Meuse (German, Maas), a departement in northern France, formed from the former province of Lorraine. Many Mennonites settled there after the beginning of the 19th century. They came from the east from various parts of Lorraine. As long as the German language was in use they called themselves the "Welschland" congregation; in 1880 an elder signed his name as Peter Kennel, "elder from the Welschland congregation." When French predominated the name became "Assemblee de la Meuse." For a long time its seat was the town of Vaucouleurs. An old list, probably from the first half of the 19th century, named 27 meeting places in the region around Vaucouleurs extending north beyond St. Mihiel. Meetings were held in the homes of the more prosperous members. As the urge to go west continued, an independent congregation was organized in the departement of Haute-Marne. On account of the great distance the Mennonites around St. Mihiel also organized, but this group disappeared after the death of their elder André Greabill about 1870. A division occurred in 1885, strife among the elders led to the organization of the Toul congregation. All of this, in addition to emigration to America, weakened the congregation. The great distances between members also had a paralyzing effect on the spiritual life. The center of the church in 1939 was the town of Ligny-en Barrois, 10 miles (16 km) southeast of Bar-le-Duc, the capital of the departement. Only ten places of meeting were left, scattered from Vaucouleurs to Revigny, west of Bar-le-Duc and north as far as Clermont-on-Argonne. In 1954 the membership, including children, was 90, with Emile Muller as preacher.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 119 f.
Cite This Article
Sommer, Pierre. "Meuse (Lorraine, France)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 16 Sep 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Meuse_(Lorraine,_France)&oldid=105960.
Sommer, Pierre. (1957). Meuse (Lorraine, France). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 16 September 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Meuse_(Lorraine,_France)&oldid=105960.
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