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Ralph Bronkema Collection



Biographical Note

Detailed Description

Addresses, Papers

Heidelberg Catechism Sermons

Sermons for Special Days

Sermons:  Genesis to Luke

Sermons:  John to Revelation

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Ralph Bronkema Collection, 1924-1954 | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

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Collection Overview

Title: Ralph Bronkema Collection, 1924-1954Add to your cart.

ID: COLL/026

Primary Creator: Bronkema, Ralph (1893-1973)

Extent: 5.0 Boxes. More info below.

Arrangement: Folder level description

Subjects: Bronkema, Ralph, Sr., 1893-1973, Netherlands - History - 1945-, Netherlands - Social life and customs


Minister of the Christian Reformed Church. The collection includes sermons and reminiscences entitled "Our Impressions of the Netherlands," describing post-war aspects of the Netherlands.

Biographical Note

The Yearbook of the Christian Reformed Church lists only one church under the name of Ralph Bronkema.  In 1929 he accepted the call of First Orange City, Iowa, and served that congregation until 1952.  Our collection of sermons makes references to churches where he preached some of his sermons after his retirement.  Although he retired early because of diabetic disabilities, he was able to serve for brief periods in Los Angeles, California; Edmonton, Alberta; Dresden, Ontario; Salt Lake City, Utah; Eau Galle, Florida, and British Columbia; Tyler, Minnesota; and Neerlandia, Alberta.

Ralph Bronkema was born, June 10, 1883, of immigrant parents, members of the Coldbrook CRC, Grand Rapids, Michigan.  As a young man he contributed to the family finances by working at various jobs while continuing his education.  After two years at the seminary he accepted a teaching position at the newly founded Christian high school in Grand Rapids.  After teaching Bible for five years he continued his theological instruction at the Free University of Amsterdam.  His doctoral dissertation was entitled The Essence of Puritanism. Bronkema married Ethel Louise Kraker. Together they had 3 children–Randall John, Thomas Roy, and Pamela Jean.

While in the Netherlands he established good relationships with many people.  He preached for forty weeks in the Bergen church.  After WWII he organized a relief program using his friends in the Netherlands as contact person for the distribution of tons of food, clothing, and medicine from Northwest Iowa.  For this work the Dutch government knighted him.  In the collection there is a vivid mimeographed account of his visit to the Netherlands after the war. In 1954 Bronkema began to be involved in Home Missions, starting in the Greater Muskegon, Michigan area. Bronkema continued his Home Missionary work in Orlando, Florida. In 1966 he became Chaplain for the U.S. Air Force. By 1986 Bronkema was pastor for Special Ministries in Indian Harbor Beach, Florida.

Ralph Bronkema passed away on May 4, 1973. Although he served only one congregation during his active ministry, his activities reached people beyond the immediate area of the congregational membership.  His line of communication crossed the Atlantic Ocean.

Subject/Index Terms

Bronkema, Ralph, Sr., 1893-1973
Netherlands - History - 1945-
Netherlands - Social life and customs

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Addresses, Papers, 1929-1954],
[Series 2: Heidelberg Catechism Sermons, 1929-1938],
[Series 3: Sermons for Special Days, 1929-1945],
[Series 4: Sermons:  Genesis to Luke, 1932-1944],
[Series 5: Sermons:  John to Revelation, 1932-1944],

Series 1: Addresses, Papers --- 1929-1954Add to your cart.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Addresses - Ministers' Conference and other occasionsAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Articles and reportsAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Conversations with Mormons while in Salt Lake City as associate pastorAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Christian Reformed Church in Iowa.  Manuscript not published --- 1943Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Letter of acceptance to Orange City, Iowa, CRC --- August 3, 1929Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Memorial messageAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Our Impressions of the Netherlands, bound mimeographed copies (2).  Impressions of post-war Netherlands --- 1946Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Outlined sermons on small cards.  (Incomplete)  Reduced sermons on cards for preachingAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: Paper:  The "tongues" in Acts compared with the "tongues" in Corinthians --- February 1, 1924Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Promotie Dinner in Amsterdam, menu --- April 1, 1929Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Twelve articles based on book "The Essence of Puritanism" --- 1954Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Addresses, Papers, 1929-1954],
[Series 2: Heidelberg Catechism Sermons, 1929-1938],
[Series 3: Sermons for Special Days, 1929-1945],
[Series 4: Sermons:  Genesis to Luke, 1932-1944],
[Series 5: Sermons:  John to Revelation, 1932-1944],

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