Theodore Jacobus Frelinghuysen

1691-1747. Dutch Calvinist and pietist. Born at Lingen in East Friesland, steeped in the pietistic emphases then current in Dutch Calvinism, he served as a pastor in the Netherlands. He became aware of the need for trained ministers among the Dutch congregations in America and emigrated to New Jersey in his late twenties. From 1720 he served in the Raritan Valley area. An eloquent preacher, he stressed the need for spiritual revival, and he found in the Great Awakening* that swept the colonies a similar emphasis. He was in active touch with Gilbert Tennent* and other revivalistic leaders. Frelinghuysen aroused some opponents among the Dutch settlers, who appealed to Amsterdam; he, meanwhile, was working for a separate organization for the American Dutch Calvinist churches. He organized an assembly (coetus) which asked approval from Amsterdam; in 1747, the year he died, this approval was given. He is thus an important figure in the history of the Dutch Reformed in America.