Bertholf, Guilliam

Bertholf, Guilliam was the pioneer Dutch preacher and "the itinerant apostle of New Jersey." He came to this country from Holland with the early emigrants who settled at Hackensack, N. J., as their catechist, schoolmaster, and vorleser, or precentor. So well did he fill these offices, that he was sent back to Holland in 1693 to receive ordination and installation as the pastor of the churches of Hackensack and Acquackanonck. In 1694 he returned, and immediately began his ministry. He was the first regularly installed pastor of the Dutch churches in New Jersey, and for fifteen years was the only preacher in the Dutch language. His ministry covered a large section of country. He organized the Church at Raritan (Somerville), N. J., about 1700, and introduced the Rev. Theodore J. Frelinghuysen as the pastor in 1709. He also founded the Church at Tarrytown, N. Y., about 1697, and officiated regularly or occasionally in many surrounding churches in New Jersey. He was very successful as a winner of souls, large additions being made to his churches. He was noted for a calm, persuasive eloquence, for his evangelical spirit, and for his efforts to promote the independence of the Church in this country from foreign control. His labors ended in 1724. See Annals of the Classis of Bergen, by B. C. Taylor, D.D. (W. J. R. T.)

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