Van Driessen, Johannes

Van Driessen, Johannes a Reformed (Dutch) minister, was born in 1697, and educated in Belgium. After coming to this country he went to Yale College with a commendatory letter from the patroon Van Rensselaer, and was then licensed and ordained by the Congregationalists at New Haven. This was made the occasion of great opposition to him as a minister. His motive was to save the time, trouble, and cost of a journey to Holland to procure ordination. The Dutch clergy denounced him as a schismatic; the Amsterdam Classis warned the American churches against him, and his troubles multiplied and lasted long. This was the first example of "irregular ordination," as it was regarded, that occurred in the northern section of the Dutch Church, and it was the real opening of the great controversy between the Coetus and Conferentie parties, resulting in the triumph of the former, which was the American progressive and independent element. He was settled at Claverack, Kinderhook, and Livingsron Manor from 1727 to 1735; at New Paltz from 1731 to 1735; at Acquackanonck and Pompton, N. J., from 1735 to 1748; and subsequently at Poughkeepsie, Fishkill, and New Paltz temporarily in 1751. He was at length involved in other troubles and silenced. See Corwin, Manual of the Ref: Church in America, s.v.; Still, Hist. Discourse at New Paltz; Zabriskie, Claverack Centennial. (W.J.R.T.)

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