deeply, shaped our faith, equipped us for life and (as he admitted) spoiled us for any other pastor. We must say goodbye to his physical body, but his spirit, commitment, compassion and love will be with us forever. The world has lost a treasure and you eulogized him well.

Roger and Marcia Draft

mhavenga Staff

Roger and Marcia, thank you for your kind words. I agree -- the world has lost a treasure, but his legacy and lessons remain. ❤

Blue skies,


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