Birkenhof (Alsace, France)

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Birkenhof, an estate near Altkirch in Upper Alsace, on which it is known that Mennonite services were held as early as 1788. About two years later Peter Rich of Birkenhof was made elder of the congregation; he began a church record. He served more than 30 years as elder. His influence was felt far beyond his own congregation. He had great prestige everywhere among the Mennonites. A cemetery was laid out on the Birkenhof, and opened on 15 October 1807. A quarrel grew out of the question of expenses of the cemetery and inadequate keeping of funeral records, which was settled only by the intervention of outside elders and preachers (26 November 1808). In 1825 a church was built here by the Mennonites. The congregation was in effect merged with Altkirch, but services were held at both places alternately. When communion was held at Birkenhof, the ordinance of Feetwashing was observed, one of two surviving cases of this practice among the Mennonites of Europe. The membership in 1951 was 51.

See also Altkirch, Baumerthof


Almanach mennonite du cinquantenaire, 1901-1951. Montbéliard: Metthez Frères, 1951: 2.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 224.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Date Published 1953

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MLA style

Neff, Christian. "Birkenhof (Alsace, France)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 29 Jul 2021.,_France)&oldid=143955.

APA style

Neff, Christian. (1953). Birkenhof (Alsace, France). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 July 2021, from,_France)&oldid=143955.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 345. All rights reserved.

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