Once back home, we determined to leave the Army and seek the Lord for pastoral ministry. After working at minimum wage in a printing plant for a time, I obtained employment as a safety engineer with Traveler’s Insurance Company. During this period, we began worshipping with a Christian Reformed Mission and became members of First Christian Reformed Church in Pella, Iowa.The ministers of Classis Pella were of immense help and encouragement in our pilgrimage into the Reformed faith.Denise Kay was born in 1974 and Kristi Lynn was born in 1975.We learned the trauma of church discipline in this congregation, accompanied by decline, and then both the challenge and gratification of seeing renewal and growth through outreach and evangelism.
In God’s providence, we were called into the OPC and served the Bartlesville congregation until 1982.After graduation, I had a serious falling out with my father and requested the Army to send me to South Korea.I was assigned to Headquarters Company of 141st Signal Battalion at 1st Cavalry Division headquarters located north of Seoul and just south of the demilitarized zone.Upon graduation, my ordination in 1968, and a transfer into the Chaplain’s Corp, we were off to Fort Bragg to serve as Group Chaplain for 6th Special Forces Group.
A tour in Vietnam followed where I would serve as Battalion Chaplain for the 2/47 Infantry in the 9th Division stationed on a firebase south of Saigon on the north edge of the Mekong River delta. One of my memories is flying into Cambodia to meet with our troops on missions there. We lost a child that year during the sixth month of Erma’s pregnancy.
Great grandfather, John Prutow (1851-1922), emigrated from Prussia in 1868 and settled on a farm outside of Imlay City, MI, north of Detroit.