The Kingdom of The Netherlands
World Convention is currently building a global reference for the countries and territories where we know there are Christian – Churches of Christ – Disciples of Christ Congregations. Of the 193 United Nations States, the Stone-Campbell Movement exists in 174. This listing includes other nations and territories, numbering 194 countries where there is at least one representation of our churches.
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The Kingdom of The Netherlands is situated in northwestern Europe boarded on both the north and the west by the North Sea. About half of the low-lying nation is below sea level and the Dutch have for centuries been engaged in a battle with the sea reclaiming vast tracts of land from it. Occupied as early as the first century by Germanic tribes, seven northern provinces were united by William of Orange in 1581. The Dutch became a world power in the seventeenth century setting up trading posts and colonies around the globe. Since 1980 the Netherlands has been under the constitutional monarchy of Queen Beatrix and the legislative bodies of the First and Second Chambers.
Religiously adherents of the Roman Catholic faith make up about 34% of the population. Protestants claim about 25% of the population and 36% report no affiliation.
Jacob C. Vandervis was a Dutch immigrant to the US who was converted by Otis Gatewood. Vandervis and Bill Phillips went to the Netherlands for the American a cappella Churches of Christ in 1946. A congregation was soon begun in Haarlem. In 1952 Harry Payne began a congregation in Utrecht and in 1958 and Englishman Frank Worgan began a work in Amsterdam after serving in Haarlem. In 1960 Wil Goodheer moved to The Hague to establish a church there. Many other Americans also shared in these places. Aad Scharroo, Gerit Vink and Henk Rog were Dutch men who became full-time evangelists. Later areas where churches were established include Schiedam and Rotterdam. Today there are about a half a dozen congregations with a membership of near 100.
Clinton J. Holloway
National Profiles Editor
Revised December 12, 2013 by Gary Holloway