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Elbert Kooistra Collection



Biographical Note

Detailed Description

Sermons and Papers

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Elbert Kooistra Collection, 1921-1984 | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

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Collection Overview

Title: Elbert Kooistra Collection, 1921-1984

ID: COLL/147

Primary Creator: Elbert (Eeltje) Kooistra (1891-1995)

Extent: 1.0 Box

Arrangement: Folder level description


Minister of the Christian Reformed Church. The collection includes call letters, sermons, notebooks, papers, radio sermons, articles, serviceman letter, book by a relative (Sharing the Crown, 1971), anniversary booklets, and an autobiography in Dutch and English.

Biographical Note

Elbert (Eeltje) Kooistra was born in Tzummarum, Friesland, the Netherlands on February 14, 1891. At the age of 2, his family immigrated to the United States and settled in Doon, Iowa. Gifted orator, Kooistra grew up with the intention of becoming an auctioneer, his father thought otherwise. Kooistra’s father encouraged him to pursue a career in ministry. Kooistra enrolled at Calvin College and Seminary, graduating in 1921.

After graduation, he served the congregation of Austinville, Iowa from 1921 to 1926. His active ministry also included the following charges: Bethany, South Holland, Illinois (1926-1930); Midland Park, New Jersey (1930-1941); Eastern Home Missions Board (1941-1944); Oak Park, Illinois (1944-1952); Fruitland, Ontario (1952-1956); Newton, New Jersey (1956-1960). Known for his good humor and practical sermons, he really connected with every day people. He even was able to broadcast some of his sermons on the radio. He retired in 1960.  He resided in Grand Rapids, Michigan, during his retirement years.  He described his ministry in a speech on March 16, 1983 as “a blessed ministry from 1921 until 1983.” Kooistra also found time to write articles for The Banner and De Watcher. He was a frequent delegate to the synod as well as served on a number of boards.

Elbert Kooistra died in 1995 at the age of 104. Kooistra’s first wife, Grace Koning preceded him in death after 49 years of marriage. Kooistra was remarried to Rose De Wit, and she preceded him in death as well.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Sermons and Papers, 1921-1984],

Series 1: Sermons and Papers --- 1921-1984
Box 1
Folder 1: Anniversary and souvenir booklets: Midland Park, New Jersey; Oak Park, Illinois; Goshen,; and Fruitland, Ontario.
Folder 2: Article: "Een meisje dat Maria heette," in De Wachter, page 11 --- 28-Aug-84
Folder 3: Autobiographical speech: "A blessed ministry 1921-1983," outlined material --- March 16, 1983
Folder 4: Call letters --- 1921-1952
Folder 5: Sermons: Bible characters (outlined)
Folder 6: Sermons in booklets, English (outlined) --- 1922, 1923
Folder 7: Sermons: communion, preparatory (outlined) --- 1922-1984
Folder 8: Sermons: character studies, English (outlined) --- 1938-1960
Folder 9: Sermons: general, Dutch and English (outlined) --- 1929-1979
Folder 10: Sermons: special day (outlined)
Folder 11: Sermons: Dutch, typed, written during years of retirement
Folder 12: Personal notebooks --- 1962-1984
Folder 13: Article: "In memoriam, Rev. H. Vander Woude, 1876-1950"
Folder 14: Radio sermons --- 1941
Folder 15: Paper: "A Case for Small Churches" --- undated
Folder 16: Letter to servicemen --- 1941
Folder 17: Sharing the Crown --- 1971

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