Fischbach is a village near Hochspeyer in the Palatinate, Germany, where in the 17th and 18th centuries there was a small Mennonite congregation, the members of which lived in Fischbach, Münchhof, Diemerstein, Frankenstein, and Enkenbach. There were Mennonites here before 1687, for a contract of lease dated 9 July 1687 by which a Mennonite named Peter Küntzi of Buchholderberg, Switzerland, acquired from the Countess Palatine Marie bei Rhein the dilapidated mill of Diemerstein, and which states that he and his family were permitted to exercise their faith, "just as the people on the Hof have hitherto practiced."
In 1732 the congregation in the village of Fischbach and vicinity numbered 35 families. The preachers were Johann Würtz and Johann Neff, with Hans Langenacker as deacon. They assembled in a building that later became a school and also in the Diemerstein mill, where there was a small building for that purpose, which was torn down in 1842. A Mennonite cemetery was begun in Diemerstein in 1783. "Previously the corpses of the Mennonites of Diemerstein were taken to Fischbach; they could, however, not be carried on the highway, but had to be quietly carried through the Diemerstein valley across the mountain."
Toward the end of the 18th century the Fischbach congregation merged with Sembach. The last preacher of the Fischbach congregation, Christian Schnebele, elder (völliger Diener) 1782-1798, preached occasionally in Sembach. The congregation slowly declined on account of agricultural reverses and loss of members by moving to other congregations, emigration to America, and mixed marriages. The combined congregation long kept the name "Fischbach-Sembach."
Church Record book of the Sembach church: 269.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 v. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 645.
Mennonitische Blätter (1855): 53.
Müller, Ernst. Geschichte der Bernischen Täufer. Frauenfeld: Huber, 1895: 212.
Cite This Article
Hein, Gerhard. "Fischbach (Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 13 Dec 2013. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Fischbach_(Rheinland-Pfalz,_Germany)&oldid=94647.
Hein, Gerhard. (1956). Fischbach (Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 13 December 2013, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Fischbach_(Rheinland-Pfalz,_Germany)&oldid=94647.
Herald Press website.
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