This week, we have experienced a tremendous loss within the Pine Rest family. Reverend Tony Campbell was a member of the Pine Rest Foundation Board of Governors since 2013. Campbell passed away unexpectedly on July 18, 2017, just days after he participated in a Board meeting.
Samantha Howell, a fellow Board member, reflected: “I am just amazed that God allowed him to attend the meeting and speak so passionately about the mission of Pine Rest and potential relationships that can be established with area churches. I’m so thankful that, in the last few hours he was here on earth, we had the chance to be in Tony’s presence before God called him home.”
Campbell accomplished much in his life and served many people through his work. Most recently, he was associate general secretary and director of mission engagement for the Reformed Church in America (RCA). Tom De Vries, former RCA general secretary, said: “Tony’s death is a painful loss for the RCA – as a pastor, as a friend, as a partner in the gospel, as a leader. His passing impacts our denomination on so many levels: personally, missionally, transformationally, and as we seek to live out God’s call for the RCA to live and love like Jesus.”
Campbell was a connector. On May 4, 2017, an event he envisioned came to life. Through a collaboration of many partners, Pine Rest hosted “A Mental Health Awareness Event” for area churches. Bob VandePol, executive director of Pine Rest’s Employee Assistance and Church Assistance programs, was a presenter and member of RCA’s Mental Health Awareness Taskforce that coordinated the event.
“I was honored to serve with Tony in the development and delivery of a major event aimed at enhancing the ministry of churches by providing them with mental health expertise and resources,” says VandePol. The event and its subsequent follow-up activities were Tony’s brainchild. His passion, expertise, and team building drove its success. We helped people.”
Campbell set a wonderful example through the strength of his Christian faith and commitment to family and community. We feel his loss profoundly, but he will continue to inspire us. We remember his family in our prayers including his wife, Molly, and his children: Ben, Sarah, Paul, Emma, and Madison. Memorial contributions may be sent to Mike Piechocki at 7783 Oakmont Ct. NE, Rockford, MI 49341. Gifts will be used to establish a college fund for Emma and Madison.
Tony lived a full life. For RCA’s complete remembrance of Rev. Campbell, please visit www.rca.org/news/rca-mourns-loss-tony-campbell. We thank them for sharing their words with us for this article.