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Peter Hoekstra (1886-1965) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Peter Hoekstra (1886-1965)

Historical Note:

Peter Hoekstra was born in Ee, Friesland, Netherlands on March 4, 1886. At the age of two and a half, the Hoekstra family immigrated to the United States and settled in Roseland, Illinois. At the age of 16, Hoekstra made his confession of faith in the Second Christian Reformed Church of Roseland.  Because of his good grades in high school, Hoekstra received a scholarship to attend the University of Chicago for his undergraduate studies. Hoekstra then went off to attend Calvin Seminary to pursue a livelihood in ministry. In 1910, Hoekstra not only graduated from Calvin, but also married his long-term girlfriend, Alice J. Clausing. Together they had six children together: Marie Ann, Winifred Ruth, Josephine Mae, Andrew Louis, Evelyn Dorothy, and James Peter.

In September 1910, Hoekstra and his wife moved to Moline, Michigan where he was installed as their congregation’s pastor. By 1911, they moved to Holland, Michigan to serve the Fourteenth Street CRC community. From there, Hoekstra served several other congregations: First Paterson, New Jersey (1915); Alpine Avenue, Grand Rapids, Michigan (1919); Second Cicero, Illinois (1927); Hanford, California (1940); and lastly San Diego, California (1949). Hoekstra retired from ministry in 1954 in Bellflower, California.

Throughout his career, Hoekstra was involved with many denominational and church boards and committees, such as Foreign Missions committee, Board of Trustees at Calvin College and Seminary, and synodical delegate. He even began Jail Ministry while in Hanford, California. Hoekstra also wrote articles for the Banner and co-authored a book.  Although retired, Hoekstra extended his pastoral duties in Chilliwack, Canada and Salt Lake City, Utah. On August 15, 1965, Peter A. Hoekstra passed away in Artesia, California.

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