Straatman, Jan Willem (1824-1882)
Jan Willem Straatman, (The Hague, Holland, 1824-1882), studied at the Mennonite seminary at Amsterdam and became a ministerial candidate in 1849. He served the congregations of Wormerveer-Noord 1849-50 and Groningen 1850-1867. Shortly after 1860 he adopted modern (liberal) theology, and soon became a radical exponent of it. From his new viewpoint he wanted to reform his Groningen congregation. Most members of the church board sympathized with the new ideas of their preacher, but a large number of the members of the church did not agree and avoided the church meetings. In 1865 the church board resolved that baptism was not strictly obligatory for those who wished to join the church. In 1867, Straatman and his colleague Cornelis Corver, with approval of some members including Samuel van Houten, made a number of proposals for a radical reorganization of the church life: (a) baptism to be optional and to be abolished in the future; (b) communion services to be done away with; (c) the preachers to be permitted to omit hymns, prayer, and Scripture reading during the services; (d) preachers to be given freedom to choose the content of their sermons (addresses) from themes outside the Bible; (e) Christian anniversaries such as Good Friday, Easter, Ascension day, Pentecost, and Christmas not to be observed. When these radical proposals were presented in an assembly of members of the church on 24 November 1867, they were rejected by the majority (185 votes against 79) and both Straatman and Corver resigned. Straatman preached his farewell sermon on 22 December 1867, which address was published: Broeders, ik bid u (Groningen, 1867). Straatman also published a volume of sermons, Tiental Leerredenen (Groningen, 1864).
Dassel H. Sr. Menno's Volk in Groningen. Groningen, 1945: 52, 57.
Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1868): 112-32, 167 f.; (1883): 125; (1901): 28.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 638-639. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Straatman, Jan Willem (1824-1882)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 24 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/straatman_jan_willam.
APA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1959). Straatman, Jan Willem (1824-1882). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/straatman_jan_willam.