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Gerrit Govaars

Gerrit Govaars

Gerrit Jurriaan Govaars (19 April 1866 in Amsterdam - 22 October 1954 in Soest) was a Dutch teacher who was instrumental in setting up the Salvation Army in the Netherlands, and in engineering its spread through the various Dutch territories. In Dutch-speaking areas, the Salvation Army is called the 'Leger des Heils'.

Govaars (as 'Lieutenant Gerrit J. Govaars'), together with the English officer Major J. F. Tyler, commenced Army work in the Gerard Doustraat, Amsterdam, on 8 May 1887. Operations soon spread throughout the country and reached Indonesia (then the 'Dutch East Indies') in 1894. Further advances were made in 1926 in Surinam and in 1927 in Curaçao.

As 'Colonel Gerrit J. Govaars', he was a recipient of the Salvation Army's 'Order Of The Founder' in 1947. Govaars composed a number of hymns that the 'Leger des Heils' employed in their activities. His grandson Robert Simpson was a noted English composer.

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