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Pastor James Van Den Houten

Obituary
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Van Den Houten, Pastor James NASSAU At 11:55 a.m. on Thursday December 16, 2010 Pastor James Van Den Houten completed his assignment here on earth and joined his Savior and his two sons in Heaven. He left peacefully, surrounded by his loving family. He was born on November 16, 1932, in Albany, N.Y., the son of Genevieve and James Van Den Houten. From age 15, he resided in the East Greenbush, Schodack, and Nassau area. He graduated from CBA in Albany, N.Y. enlisted in the US Navy and served his country for 4 years during the Korean War. He was married on December 19, 1953 to the love of his life, Janice Mull and they walked side by side through their life together for 57 years. They raised four wonderful sons, Jim Jr., Randy, Danny and Shawn. Jim operated Van's Heavy Equipment in East Greenbush, where he also built Van Den Houten Square. In 1978, a most wonderful thing happened to Pastor Jim. He recognized the fact that he was a sinner in need of a Savior and asked Jesus to forgive him and take over his life. On that day, Jim and Jesus began a relationship that became better and better until some of Pastor Jim's last words were, "Isn't it awesome! Jesus loves me and I love him." In 1991 at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, Pastor Jim was on his deathbed, waiting for a heart transplant when he heard God say "Go back and feed the people. Help them and love them." Jim received his new heart, and a year later in obedience to God's assignment established Faith and Love Fellowship Church in Rensselaer, N.Y., where he served faithfully as senior pastor for 19 years. It was at this little church that Pastor Jim started a food pantry and a community lunch program for the City of Rensselaer and the surrounding areas. He established two Outreach Thrift Stores, one on Rte 150 in East Schodack and one in K-Mart Plaza in East Greenbush. He was so grateful for what God did for him, that he wanted to pass God's love on by "feeding the people" both spiritually and physically. He welcomed everyone God sent to him and loved them unconditionally. Faith and love were the two things he taught his congregation and his favorite words of encouragement were "Aren't you excited to see what God is going to do?" Pastor Jim is survived by his loving wife Janice; his two sons, Pastor James Van Den Houten, Jr, and Shawn Van Den Houten (Noel); his cherished grandson, David Joshua Van Den Houten, a senior at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla.; his sister Kathleen, England (Frank) and his faithful buddy Linus. He was predeceased by his two of his sons, Randy and Danny Van Den Houten and his sister Margaret O'Rourke. The celebration of Pastor Jim's home going will be held Tuesday morning at 10:30 at Faith and Love Fellowship, 85 Washington Street, Rensselaer. All are welcome to attend. Relatives and friends are invited and may call at the W.J. Lyons Jr. Funeral Home, 1700 Washington Avenue, Rensselaer Monday from 4-8 p.m. Interment will be in Saratoga National Cemetery, Schuylerville. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, those who wish to remember Pastor Jim would do so by making a memorial donation to Faith And Love Fellowship, 85 Washington Street, Rensselaer, NY 12144. The family extends special thanks to the doctors and nurses and staff at the VA Hospital ICU for their wonderful care and support during this difficult time. Condolence page at www.wjlyonsfuneralhome.com
Published in Albany Times Union from Dec. 19 to Dec. 20, 2010
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