Crous, Jan (1670-1729)

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Jan Crous (Kroes, Krus, Kraus), of Reformed origin, the son-in-law of Klas ter Meer (1650-1698), who was the preacher of the Krefeld Mennonite Church. Jan Crous was also a preacher of this congregation. He is said to have dedicated the new church on Königsstrasse on 19 January 1696 with a marriage; beyond this there is no evidence that he was a preacher except 1716-1724. Two of his sermons have been preserved: Palm Sunday, 5 April 1716, and one for 1721. These sermons breathe the spirit of "the traditional Mennonite manner of faith; simple, sober, remote from all speculation, practical" (Cattepoel), with a rationalistic cast. The Dompelaar movement of the time also struck Krefeld and its Mennonite congregation; the preacher Gosen Goyen (1667-1737), whose marriage on 19 January 1696, was the first to be solemnized in the new church, had himself baptized by immersion in the Rhine. Jan Crous opposed this movement, maintaining the method of sprinkling, on the ground that the principle was more important than the method. He, however, was tolerant and did his best (which was not the case in Hamburg) to prevent a schism. "We will gladly bear with those who advocate immersion, and hope for the same attitude in the others." The Dompelaars of Solingen who were imprisoned in Jülich from the end of 1717 to the end of 1720 were visited by Crous and other Krefeld Mennonites; they finally immigrated to Pennsylvania via Krefeld.

A number of Jan Crous's descendants have been of importance in the history of Krefeld and its Mennonite congregation as well as the Mennonite brotherhood in general.


Cattepoel, Dirk, in Beiträge zur Geschichte rheinischer Mennoniten. Menn. Schriftenreihe des Mennonitischen Geschichtsvereins, No. 2. Weierhof, 1939: 13, 14, 18, 19.

Crous, Ernst, in Beiträge zur Geschichte rheinischer Mennoniten. Menn. Schriftenreihe des Mennonitischen Geschichtsvereins, No. 2. Weierhof, 1939: 35.

Goebel, Max Geschichte des christlichen Lebens in der rheinisch-westphälischen Evangelischen Kirche, 3 v. Coblenz, 1849-1860.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon,  4 v. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 459; II, 563 .

Die Heimat 4 (Krefeld, 1924): 197 ff.; 22 (1951): 62.

Mennonitischer Gemeinde-Kalender (1935)L 64 ff.

Mennonitische Geschichtsblätter 4 (1939): 32.

Nieper, Fr. Die ersten deutschen Auswanderer von Krefeld nach Pennsylvanien. Neukirchen, 1940: 273 f.

Das Scheuten'sehe Stammbuch. Copy in the Mennonite research center in Göttingen, "Tafel 20."

Author(s) Crous Ernst
Date Published 1953

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MLA style

Ernst, Crous. "Crous, Jan (1670-1729)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 24 Sep 2023.,_Jan_(1670-1729)&oldid=146396.

APA style

Ernst, Crous. (1953). Crous, Jan (1670-1729). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 September 2023, from,_Jan_(1670-1729)&oldid=146396.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 742-743. All rights reserved.

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