Rev. Donald “Don” Hetherington Taws

December 19, 1929 - July 19, 2022
Rev. Donald “Don” Hetherington Taws

Reverend Taws, 92 years old, crossed the finish line into glory July 19, 2022, to join his daughter Kathryn who went on before at the age of 35.   Don was born to Bertha and John Taws in Philadelphia, Pa on December 19, 1929.  He had a sister Marjorie Sunderlin who also preceded him in death.

He is survived by his wife, Jeanette, to whom he was married 67 years; daughter, Elizabeth Taws of Hendersonville; sons, Jonathan Taws of Stuart Fla., and Bruce Taws and his wife Mary Vickie of Panama City, Fla.; daughter Anne Auffarth and husband Mark of Greenville, SC; twelve grandchildren; and nineteen great-grandchildren.

Don married Jeanette Van Stelle, June 9, 1955.  After graduating from high school, Don served in the US Army ASA branch for four years during the Korean war, two of those years in Eritrea, E. Africa where he came to know the Lord as his Savior.  He returned to the States to enroll in Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he met Jeanette at a mission club meeting where he was the acting President.  It was her desire to serve as a missionary, and in God’s providence, Don also desired to serve in missions to return to the land of his second birth.  After college Don entered Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia, PA.  Upon graduation the Orthodox Presbyterian Church called them to serve under their Mission Board and they served in Eritrea for five years, where three of their five children were born.  They were blessed to see many people come to faith in Christ, many of those now living in the States.  On return to America, Kathryn was born.

In 1963 they returned to the States (because of a war going on between Eritrea and Ethiopia). Don served churches for the next 28 years in Colorado, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Phillipsburg, NJ, Burtonsville, MA, Orlando, Fla., and Hendersonville, NC.  In 1991, Eritrea gained victory over Ethiopia, and the mission board requested that they return to Eritrea to re-open the Mission, start Bible Studies, open a Christian bookstore, over-see the rebuilding of the Orthodox Presbyterian hospital that was destroyed in the war and to begin a Bible School.  They spent two years committed to that work.

In 1995 they returned to NC to lived in Etowah, NC to serve in various ways at Covenant Presbyterian Church and then at Carolina Village where Don served as Chaplain for 20 years.

Don loved his Lord, loved to preach and teach Bible Studies, loved his wife and family and taught Pilgrims Progress many times (even on a cruise ship!) and found great joy in playing bagpipes.  He also enjoyed his time playing recorders with the Musique Antiqua Renaissance group.

Psalm 48:14 was their wedding verse and tells it all: “Praise to God who does all things well!”

A service of celebration will be held at Covenant Presbyterian Church of Hendersonville on Saturday, August 6, at 2:00pm.  In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to the Open Arms Pregnancy Center of Hendersonville or Four Seasons Hospice.


Saturday, August 6, 2022
2:00 PM

Covenant Presbyterian Church - Directions
2101 Kanuga Road
Hendersonville, NC 28739

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  • August 17, 2022
    Hello, I feel very sad to learn about the passing of Rev. Don Taws. I am Eritrean and member of Evangelical Lutheran Church of Eritrea in Asmara. I was only 14/15 years old whn Rev. Don Taws came to Eritrea. He and his family used to serve at the St George church and also carry on Bible study at their house. We were blessed and lucky to have him in our church. He was kind, knowledgable abd passionate. Me and my friend specially remember him because he used ti have hard time pronouncing my name. I jist saw this yesterday. May his sould rest in eternal peace. May God comfort his all family. Mewael Hailegiorgis Tel;703-861-9257

  • July 20, 2022
    LeRoy Goldman says:
    I am saddened to learn of Pastor Don's passing, but I am uplifted to know that he is now with the Savior he loved throughout his entire life. For almost a decade I was blessed to know and work with Pastor Don at Covenant Presybyterian Church. Over many decades I have come to know many pastors. None of them comes close to holding a candle to Don. His faith was the beacon that illuminated his life and his compassion for his fellow man. During the time I worshipped at Covenant he was in the pulpit only infrequently. But each time I heard him preach I left the sanctuary wishing that his brilliance and reverence was more frequently on display. When I left Covenant Pastor Don came to me and said, "Remember this, Lee, our salvation is not dependent upon whatever church we might be a member of, it is dependent upon our faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." Of course, Don was right! I have complete confidence that, while we are all poorer since Don's passing, he's right where he's always wanted to be--with God. LeRoy Goldman

  • July 20, 2022
    Judith Goldman says:
    Pastor Taws was a gentle guiding light in the world's dark morass. He'll be forever remembered!

  • July 21, 2022
    To Jeanette and family, We are so saddened to hear of Don's passing, but we have the assurance of God's Grace and his entry into the eternal kingdom. We were so blessed knowing him not only down here in NC, but also "back home" in NJ during his time at Harmony OPC while my parents were starting Hackettstown along with so many others now gone on before us. I still remember the day Theresa was traveling home to NC from visiting in NJ and stopped for a break on I-81, probably 20 years ago. She had to call me and say, "Guess who we just saw"? Don was just such a blessing to all who met him. Tim and Theresa Wallace

  • July 22, 2022
    Brenda Henderson-Mcgregor says:
    Rev. Taws was always so nice to me