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Freerk Hoekstra, born 1760 at Dokkum, studied at the Mennonite Seminaryin Amsterdam 1780-1785 under Professor H. Oosterbaan, and on 18 June 1786, became the Mennonite minister at Holwerd. From here he went to Zaandam in 1791 and then to Harlingen in 1792, where he served until his retirement in October 1836. He died 31 March 1837. He was married to Ynske Terpstra. In 1827 he achieved a union between the Witmarsum and Pingjum congregations. He was also one of the founders of the Friesch Weduwenfonds (1805).

He is best known as a writer of children's literature (P. Cool wrote an extensive treatise on F. Hoekstra as a children's author). For children he wrote De geschiedenis van Jesus, in gesprekken (Harlingen, 1825, reprinted 1842); De geschiedenis der Apostelen (Harlingen, 1818); De gelijkenissen van Jesus (Haarlem, 1821); and De Wonderwerken van Jesus (Haarlem, 1833). A catechism which he published in 1804, Vragen en antwoorden over den godsdienst (3 editions), was widely accepted. In addition to numerous occasional sermons he also published Kerkelijke redevoeringen (Groningen, 1816, reprinted 1837), Lijkrede op Heere Oosterbaan (Amsterdam, 1807), Verhandeling over de waarheid van den Christelijken godsdienst, and Verhandeling over de voortreffelijkheid der christlijke zedeleer (Haarlem, 1825); also Zedelijke en godsdienstige vertoogen (Arnhem, 1827-31).

His grandson Johannes Hoekstra (1836-1908) served the congregations of Middelstum 1861-1874 and Wolvega 1874-1879. At Wolvega he promoted the restoration of the meetinghouse and dedicated it in 1875. He retired in 1879 and moved to Apeldoorn, where he was active in founding first a section of the Dutch Protestant Union and in 1896 a Mennonite congregation.


Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1869): 56-89. 

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff.  Mennonitisches Lexikon. 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: II, 323.

Molhuysen, P. C. and  P. J. Blok. Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek. Leiden, 1911-1937: II, 1119 f. 

Steenderen, A. van. Iets ter nagedachtenis van Freerk Hoekstra: in leven leeraar der Doopsgezinden, in de gemeenten Holwerd, Zaandam en Harlingen. Franeker : J.F. Jongs., 1839.

Visscher, H. and L. A. van Langeraad. Biographisch Woordenboek von Protestantsche Godgeleerden in Nederland. Utrecht, 1903-    : IV, 76 f.

Author(s) Jacob Loosjes
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

Loosjes, Jacob. "Hoekstra, Freerk (1760-1837)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 24 Jun 2017.,_Freerk_(1760-1837)&oldid=65320.

APA style

Loosjes, Jacob. (1956). Hoekstra, Freerk (1760-1837). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 June 2017, from,_Freerk_(1760-1837)&oldid=65320.

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 773. All rights reserved.

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