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Former city minister slain

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Former city minister slain

By John Barton


The body of the Rev. Henry Kuizenga, former senior minister of the First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor, was found Friday in a beach cottage of Oceanside, Calif. Police say he had been beaten to death.

Kuizenga, 66, retired two years ago from the Claremont (Calif.) School of Theology where he was a professor. He was minister of First Presbyterian in Ann Arbor from Nov. 1952 until Sept. 1961, when he left to join the faculty at the college.

He lived in LaVerne, Calif., and friends said he had gone to Ocean-side to work on a book.

“WE ARE STILL working on lots of leads, but nobody is in custody,” said Sgt. Mike Shirley, of the Oceanside police.

Shirley said officers were called to the cottage at 7:15 a.m. Friday. They found Kuizenga’s body inside. He had been beaten repeatedly with an “as-yet unidentified blunt object,” Shirley said.

The clergyman’s car was missing, but it was recovered over the weekend in Oceanside, Shirley said.

“So we aren’t sure whether it was taken by the assailant or not. Robbery was not in apparent motive, because, as far as I know, his wallet was found] and there was nothing missing from the cottage,” he said.

Authorities estimate he had been dead for 10-i5 hours before his body was discovered.

KUIZENGA, a Holland, Mich., native, graduated from Hope College in 1935. He Kid theological degrees from Princeton, and earned a doctorate from Yale. In 1959 he was president of the Ann Arbor-Washtenaw Council of Churches.

Although he left First Presbyterian in 1961, he made frequent visits to Ann Arbor, and was often a guest speaker at the church. His last appearance here was on Aug. 5 this year.

Kuizenga came to Ann Arbor from East Orange, N.J. He also served as an Army Chaplain in World War H, and was also a member of the faculty at Carroll College in Waukesha, Wis.