Kircherer, Johannes Jacobus
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.