Rev. Cornelius Sonnevelt
Born in The Hague, the Netherlands, Cornelius Sonnevelt grew up in a Christian family. His teenage years coincided with "the wild sixties," which certainly left their mark on him. Not long before his eighteenth birthday, the young rebel was captured by irresistible grace and had to surrender and thus, a deep longing to serve God and others was born within the young Cornelius. After prayerful consideration, he began to prepare for the ministry by obtaining a master's degree in theology and cultural anthropology at the State University of Utrecht, and by following language courses at the Summer Institute of Linguistics in England. In 1980, he also completed the Theological School in Rotterdam (the seminary of the Netherlands Reformed Congregations).
Towards the end of his studies, Rev. Sonnevelt married a wonderful young lady called Tineke Kraaijeveld, who has meanwhile been his faithful companion for more than 33 years and who is the proud mother of seven children and six grandchildren. Rev. and Mrs. Sonnevelt have been privileged to labour in the Lord's vineyard in different parts of the world (first in Nigeria, then in the Netherlands, Israel, Canada, and since 2012 again in "the Lowlands near the Sea"). By his own admission, the rebel from the sixties has not lost much of his rebellious nature, but the Lord is good and faithful. His greatest passion is—and still remains—the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ for unworthy sinners.
Rev. Sonnevelt's other passion has to do with pre-born children, greatly influenced by the words of the late Rev. A. Vergunst at a large prayer gathering organized by pro-life groups and church leaders a few days before the decisive vote which legalized abortion would be taken in the Dutch Parliament. From that moment on, Rev. Sonnevelt became actively involved in speaking out against abortion, in Holland but also elsewhere. As a member of the Israel committee of the Netherlands Reformed Congregations, he came in contact with Be'ad Chaim, a prolife organization in Israel. It was at their office that Rev. Sonnevelt saw The Silent Scream for the first time. This further solidified his conviction to pray and work against the evil of abortion.
Rev. Sonnevelt regularly speaks and writes on theology, culture, and Israel. In addition to ministry, he teaches Religion, Culture & Missiology at an advanced course for church members and office-bearers. He is the author of several books, including God's Way with Israel, Grace and Truth shall mark the Way, Five Fingers pointing to Heaven, and The Way, the Truth, and the Life: An Explanation of the Heidelberg Catechism.
Though thankful for the youth that are taking over the torch from an older generation, Rev. Sonnevelt continues to "open his mouth for the dumb," in particular for those whose lives are being snuffed out in the only place where they are –or rather, should be—safe. Together with his wife, he serves the Gereformeerde Gemeente (Netherlands Reformed Congregation) in the town of Krabbendijke, the Netherlands, where they reside with two teenage sons.