Gerhard Groote

Gerhard Groote was a christian reformer who is often forgotten about when the great reformers are talked about, but with out this man the reformation would not have been the same.

Gerhard Groote was born in Holland 1340, which is nowadays Netherlands. Europe was in a time of trouble with the black death killing thousands of people, including Groote’s parents. He himself had survived and inherited his fathers wealth and went to live with his uncle. He received an excellent education as he had the money to do so, but his wealth also spoilt him, and he was known to be an insufferable youth.

During one of his travels he met a Augustinian monk, and after listening to him he was converted to Christianity. He started to read many theological books to try to learn more about his faith, and as he studied the bible he saw many flaws and corruptions that the catholic church. Around the same time, the black death hit Holland again. Miraculously he survived a second time.

Groote felt that he needed to help others, especially the young orphan boys of his area. He started to teach them the gospel and they would write from theological books. It eventually became a fully fledged school which drew many students. He started a school for girl neighbouring the first, and started several others and called them “the Brethren of the Common Life”.

Even after his death the schooled prospered, but they are often forgotten about since their era was full of many significant events that fill the history books, the Hundred Years War, the Hanseatic league, and the Black Death. Once the black death swept through a third time he was killed by it after surviving twice. He had only worked in his schools less than ten years but they students he taught went on to teach the next generation.

All of the major reformation pastors were trained at his schools. Martin Luther, John Calvin, Martin Bucer, Ulrich Zwingli, John Knox, and Thomas a Kempis.

Gerhard was a very important piece in the Reformation and a man that should be accredited with a lot!


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