The Konferenz der Mennoniten in Elsass-Lothringen (Conference of the Mennonites of Alsace-Lorraine); legally the Association des Églises Évangéliques Mennonites de France, comprised the German-language congregations of Alsace and Lorraine. In the 18th century the Amish churches in Alsace were quite active in holding conferences. There are numerous traces of general meetings, usually occupied chiefly with the problem of church discipline. Toward the end of the century and early in the 19th the military question occupied the foreground. The combined efforts of the total membership brought it about that throughout the Napoleonic wars Mennonites were permitted to give their required services in the medical corps or in transportation.
Later the conference ceased to function, and each congregation remained to itself, causing grave injury to the church life. Not until the end of the 19th century did matters improve. In 1876 a conference of the Mennonites of Alsace-Lorraine was held at Basel on the subject of feetwashing. In 1896 a conference met at Munzenheim near Colmar, and stressed the need for such meetings. In 1907 the conference met in Pulversheim near Mulhouse and then met regularly twice a year except in the periods of 1915-1919 and 1940-1945. It was legally organized and registered in 1925. The congregation in Luxembourg also belonged to the conference.
After the return of Alsace-Lorraine to France after World War I the Alsatian conference was officially called the Association des Églises Évangéliques Mennonites de France, although the German language continued to predominate in both congregations and conference activities (for relations of this group with the French-language conference, see Conference of French-Speaking Mennonites).
After 1925 the conference met semiannually, generally at Pfastatt, also at Sarrebourg or Colmar. Conference programs were prepared and proposals formulated by a committee of ministers and elders of which Elder Joseph Widmer of Mulhouse-Modenheim was first president, and Elder Hans Nussbaumer of Altkirch-Schweighof, secretary for many years; at conference sessions all those attending participated in deliberations. The conferences concerned themselves with home and foreign missions, charities, education, and other matters of common interest. A part of the session was always devoted to Bible exposition or doctrine. The official office in the mid-1950s was at 22 Rue d' Ingersheim, Colmar (Haut-Rhin).
Cite This Article
Sommer, Pierre. "Konferenz der Mennoniten in Elsass-Lothringen." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 28 May 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Konferenz_der_Mennoniten_in_Elsass-Lothringen&oldid=121969.
Sommer, Pierre. (1953). Konferenz der Mennoniten in Elsass-Lothringen. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 28 May 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Konferenz_der_Mennoniten_in_Elsass-Lothringen&oldid=121969.
Herald Press website.
©1996-2015 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.