Rev. John deVries, 7th President of the FCM January 1, 1972-December 3, 1974

“Dear fellow FCM members: I trust you have all been busy giving out the Good News, and living it…In 1975 we will be The Fellowship of Christian Magicians, Inc. We have members in 29 coutnries so we can say-International.”

John deVries final letter as quoted in What a Fellowship, p. 130

“John deVries, aka as ‘The Magic Man’, was born in Koudum, Friesland, The Netherlands in 1905. The family came to America when John was still a small boy…At the age of 12, young deVries became a Christian at a Children’s Crusade directed by Bob Jones Sr. …in 1942 he gave up a good paying job as a Superintendent in a furniture factor to go full time into children’s ministryHe started using a little gospel magic in 1943, met Dr. Warren Filkin in 1944 and it was Dr. Filken who encouraged this budding magician. deVrie’s ministry was in the Public Schools and he had been going back to the same schools for over 20 years. John wrote that there were over 13,000 students that he ministered to, 320 times each year and that he does his gospel magic in the school rooms during school time. John also performed at banquets, Sunday Schools, youth groups, service clubs, etc.”

What a Fellowship, p. 130

“He (deVries) has, without a doubt, the finest collection of original magic there is in the world. He has some of the most unusual pieces you have ever seen, or ever will see. He has most of it custom made…He gets an idea and then gets a top craftsman to make it to John’s own specifications, hence you will not see the like in any magic shop or in any magician’s collection.” Tony Birch in Christian Conjuror, Volume 12, Number 6 as quoted in What a Fellowship, p. 130

“John deVries is as nice a fellow as you would ever wish to meet. A great magician, loved by all of us who know him, and by every kid in Grand Rapids.”

Tony Birch in Christian Conjuror, Volume 12, Number 6 as quoted in What a Fellowship, p. 130

If John was traveling on a Wednesday evening, if he saw a church having a Wed. night meeting, he would stop and attend. He believed in the importance of worshipping the Lord with other Christians, no matter where he was.

Related by Roger Bus who traveled with John

“On Tuesday December 3, 1974 he had his car loaded with magic equipment and he was ready for a show he was doing that night. Before leaving the house, he paused for a moment to gance at the evening paper, suddenly-his heart stopped–he was in the presence of the Lord he faithfully served for over 30 years. He was 69.”

What a Fellowship, p. 131

“The full effect of this man’s service for the Lord will never be known this side of the vale. For 32 years he strived for the hearts of men. It was not easy. It is never easy. The devil was counter-attacking at every point. Opposition came strongly from ‘other faiths’ and even from many who consider themselves Christians and evangelicals…

I attended the funeral…I watched minsters and priests (even a Bishop) enter the room with mutual respect and heart break. The layman were there also-by the hundreds. And then the children. Chrildren in jeans and ragged shirts, chidren dressed expensively, chidren with sad faces and tears. There was no generation gap here. They came and prayed and remembered…And through it all you could see and feel the presence and love of Christ. The hope of the Christian was evident and you just knew the parting was only temporary.

John’s labor is finished, but the work goes on…Believers all over the world must take up the slack for the time is short…

I end this little remembrance with the words someone spoke at the viewing. I’m happy for him, but sad for us.”

excerpt from Bill Baker eulogy published in Christian Conjuror, Volume 19, Number 1 Jan/Feb 1975