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Ekster, Peter (1855-1918) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Ekster, Peter (1855-1918)

Historical Note:

When Rev. Peter Ekster passed away unexpectedly on July 24, 1918 he left a large congregation, the First Christian Reformed Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan. During his ministry the congregation went through the trying experience of moving from Commerce Avenue near the city center to Bates Street in the southeast sector of the city. It was there that a large new church building was erected. The congregation was in the midst of the "language question." The language question was not an easy one to solve in any given church. However, Peter Ekster was the kind of pastor who guided the church with a high degree of sanctified common sense. He served his congregations with love and gentle strength.

Peter Ekster was born in Baflo, Province of Groningen, the Netherlands, November 30, 1855. In 1867 the Ekster family moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan. The ministry of Rev. J. Noordewier was used to bring about a spiritual change in young Peter that set him on a course toward the Christian ministry. Peter enrolled in the Theological School in Grand Rapids in 1878; five years later he graduated and entered the active ministry. Ekster married Nellie De Jong and together they had five daughters.

Peter Ekster served in the following churches: Spring Lake, Michigan, September 1883 to September 1886; Alpine Avenue, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1886-1905; Midland Park, New Jersey, 1905 to August 1908; and First Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan, September 1908 to July 18, 1918.

His wider ministry covered classical and synodical service.

His writing included articles in De Gereformeerde Americaan and published sermons. He served as president of the Christian Psychopathic Hospital Association.

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