Gerrit Snyder, D. D., pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburg, Kan., was born in Zeeland, Mich., June 26, 1857, son of John and Margaret (Recke) Snyder. His parents were born and reared in Germany and emigrated from the Fatherland about 1836. After reaching America they lived for a year in Buffalo, N. Y., and then immigrated to Michigan and took up government land near Zeeland, in Ottawa county. They lived on this farm for thirty-three years and then went to Grand Rapids, Mich., where each died at the age of seventy-nine years. Gerrit Snyder was the seventh in a family of thirteen children, ten of whom are living. He was reared on his father's farm and as the father was a cripple the sons had to work hard, but attended school during the winter. Gerrit determined to secure an education, and at seventeen entered Lenox College, at Hopkinton, Iowa. He worked his way through the institution, sometimes stopping to teach in order to secure money to pay part of his expenses. But he was ambitious and bound to succeed and, in 1880, six years after matriculating, he graduated. In 1893 his Alma Mater granted him the degree of Master of Arts, and in 1909 conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Divinity. After leaving college he entered the McCormick Theological Seminary at Chicago, Ill., where he remained three years in the regular course and one year as a post-graduate student, receiving his degree in 1883. He began his ministry at the Belden Avenue Presbyterian Church, Chicago, which had but seventeen members when he assumed charge. He increased the membership to 150 in the five years of his pastorate and succeeded in securing a $17,000 church property. From 1888 to 1895 he had charge of the Third Presbyterian Church of Springfield, Ill., and while there was instrumental in the erection of a fine $13,000 church, free of debt. After leaving Springfield he was at Pana, Ill., three years, and at Taylorsville the same length of time. At both places he increased the membership and made extensive repairs on the churches. In 1903 he was called to the church in Pittsburg, Kan., where he has since ministered. In October, 1904, he began agitation for the erection of a new church at Pittsburg, and so enthused the members that, in September, 1907, the corner-stone of the new edifice was laid and it was ready for occupancy on Jan. 2, 1909. The church was built at a cost of $30,000, is modern in every respect and is the finest of its kind in the southeastern part of Kansas. The body of the church seats 400, but with the Sunday school room and pastor's room thrown into it 1,000 people can easily be accommodated. When Dr. Snyder came to Pittsburg the membership was 130, but he has been successful in increasing that number to 300, While Reverend Snyder lays no claim to any great oratorical and pulpit ability he has the reputation of being an earnest, forceful expositor and Scriptural preacher and is specially adapted to the pastoral work.Pages 315-316 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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