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Robbert, Jan (1857-1922) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Robbert, Jan (1857-1922)

Historical Note:

The spiritual awakening in the church, which began in Uelsen and Bentheim and was limited to Uelsen from 1838-1848, reached Emlicheim shortly before the end of 1949. In a few years the Old Reformed Church in Emlicheim (also called Emlenkamp) became the largest congregation of the Old Reformed churches.

Jan Robbert was born in Emlicheim on March 19, 1857. When he was eighteen years old he expressed a desire to enter the ministry of the Word. After a period of time, during which he received private instruction, he enrolled in Kampen, the school motivated by the principle, "the school through and for the church." Upon graduation he began his ministry in Lier, Zuid-Holland. In 1890, he served a church in Lutten-aan-de Dedemsvaart, in the province of Overijssel.

Rev. Jan Robbert and his wife, Jacoba, nee Beuker, immigrated to the United States in 1893. Here he first served Roseland I. Later he served First Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1901-1908; Niekerk, Holland, Michigan, 1908-1911; Fourth Patterson, New Jersey, 1911; East Paris, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1911-1914. In March of 1914 he found it necessary to leave the active ministry due to ill health. He returned to full-time active ministry in 1916 and served in Rusk, Michigan, until 1918. After his retirement he preached in a number of churches in the greater Holland area. Shortly after a visit to Roseland he became ill and passed away on October 2, 1922.

Rev. J. C. Schaap, pastor of the church Robbert attended in his retirement years, described him as "a man who accomplished much, studied diligently, and put much work into his sermons. He loved the church and was deeply concerned about her future. His trust was in the Savior, whom he proclaimed to the very end of his life."

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