Henry Beets (1869-1947) was born in Koedijk, the Netherlands. He emigrated to the United States and was a minister of the Christian Reformed Church. The collection details his theological training, his parish ministries in Pella, Iowa, and Grand Rapids, Michigan, and his interests in ecumenical contacts and mission outreach, particularly to the Zunis and Navajos of the western United States. He was a prolific writer on the Christian Reformed Church, Reformed religion, Dutch Calvinism, Dutch immigrants to North America, and related topics. The collection also contains his research notes, drafts, and final publications on these topics and a large collection of pamphlets on the Reformed churches following the secession of the State Church in the Netherlands in 1834.
The correspondence details Beets's extensive contacts and interests in denominational and church histories. An index of significant correspondents is available. Of note are his biographical notes on Christian Reformed Church (CRC) ministers and mission efforts, particularly regarding Johanna Veenstra. The sermons reflect Dutch Reformed Calvinism as it took root in North America during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The speeches reflect a wide range of topics varying from missions in the United States, Canada, China, and Africa to arriving Dutch immigrants. There are speeches and articles on patriotism during the WW I years. His research and manuscripts present a wide range of subjects. Especially noteworthy are those on the history and development of the CRC. Beets gathered together a sizable pamphlet collection which he had bound. An alphabetical index by author is available.