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John Dolfin Collection



Biographical Note

Detailed Description

[General Materials]

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John Dolfin Collection, 1926-1937 | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

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Collection Overview

Title: John Dolfin Collection, 1926-1937

ID: COLL/407

Primary Creator: Dolfin, John (1880-1943)

Extent: 3.25 Cubic Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: Folder level description


Minister of the Christian Reformed Church and a home missionary. Collection includes papers on mission work among the Navajo and Zuni, correspondence, and lantern slides (168) on the Netherlands.

Biographical Note

John Dolfin was born on September 17, 1880 in Lafayette, Indiana.  He went to Calvin College, graduating in 1900, and went on to the Theological Seminary. Once he graduated with his diploma in 1903, Dolfin entered the home mission field in Pella, Iowa. In 1904, Dolfin not only married Anna Sluyter, but also accepted the call from the congregation of Engelwood, New Jersey.  He served the Engelwood church until 1909.

Rev. Dolfin went on to serve the congregation of the small, struggling church in Muskegon, Michigan. Over his 34-year career at Bethany, Dolfin was able transform it into a thriving house of worship with a new parsonage and church, serving over 200 families. Dolfin literally served the Bethany until his deathbed. Dolfin passed away on June 12, 1943. He was survived by his wife, and their 3 children.

Over the course of his career, Rev. Dolfin was able to serve as president of the Board of Trustees of Calvin College and Seminary as well as for the Christian Reformed Sunday School Association. Dolfin also remained passionate about home missionary work. He served both as a member and as treasurer of the Board of Missions for 30 years. He was primarily interested in the Native Americans of New Mexico. He would often travel to New Mexico to visit the mission fields. He earned his Doctorate of Divinity in 1941 from Livingstone College.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: [General Materials]],

Series 1: [General Materials]
Box 1
Folder 1: Correspondence --- [1936? and 1937?]
Folder 2: Paper, "The School and Missions" --- [1926?]
Folder 3: The Fortieth Anniversary of Mission Work among the Navajo and Zuni Indians of New Mexico and Arizona [HERH BX6827.D6] --- 1936
Folder 4: Lantern slide inventory
Box 2-4: Slides of mission work

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