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Jan Kerssies (1839-1908) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Jan Kerssies (1839-1908)

Historical Note:

Son of a carpenter, Jan Kerssies, was born on February 24, 1839 in the Netherlands.  At the age of four, Kerssies’s father became a minister without formal seminary training. Kerssies was first taught in the village’s public school. His father eventually would homeschool him as well his siblings and the other children of the congregation. When Kerssies reached the age of 12 or 13, he started to work on a farm. However, Kerssies was not very strong and sickly. His parents wanted him to learn a trade, so he pick up painting.

When he was old enough, Kerssies moved to the big city for work. While he was working on top of a roof, he fell, and was thought to be dead. Kerssies lived and when he regained consciousness, he decided to commit his life to God. He received a scholarship and enrolled in seminary school. He became the minister of the Reformed Church in the Netherlands.

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