Johannes Jacobus Kircherer
c. 1775 to 1825
London Missionary Society (LMS)
Johannes Jacobus Kircherer was a missionary in South Africa.
A Dutchman, he was one of the first two London Missionary
Society missionaries at Cape Colony, South Africa. He landed
there in March 1799 in the company of J.
T. van der Kemp and was warmly welcomed by ministers of
the Dutch Reformed Church. He was commissioned as missionary
to the Bushmen (San) in an area north of Cape Town (the Zak
River). He moved frequently, journeying into unknown country
to the north as far as the Orange River. In this way he was
instrumental in opening the way for the first three missionaries
of the Rotterdam Missionary Society to be settled among the
Nama people on both sides of the Orange River (including what
is today Namibia). His San mission on the Zak River was a
failure, but he exerted lasting influence in opening a way
to the north. In 1806 he accepted the pastorate of the DRC
at Graaf-Reinet, from where he moved to the DRC at Tulbagh
in 1815. He died in Tulbagh.
Kircherer's story is told in vol. 1 of R. Lovett, The History of the London Missionary Society (1899) and in J. du Plessis, A History of Christian Missions in South Africa (1911).
This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.