Australian Conference of Evangelical Mennonites

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Foppe Brouwer, a Dutch Mennonite, moved to New South Wales, Australia in 1952. He and his wife Aaltje (Hazenberg) were ordained in their home church of Hollum op Ameland, The Netherlands, in 1978 and sent by the Europaisches Mennonitisches Evangelisations-Komitee (European Mennonite Evangelism Committee), to plant a Mennonite church and outreach in Australia.

Initially the Brouwers developed a newsletter (De Mennist) and sent it to Mennonite Dutch immigrants living in Australia. Their aim was to locate and bring together the Mennonites of that continent. At the same time, an outreach was begun at Fennell Bay, a small village on the shores of Lake Mcquarie, on the East Coast of New South Wales. They opened a "Care and Share" fruit and vegetable shop, in which fruit and vegetables purchased every Thursday from the wholesale market, were sold locally at budget prices. The friendships developed in this shop resulted in the beginning of a Sunday school (attendance 40-50 in 1987). Eventually, a church fellowship, the Mennonite Church of Hope, developed from this outreach. By 1987, 25 adult members had been baptized (average attendance 15 to 35 adults). This church was officially recognized by the federal and state governments in January 1980 under the name Australian Conference of Evangelical Mennonites. In addition to the local outreach, the Mennonite Church of Hope has been working in the city of Newcastle since 1985. Two of its members, Derek and July Bernardson, have opened a Mennonite Information center in the city of Melbourne. In Perth in western Australia, the Eastern Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities (MC) began planting a church under the leadership of Ian and Anne Duckham.

In 2000 there was one congregation with a membership of 48; in 2006 there were 57 members; in 2010 there were 60.


"Asia & Pacific." Mennonite World Conference. Web. 1 April 2009.

Kraybill, Paul N., ed. Mennonite World Handbook. Lombard, IL: Mennonite World Conference, 1978: 43-44.

Mennonite World Handbook Supplement. Strasbourg, France, and Lombard, IL: Mennonite World Conference, 1984: 43.

Mennonite Yearbook and Directory (1986-87): 153.

Author(s) Foppe Brouwer
Date Published 1987

Cite This Article

MLA style

Brouwer, Foppe. "Australian Conference of Evangelical Mennonites." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 25 Jun 2022.

APA style

Brouwer, Foppe. (1987). Australian Conference of Evangelical Mennonites. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 June 2022, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 44. All rights reserved.

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