Bovenknijpe (Friesland, Netherlands)

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Bovenknijpe (after 1970 merged with Benedenknijpe and called Knijpe), a village in the Dutch province of Friesland, not far from Heerenveen, where there were at least four, perhaps five, Mennonite congregations, probably one each of Waterlanders, Frisians, Old Flemish, the Twisck group, and Jan Jacobsz group. These congregations also included some of the Mennonites living in Heerenveen and Mildam. One of them was founded in 1620 or between 1620 and 1640; the Old Flemish about 1650. The Jan Jacobsz branch had disappeared by 1727; nothing is heard of the Twisck group after this year either; the Frisians and Waterlanders united in 1741. In 1754 there was still an Old Flemish congregation at Bovenknijpe; it united with the neighboring Mildam congregation in 1767. The records of the old times are not always clear. Further written notations are defective and cannot always be harmonized, especially because several names are sometimes used for a single branch. In 1719 the preacher Jan Thomas was suspended by the government on a charge of Socinianism. In 1738 three Mennonite preachers at Knijpe, Wybe Pieters, Wytze Jeens, and Pieke Tjommes, were likewise charged with Socinianism. They refused to sign the declaration drawn up by the Frisian States in 1722. Wytze and Pieke were silenced on 5 June 1739.

Heerenveen and Bovenknijpe separated in 1780. Since then Bovenknijpe has been a separate congregation; it numbered 92 members at that time. One of their best-known preachers was A. S. Cuperus, who served the congregation from 1790 to 1803 and was the people's deputy in the Diet of Friesland 1796-1798. P. H. Veen, who wrote the history of these congregations, was its minister for 45 years. The membership in 1838 was 123; in 1861, 214; in 1898, 175; in 1915, 160; in 1950, 103. The Bovenknijpe congregation was the first Dutch congregation to appoint a woman as minister; she was Anna Zernike, and she served from November 1911 to her marriage in October 1915. After that it has been served by the following ministers to 1951: P. G. van Slogteren, 1916-1922; R. D. Boersma, 1922-1924; J. Wuite, 1925-1931; G. J. W. den Herder, 1931-1933; M. J. Nolthenius, 1934-1941; G. van Veen 1945-1951, and since then Miss T. G. Siccama. The church was substantially remodeled in 1856. In 1950 the congregation had a Sunday school, a women's circle, and a youth group. It belonged to Ring Akkrum. This congregation was one of the last ones to acquire an organ. This happened in 1901.

See also Knijpe (Friesland, Netherlands)


Cate, Steven Blaupot ten. Geschiedenis der Doopsgezinden in Friesland. Leeuwarden: W. Eekhoff, 1839.

Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1896): 149 ff.

Gorter, S. H. N. Doopsgezinde Lectuur: III, 18, supplement.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 251.

Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de. Inventaris der Archiefstukken berustende bij de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam, 2 vols. Amsterdam: Uitgegeven en ten geschenke aangeboden door den Kerkeraad dier Gemeente, 1883-1884: II, No. 1598; II, 2, no. 36.

Veen, P. H. De Doopsgezinden in Schoterland: historische schetsen. Leeuwarden : H. Kuipers, 1869.


Map:Bovenknijpe (Friesland)

Author(s) Jacob Loosjes
Date Published 1953

Cite This Article

MLA style

Loosjes, Jacob. "Bovenknijpe (Friesland, Netherlands)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 15 May 2021.,_Netherlands)&oldid=144872.

APA style

Loosjes, Jacob. (1953). Bovenknijpe (Friesland, Netherlands). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 15 May 2021, from,_Netherlands)&oldid=144872.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 397-398. All rights reserved.

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