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Johannes B. Hoekstra (1855-1949) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Johannes B. Hoekstra (1855-1949)

Historical Note:

Our collection includes the many call letters received by Johannes B. Hoekstra. They reveal the level of financial assistance given ministers in his time–the car allowance of his day was food for the horse and an acre and a half of land adjacent to the parsonage.

Johannes was born in Oude Leije in the province of Friesland, the Netherlands, September 15, 1855. He taught in Tjum and later for eight years in Hallum, Friesland, where he married Maggie Vander Meer. Soon after their marriage, the couple moved to Vriesland, Michigan. After teaching a year in Kalamazoo, Michigan, they moved to an apartment above the William Street School where he taught until 1884, when he began his studies for the ministry.

In 1887, Johannes entered the active ministry in First Pella, Iowa. Churches served by him include Second Muskegon, Michigan (1891); East Saugatuck, Michigan (1896); Dennis Avenue, Grand Rapids, Michigan (1903); and Midland Park, New Jersey (1909).

To understand the exegetical and practical abilities of Johannes Hoekstra, the researcher should read the meditations found in De Wachter. For twenty years, he served as editor of the Meditaties (1910-1930). They were described as pithy, rich in exposition, and filled with practical information.

Johannes and Maggie had eight children. Their home was one where books were read and Dutch and English poetry was enjoyed.

Johannes B. Hoekstra passed away at the age of 94 on October 18, 1949.

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