23-03-1912 – 03-04-1981

Vreugdenhil was born in Vijfhuizen, a village in the province of North Holland. His father studied theology at a later age and became a minister in the Christian Reformed Churches. (Those churches who did not join in the Union of 1892.)

After serving there as minister for three years, he joined the Gereformeerde Gemeenten (A conservative bond of churches in the Netherlands.)Johannes Vreugdenhil

Johannes decided to become a teacher, serving at two different schools before becoming principal at the Groen van Prinsterer School at Kampen. He retired from this task in 1977.

He became quite famous in Reformed circles by the books he wrote: Bible History and Church History for Young and Old. Some 150 000 copies were sold of the Bible History set. Church History for Young and Old had thirteen reprints. The bible series was translated into four different languages. The Church History series was translated into English and Russian.

His youngest daughter wrote: ‘Dad demanded too much from himself and wanted to do too much too well.’ He saw the writing of these stories as a calling to which the LORD had called him. His focus was to make sure the message was conveyed properly. He was a perfectionist with much attention to detail.

He knew himself very dependent on the LORD, also in the little things of life. He was critical of a superficial faith, a faith with little content. He was equally critical of strict legalistic preaching. His main concern was for his children to love and serve the LORD.

Bible History & Church History for Young and OldWherever he was, there was a lively discussion happening.

He was married and received eight children. Although keeping strict discipline in his family, he also knew how to play with his children and invented all sorts of games for them. He loved his wife dearly and helped her where he could with the household chores. For eight years he served in the special office, first as deacon then as elder.

One of his mantras was ‘God makes His word true; He does what He promises’. He often stressed this to his children and his students. At 68 he developed a tumour for the second time. This became a difficult stage in his life. He would never complain, he accepted that whatever the LORD did was good. Slowly but surely his body wasted away. Once he confided to his daughter: ‘Now I can’t even kneel anymore’ He had great difficulty accepting that.

He died at the age of 68.

Below is part of his work that have been recently translated from Dutch into English. The structure below is laid out in chapters. Clicking the link will automatically download the chapter in PDF format.

Please note that this is an ongoing translation project, so not all chapters will be ready for download. However it is our intention to continue translating and making subsequent chapters available for download as they become complete.


98. The English Church in the 17th Century.
99. Stadtholder – King William III.
100. Pietism in Germany and the Netherlands.
101. The Methodists.
102. The Enlightenment
103. The French Revolution
104. The Foolishness of the Dutch
105. The Synod of The Hague – The Church muzzled
106. The Revival
107. The minister of Ulrum
108. The Secession 1834
109. Rev. Ledeboer and the Ledeboerians
110. The ‘Doleantie’ 1886
111. The Reformed Church in the Netherlands After 1886
111A. From Union 1892 till Liberation 1944 – Note 1
111B. Liberation 1944 (1) – Note 1
111C. Liberation 1944 (2) – Note 1
111D. Covenant and BaptismNote 1
112. The Multitude Which no Man can Number (1)
113. The Multitude Which no Man can Number (2)
114. The Multitude Which no Man can Number (3)
115. The Multitude Which no Man can Number (4)
116. The Light on our Path
117. … and then Shall the End Come

Note(s): 1. These chapters (111 A,B,C,D) are written by H. Ballast as J.Vreugdenhil does not cover this part of church history