Pella Chronicle


May 14, 2014

Rev. G. LaVerne Hill

Pella — Garrett LaVerne Hill was born on August 2, 1928, in Mystic, Iowa. Two years later his parents, Garrett William and Edna Minnie Aldrich Havens Hill, moved to a farm near Bloomfield, Iowa. He attended country school through the 8th grade and then went to high school in Bloomfield.

LaVerne accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior while in high school. LaVerne met Wanda Josephine Loper at the Bloomfield Open Bible Church where she was the pianist.

Wanda became the love of his life and they were united in marriage on June 1, 1947. LaVerne was called to become a minister, sold his horse Rowdy, attended night school at the Open Bible Institute for three years and worked at the Coca Cola plant in Des Moines while attending school.

LaVerne's goal was to work with home mission-type churches where he would do the preaching and Wanda (also an ordained minister) would work with the children. Their first opportunity to serve the Lord was in Atlantic, Iowa. In 1952 they were called to become traveling evangelists and headed south.

For some time they traveled in Southern Iowa holding revival meetings. They were then called to pastor fulltime at the Open Bible Church in Streater, Illinois and then Galesburg, Illinois.

In 1961 they moved to Urbandale, Iowa to pastor the Open Bible Temple and that September they were blessed with a baby girl whom they named Veronda Joy, a combination of both of their names. "Roni" as she was later called, became their source of great pride and much love.

In 1973 they moved to Pella, Iowa to pastor the Open Bible Church where they faithfully served until LaVerne retired from preaching in 1981. Rev. Hill literally walked from one occupation to another, and became the Administrator of the Christian Benevolent Association at the Pella Manor until 1992. This experience enabled him to continue to work with his hands and use his gifts as being a good manager.

He continued to serve as guest minister in several local and nearby churches until Wanda passed away July 16, 2011. LaVerne often said, the Lord had given him "Amazing Grace" and had been good to him throughout his life.

On Sunday morning, April 27, 2014, at the age of 85 years, the door on earth closed and the door in Heaven opened for him while he was being cared for at the Hospice Comfort House in Pella.

He is survived by his daughter Veronda "Roni" Rowe and her husband, Gary, of Des Moines, Iowa and her three stepchildren: Traci (McFall) and Brad Schallau of Peoria, Illinois, Casey McFall (currently serving with the United States Army in Afghanistan) and Kelly of Watertown, New York and his two children: Haleigh and Lauren McFall, Andrew McFall and Jacquie and their son, Levi, of Hatboro, Pennsylvania; along with his brother, Gerald Hill and Elaine of Kirskville, Missouri, his sister, Verta Small of Bloomfield, Iowa and his friend Bertha (Ver Meer) Brouwer of Pella, Iowa.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Wanda J. Hill; and his parents, Garrett W. and Edna Hill. LaVerne Hill, G. LaVerne Hill, Verne, Pastor Hill, Brother Hill, traveling evangelist, fisherman and most recently a member of the First Baptist Church in Pella found his favorite scripture to be Romans 8:28, "We know that is everything God works for good with those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose." The family invites anyone who would like to share a memory of Rev. Hill to please do so at his service. A portion of the celebration service will be dedicated to allow people to speak. If you prefer to share a written memory, they would appreciate that as well.

Memorial services were held on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Pella.  Van Dyk – Duven Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. 

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