Person:Jannis van de Luijster (1)

Jannis van de Luijster
Facts and Events
Name Jannis van de Luijster
Gender Male
Birth? 12 Mar 1789 Hoofdplaat, Zeeland, Netherlands
Marriage 22 Feb 1815 Hoofdplaat, Zeeland, Netherlandsto Dina Naeije
Living? 27 Mar 1817 Borssele, Zeeland, Netherlands
Immigration? 6 Apr 1847
Death? 13 Mar 1862 Zeeland, Ottawa, Michigan, United States
Burial[1] Zeeland Cemetery, Zeeland, Ottawa, Michigan, United States
  1. Jannes van de Luyster, in Find A Grave.
  2.   From:

    No wonder that pious elders in the church, such as the gentleman farmer Jannis Van de Luyster of Borssele, became increasingly disturbed by the spirit of unbelief and rationalism that pervaded the Netherlands Hervormde Kerk in the early 19th century. King Willem I even made the church an arm of the government and required that all public officials affiliate, thus making it impossible to discipline nominal members who neglected worship, lived scandalously, or were free thinkers.

    Pietistic evangelicals such as Van de Luyster simply walked away from the national church in the early 1830s and began meeting for worship in their homes and barns where they read sermons of the old writers.

    Soon the dissidents gathered around the few orthodox clerics still found in the national church--J.W. Vijgeboom of Axel, H.J. Buddingh of Biggekerke (both in Zeeland), and H.P. Scholte of Genderen in Noord-Brabant. In 1834-1835 the protest movement came to a head and gained a name, the Afscheiding or Secession. The government quickly expelled the Seceder clerics and fined them f100 ($40) every time they conducted an unauthorized worship service. In four years of preaching throughout the islands of Walcheren and Zuid-Beveland, Buddingh was fined more than f40,000 ($16,000). Counting it a joy to suffer for Christ, he refused to pay the fines and spent seven months in jail until the King pardoned him.

    &#Jannes van de Luyster, the founder of this city, knew Buddingh personally and he too resigned as a presiding elder in the church in 1836 and joined the Seceders, who immediately elected him elder. The police fined elders and deacons f50 ($20) each per service, and Van de Luyster was fined f100 for allowing the use of his barn. At first, he too thought to follow Buddingh's example of civil disobedience, but finally he decided to pay. Fortunately, income from his lands totaled f7,000 in 1836 and he could easily pay his own fines and those of others. Dominie Buddingh also converted Cornelius Van der Meulen, a young civil engineer, who went to study for the ministry with Scholte. (Most Zeeland Seceders followed Scholte in the early years; Van de Luyster did not meet Rev. A.C. Van Raalte for eight years, until 1844.)

    By 1840 Van der Meulen was preaching "with great edification and effectiveness" in Van de Luyster's barn. On June 21, 1,000 people came to hear him preach. The spiritual hunger was so great that the young dominie had to be an itinerant preacher for twelve congregations, which earned him the title, the "Apostle of Zeeland." The Seceder church grew rapidly and by 1900 the proportion of Zeelanders who were Gereformeerd was twice the national average (12.5 percent compared to 8.2 percent nationally.)
    From family records: Jannes was born at the beginning of the French Revolution in the village of Hoofdplaat in Cadzand, one of the small islands in Zeeland. Cadzand was south of and near the mouth of Wester Schelde River. The Zeeuwsche (Zeeland) Flanders were the soldest Zeeland Islands and included the land of Cadzand, which was also the name of a village.

    He was a hired man on a farm. After the death of his father, he took over the management of the family farm.

    He and Diana moved to Borssele in April 1817, buying a 137-acre farm he called Bamisse. Purchased from Jacob Brand for 34,582 guilders.

    April 6, 1847, they left Goes on a barge. Arrivaed at Antwerp. Ship "Plato" declared unseaworthy. Second ship, Koonprinz von Hanover. June 4, 1847, saw land. June 6, 1847, 4 a.m., anchored in the Hudson River, 10 p.m. arrived in New York City. Journey of 35 days. Left New York on June 7 by steamboat to Albany, arrived there the following day.June 18, arrived in Buffalo. Van de Luyster had bought a ticket for himself and his family to go to Iowa. Decided to go to Michigan. June 19, left Buffalo by steamer. June 26 arrived at the mouth of Black Lake.

    People and baggage brought to shore in smaller boats. On Jun 27, group went to Holland.

    Land chosen for a settlement for the Zeelanders, became the city of Zeeland. Six miles to the east of Holland. Van de Luyster bought 1680 acres. He built a house on the hill overlooking Cedar Swamp near a spring.