Straatman, Jan Willem (1824-1882)

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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.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Straatman, Jan Willem (1824-1882)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 25 Sep 2018.,_Jan_Willem_(1824-1882)&oldid=121315.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1959). Straatman, Jan Willem (1824-1882). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 September 2018, from,_Jan_Willem_(1824-1882)&oldid=121315.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 638-639. All rights reserved.

©1996-2018 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.