Hollum (Friesland, Netherlands)

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Hollum, a village on the Dutch island of Ameland (coordinates: 53° 26′ 20″ N, 5° 38′ 20″ E) in the province of Friesland, is the seat of the largest of the three Mennonite congregations (Hollum, Ballum, and Nes) on the island. Leenaert Bouwens visited Ameland a number of times on his journeys in 1551-1582 and baptized at Hollum and Ballum a total of 99 persons; hence it is likely that there was a congregation here in those early days. The several congregations on the island are due to divisions in the 16th century; there were two at Hollum: the "Blue Barn" or Waterlander, and the "Jan Jacobsgezinden" or Old Flemish.

Both congregations were served until into the 19th century by unsalaried preachers. In the Waterlander congregation, which was much the smaller and had been receiving support from Amsterdam since 1709, the first known preacher was Douwe Abes Tichelaer, 1709-1746, and the last preacher was J. H. Costers (retired in 1854). The Jan Jacobsgezinden group was very strict regarding the ban and avoidance; the government finally intervened and in 1608 passed such severe regulations that the congregation spoke of being persecuted. Their first elders (1650) were Jacob Janssen and Cornelis Jannsen, who were permitted to conduct baptism and communion; they were assisted by two trial preachers (proefdienaars), from whose ranks the succeeding elders were chosen. Noted elders were Jacob Jobs 1769-1804, and Cornelis Sorgdrager 1793-1826, the latter of whom was the first to give religious instruction to the children.

In the middle of the 19th century a desire to have a trained minister became evident here; the two elders were aged, and none of the members was willing to be chosen to the office. The Algemene Doopsgezinde Sociëteit at Amsterdam sent proponents to help them in 1850-1852; then the congregation called K. S. Gorter as its minister, who served 1862-1895. In 1854, when J. H. Costers of the Waterlander congregation retired, all the Mennonites on Ameland were united for a time in a single congregation, which at this time numbered 175 members. In 1870 the congregation divided into three separate congregations, served by two preachers, one serving at Nes and one at Hollum and Ballum. Gorter was followed by the preachers A. Stiel 1898-1905, J. M. Erkelens 1906-1908, J. Loosjes 1909-1914, J. E. van Brakel 1914-1928, W. Schopenhauer 1928-1932, W. Broer 1933-1941, H. D. Woelinga from 1947 on. Since 1933 there had been only one minister on the island; he lived at Hollum and served the three congregations. In 1857, 16 members left the church to join the followers of the pietistic Jan de Liefde, who had founded a Free Evangelical Church on the island of Ameland.

A new meetinghouse was built in 1867. The members are partly farmers, partly navigators. The membership, 175 in 1854, was still 175 in 1900; since then it has steadily decreased to 113 in 1954. Church activities in the mid-20th century included a Bible circle, ladies' circle, and girls' club.


Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1861): 145 f.; (1868): 167; (1889): 1-50 passim; (1890): 1-38 passim.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff.  Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 340 f.


Map:Hollum (Friesland, Netherlands)

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1955

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Hollum (Friesland, Netherlands)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1955. Web. 20 Apr 2018. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hollum_(Friesland,_Netherlands)&oldid=120273.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1955). Hollum (Friesland, Netherlands). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 April 2018, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Hollum_(Friesland,_Netherlands)&oldid=120273.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 792. All rights reserved.

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