Above: Logo of the Moravian Church
Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor
JOHANNES RENATUS VERBEEK (NOVEMBER 17, 1748-JULY 13, 1820)
Moravian Minister and Composer
Johannes Renatus Verbeek, born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on November 17, 1748, became a minister and a composer of the Unitas Fratrum. He attended the Moravian schools at Zeist, Gross Hennersdorf, and Niesky prior to his seminary days at Barby. Verbeek, ordained in 1777, served as the secretary of the Unity Elders Conference at Barby and Herrnhut. Perhaps his most enduring legacy was his work as the coordinator of global missions. He traveled widely in that capacity, visiting the West Indies in 1796-1798 and Pennsylvania and North Carolina in 1806, for example. Verbeek also composed anthems, including a Christmas piece, “Unto Us a Child is Born.” Our saint died at Herrnhut on July 13, 1820.
Verbeek died, but his legacy continues. Many people are Moravians today partially because of the missionary work he coordinated. Also, people continue to perform his anthems.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
JANUARY 30, 2015 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF FREDERICK OAKELEY, ANGLICAN THEN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST
THE FEAST OF SAINT BATHILDAS, QUEEN OF FRANCE
THE FEAST OF SAINTS GENESIUS I AND PRAEJECTUS OF CLERMONT, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS, AND SAINT AMARIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT
THE FEAST OF LESSLIE NEWBIGIN, UNITED REFORMED THEOLOGIAN
Almighty God, you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses:
Grant that we, encouraged by the good examples of your servant
Johannes Renatus Verbeek,
may persevere in running the race that is set before us,
until at last we may with them attain to your eternal joy;
through Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 724