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Witt, Cornelius (1903-1983) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Witt, Cornelius (1903-1983)

Historical 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.

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