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Beets, Henry (1869-1947) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Beets, Henry (1869-1947)

Historical Note: Henry Beets (b. Koedijk, Noord-Holland, the Netherlands, 5 January 1869; d. Grand Rapids, MI, 29 October 1947) graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary in 1895. He immigrated to Luctor, Kansas, in 1886. After graduating he served as a parish minister in the Christian Reformed Church. He served the congregations of Sioux Center, Iowa, 1895-1899; LaGrave Avenue, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1899-1915; and Burton Heights, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1915-1920. A prolific writer, he began his writing as the associate editor of Gereformeerde Amerikaan. In 1902 he headed a group that purchased The Banner, and served as its editor for twenty-five years. During this time the periodical became the official English-language publication of the Christian Reformed Church. Later he also became editor and publisher of the Reformed Review and De Heidenwereld (Missionary Monthly). In addition, he published a number of pamphlets and books. Interested in missions, he became the denominational secretary of the Board of Missions in 1901, a position that became full time in 1920. At the same time, he served for forty years as the denomination's first stated clerk. He also served as a member of a joint committee to revise the metrical versions of the Psalms for which he was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters by Muskingum College. In 1934 he was knighted by Queen Wilhelmina and awarded the Order of Orange Nassau for his support of Dutch culture. He retired in 1939. Beets married Clara Poel on 11 September 1895. They had three sons: Henry Nicholas, Abel Jasper, and William Clarence.

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