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Walkotten, John (1869-1955) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Walkotten, John (1869-1955)


Historical Note:

The John Walkotten collection consists primarily of his sermonic material.  The first sermon was preached, January 11, 1911.  Sie Rev. J. Walkotten served the CRC church in the first half of the twentieth century, his sermons were first in the Dutch language.  He was involved in the tensions in the church as the transition was made from Dutch to English services.  And at one time there were three services each Sunday.

Walkotten's active ministry covered forty years: Vogel Center, Michigan, 1903-1905; Second Muskegon, (Immanuel), Michigan, 1905-1910; First Roseland, Chicago, Illinois, 1914-1919; and First Paterson, New Jersey, 1919-1944.  His retirement took place January 2, 1944.  After retirement he continued to preach at Dutch services and English services in the Paterson area, as well as making hospital calls and visiting the sick and shut-ins.

While serving ably and conscientiously in congregations, he also served the church at large.  This ministry included membership in the Hebrew Mission Board, the Eastern Home Mission Board, and the Board of Trustees.

Although Walkotten was born in the German town of Georsdorf, near the Netherlands border and knew the German language of the queens chappens, he never served the churches of Classis Ost Friesland, which at the time used the German language in their worship services.  He received calls from churches in that Classis but did not feel constrained to accept them.

His birthday was July 27, 1869.  He moved with his family to the United States in 1888.  In 1896 he began his study for the ministry of Calvin College and Seminary. He married Jane Alkema on March 15, 1917. The Walkotten collection includes the first sermon he preached, January 1, 1911, as well as a selection of Heidelberg Catechism sermons and sermons on passages of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation.  One booklet gives the names of the member of the Vogel Center Christian Reformed Church, his first congregation in Northern Michigan.

Rev. John Walkotten lived strong in the faith and was eager to go to be with the Lord."  He died in 1955.






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