The Église Évangélique Mennonite, a member of l’Association des Églises Évangéliques Mennonites de France, is located in Altkirch, in the Upper Alsace region of France. Its members are for the most part descendants of Mennonite immigrants from Switzerland to France and Alsace. Whether they settled at Altkirch in the seventeenth century soon after the close of the Thirty Years' War (1650), or whether they came from other Alsatian Mennonite communities is not clear. Probably the latter is the case. The Altkirch congregation (for a time known as Altkirch-Dammerkirch and then Altkirch-Birkenhof) has existed since about 1825. Its first minister, Joseph Hirschi, was born in Sigolsheim (district of Colmar) and died about 1865 in Hirsingen near Altkirch.
Services were at first held in private homes; since 1846 (renovated in 1928) the congregation has had a meetinghouse in Birkenhof, and since 1825 a cemetery. The meetinghouse in Altkirch was built in 1926. In 1912 Altkirch had 115 baptized members, and in 1950 it had seventy-two, with fifty-one at Birkenhof, most of them. The Birkenhof families are of Amish origin, while those in Altkirch are not. During the first half of the twentieth century some families migrated to this area from Switzerland.
In 1926 a church was built near the Samuel Nussbaumer farm. The first young people's institute for the French and Alsatian youth took place in Altkirch in 1949. Family names at Altkirch are Amstutz, Goldschmidt, Gyger, Graber, Kaufmann, Roth, Oberli, Nussbaumer, Richard, Rich, Weiss; at Birkenhof one finds Amstutz, Hirschi, Ramseyer, Richard, Neuschwander, Sommer, Wenger.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 48.
Cite This Article
Nussbaumer, Hans. "Église Évangélique Mennonite (Altkirch, Haut-Rhin, Alsace, France)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 16 Apr 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=%C3%89glise_%C3%89vang%C3%A9lique_Mennonite_(Altkirch,_Haut-Rhin,_Alsace,_France)&oldid=102179.
Nussbaumer, Hans. (1953). Église Évangélique Mennonite (Altkirch, Haut-Rhin, Alsace, France). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 16 April 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=%C3%89glise_%C3%89vang%C3%A9lique_Mennonite_(Altkirch,_Haut-Rhin,_Alsace,_France)&oldid=102179.
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