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Cornelius Witt Collection



Biographical Note

Detailed Description

Dutch History




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Cornelius Witt Collection, 1930-1983 | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

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Collection Overview

Title: Cornelius Witt Collection, 1930-1983

ID: COLL/334

Primary Creator: Witt, Cornelius (1903-1983)

Extent: 2.9 Cubic Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: Folder level description


Minister of the Christian Reformed Church. The collection includes sermon files with an index; student notes; article files; scrapbooks consisting of pictures of churches and ministers according to classis; a letter, written to Henry Beets, relating information concerning the Christian Reformed Church in Hull, North Dakota; a manuscript history entitled "Tales from Dutch History"; correspondence regarding family history; outline of Christian Reformed history; information regarding Maxwell City, New Mexico; correspondence to servicemen; and an autobiography, "Years of My Youth."

Biographical Note

When the Rev. Cornelius Witt died, 8 December 1983, the church lost a pastor who had an abiding interest in the youth.  The Banner announcement, which appeared 30 January 1984, was captioned, "Pastor, youth lover dies."

Cornelius Witt was involved in the organization of the Young Calvinist Federation.  He served for a time as a contributor to the Young People's department of The Banner.  His wife, Jeanette (Schoolland), also maintained an interest in and support of youth organizations.  She served at one time as president of the Young Women's League of the Pella district, and later as president of the Holland-Zeeland Young Women's League.  Jeanette wrote several articles for The Banner when she was appointed (1957) as a contributor to the Woman's World section of the denominational paper.

When Rev. Witt retired he served as leader of the Men's Societies of the Holland area.  He attended the annual conventions of the Federation of Christian Reformed Men's Society and often wrote a report of the conventions for the Federation Messenger.  His last report appeared in a 1982 issue.

When he was eight years old, the Witt family moved from Broek-op-hangedijk, the Netherlands, where he was born, September 10, 1903.  Shortly after arriving in Grand Rapids, the family moved to Denver, Colorado.  Cornelius studied at Calvin College and Seminary, graduating in 1929.  He was ordained into the ministry September 15, 1929.  His inaugural sermon in the Leighton Christian Reformed Church, Leighton, Iowa, was based on I Peter 2:4-5.  Other Christian Reformed Churches served by Rev. C. Witt were in Hull, North Dakota (1937-1941); Harderwyk, Holland, Michigan (1941-1950); Ebenezer, Trenton, Ontario (1950-1958); Flint, Michigan (1959-1963); and East Palmyra, New York (1963-1968).

Those who came into contact with the Rev. C. Witt found in him a pastor with a high degree of sanctified common sense.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Dutch History],
[Series 2: Sermons],
[Series 3: Articles, 1930's],
[Series 4: Albums],

Series 1: Dutch History
Box 1: Tales from Dutch History
Series 2: Sermons
Box 2: Sermons
Box 3: Sermons
Box 4: Sermons
Series 3: Articles --- 1930's
Box 5
Folder 1: Creeds of the CR and articles of R. A. Hoekstra from The Banner --- 1930-1939
Folder 2: Descended into Hell, articles of D. Zwier in De Wachter
Folder 3: Divine Sovereignty and human responsibility articles by D. Zwier in De Wachter, --- 1936-1937
Folder 4: Proof texts for Dogmatics
Folder 5: The Future of the Jews.  Articles by D. Zwier in De Wachter --- 1936
Folder 6: History of the CRC, The Banner and De Wachter articles, by various authors --- 1933-1936
Folder 7: Review (outline) of the Theology of the Gospel by James Moffett (1870-1944). Seminary
Folder 8: Seminary Student papers
Folder 9: Time of Regeneration (Dutch).  Articles in De Wachter by D. Zwier --- 1937-38
Folder 10: Tithing.  Press clippings and brochures of the --- 1930's
Series 4: Albums
Box 6: Albums and boxes filled with pictures of Christian Reformed Churches and ministers
Box 7
Folder 1: "History of the Christian Reformed Church: A Brief Outline" --- 1940
Folder 2: Correspondence to servicemen --- 1966-1968
Folder 3: Information re Maxwell City, New Mexico --- 1972
Folder 4: "The Years of My Youth" --- 1983
Folder 5: Correspondence --- 1981-1982
Folder 6: "Memories of my Youth," by Jeannette Schoolland Witt --- 1981

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Dutch History],
[Series 2: Sermons],
[Series 3: Articles, 1930's],
[Series 4: Albums],

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