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Lammert Jan Hulst (1825-1922) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Lammert Jan Hulst (1825-1922)


Historical Note:

Lammert Jan Hulst was born in Dalfsen, Overisel, Netherlands on February 10, 1825.  Son of farmers, Hulst’s parents belong to a group of families that were dissatisfied with the corruption of the state church. They worshipped together in their homes. At the age of nine, Hulst witnessed the Secession of 1834.  Although having a religious upbringing, from the age of 16 to 20, Hulst was a shepherd and often hung out with frivolous and idle young men. Since these friends were a bad influence on Hulst, he decided to abandon his job as a shepherd. A Christian farmer hired Hulst to work on his farm.

It was after a visiting student minister from Hoogeveen came to visit his parental home that Hulst became interested in becoming a minister as well. At 22, Hulst enrolled at Hoogeveen. In 1849, Hulst became ordained in Birdaurd, Friesland.  While serving a congregation at Stadskanaal, Groningen, he received a call from the Reformed Church in Danforth, Illinois.  Hulst accepted the call and in 1874, he immigrated to the United States to serve the congregation of Danforth.  In 1876, he was invited to serve the recently organized Coldbrook Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. While at Coldbrook, he saw the church grow from a thirty-six family congregation to serving three-hundred families.

Entering into the 1880s, Rev. Hulst led the anti-masonic movement, in that lodge members were unsuited as members of the Christian church. They took their plea of excluding of masonic members from the church to the Synod. The Synod refused the plea; as a result, the Coldbrook Church severed ties with the Reformed Church of America. In 1883, they joined the Christian Reformed fellowship; soon other congregation followed their lead. Hulst continued to serve the congregation of Coldbrook for thirty years. In 1906, Hulst accepted the call from a small church in Eastmanville, Michigan, which he served until his retirement in 1910.  Even after his retirement, Hulst still occasionally preached.

On a personal level, Hulst was married to Abeltje H. Hellenga on April 25, 1850. Together they had seven children, one son being Dr. Henry Hulst, a pioneer in medical imagery.  Rev. Hulst also contributed articles to the De Wachter. He also had a number of publications, including an autobiography.  Rev. Lammert Jan Hulst passed away on August 21, 1922.






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