50 Year Alumni

June 30, 2011

During the 2011 commencement, Westminster honored members of the class of 1961

Alumni honored include Rev. Rensselaer Broekhuizen, Rev. Rollin Keller, Rev. Richard Stevens, Dr. Melville Stewart, and Rev. Dr. Howard Hart.  At the graduation banquet on May 25th, Rev. Broekhuizen (pictured, right) gave a few words of encouragement to the graduating class.  Click here to listen to his speech from that night, or download a PDF of his message here.

See below for biographical details of the alumni honored at Westminster's 82nd commencement.

2011 50-year alumni
Alumni pictured (L-R): Rev. Rollin Keller, with wife; Dr. Melville Stewart; Rev. Richard Stevens; and Rev. Dr. Howard Hart

Rev. Rensselaer Owen Broekhuizen (BDiv)

  • Served congregations of the Christian Reformed Church in Florida, Pennsylvania and Michigan as well as a world missionary in Liberia, West Africa.
  • In 1993, was part of a group that founded Ridge Point Community Church in Holland, Michigan. The church was designed intentionally to reach people who have no interest in the church.
  • Retired from the active congregational ministry in 2003.

Rev. Rollin Keller (MDiv)

  • Resides in Lakewood, California
  • Might be the only 3-generation OPC family in ministry
  • Married Barbara Piper, whose father, Russell Piper graduated from WTS in 1938
  • They raised 6 children!
  • Pastored OP churches in Neptune, NJ; Wilmington, DE; Modesto, CA; Carson, CA totaling 40 years

Dr. Melville Stewart (MDiv)

  • Resides outside in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area
  • Was the minster of three different churches from 1961-1970
  • Obtained many degrees:
    • BA from Gordon College
    • MDiv from Westminster Theological Seminary
    • STM from Andover Newton Theological School
    • MA from University of Connecticut
    • PhD in Philosophy from Univ. of Minnesota
    • Post doctorate work, Oxford 1986
  • Pew Scholar, 1996
  • Professor of Philosophy at Bethel University for 27 years, where he is now Professor of Philosophy, Emertius
  • Professor of Philosophy at University of St. Thomas 2000-03
  • Fulbright Scholar, 2001
  • Templeton Scholar 2005-2009, China
  • Has taught 8 terms in China beginning at Peking University in Beijing
  • Papers read at 50 Universities world-wide
  • Is also the author and editor of 17 books, 2 forthcoming 

Rev. Richard Stevens (MDiv)

  • “I am not a general in the Lord’s army. I am pleased to be His foot soldier.”
  • Pastored a small church in central New York and taught English and Latin to high school students all while pursuing a master’s degree in English.
  • Moved to Florida where he continued to teach.  He was a frequent preacher and interim pastor at many churches and has traveled on missions projects with his wife to numerous countries teaching English.
  • In 1998 was called to run for city council in Cape Coral where he served for 9 years.
  • Has been a pastor, teacher, politician and he now serves as a caregiver to his wife

Rev. Dr. Howard Hart (MDiv)

  • Was elected the President of the Senior Class of 1961. He said the men at Westminster were much easier to lead than leading men as a Staff Sergeant in the US Army for a few years.
  • After graduation, was ordained as a minister of the OPC in 1962
  • Served several congregations in the OPC, PCA and Reformed Church in the US.
  • Served as a Missionary at Large; administered the Reformed Resource Center and the Training in Ministry (TIM) programs for the RCUS.
  • Served for a number of years as the Chairman of the Home Missions Committee of Synod.
  • Retired from active ministry in 1998
  • Was hired by RCUS to write Sunday School lessons for K-8, resulting in 1,000 lessons. For this, he was awarded a Doctor of Divinity degree by St. Luke’s School of Biblical Studies.
  • Published numerous articles for the Reformed Herald, especially in the areas of Biblical Archaeology and exegesis. One Chapter in the book You Shall Be My People published by RCUS is titled “The Influence of Westminster Theological Seminary on the Reformed Church in the United States.” At that time there were 13 graduates from WTS on the rolls of Synod.
  • Retired in 2011 at the age of 77 but still preaches and serves on Classical and Synodical Committees.
  • Hobbies include gunsmithing and target shooting