Edam (Noord-Holland, Netherlands)

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Doopsgezinde Kerk, Edam, 1984.
Photo by Gerard Dukker, Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed.
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Edam, a town in the Dutch province of North Holland, famous for its cheese. Anabaptism reached Edam very early. On 22 May 1546 two martyrs from Edam, Andries and Dirk Pieters Smul, with Jacob de Gelderman of Harderwijk, who was attending Anabaptist services in Edam, were executed at the stake. A letter written by the martyr Thys Joriaensz of Rarop in 1569 to his friends in Edam has been preserved (Martyrs' Mirror). It is also known that Leenaert Bouwens baptized 21 persons between 1551 and 1578 in Edam.

For a long time there were two Mennonite churches in Edam, a Frisian and a Waterlander. The Frisian group had their church on the Halig; the 1950s Mennonite church was on the same street. The Waterland church stood less than 50 paces away, at the corner of Groote Kerkstraat and Molensteeg. Little is known of the latter group; there were presumably only six members left when they joined the Frisians in December 1742. The united congregation was attached to the Waterlander (Rijper) Societeit, the Frisian Societeit in North Holland, and the Zonist Sociëteit.

For communion, baptism, and marriage, they were often assisted by ministers from neighboring towns.

Until 1760 the congregation had only lay preachers, usually three. From 1760 to 1803 they were rarely without a preacher. In case of need Jan Nieuwenhuisen, the pastor of Monnikendam, served, receiving two guilders each time. Jakob Rienksz, Jr., who was called as preacher on 22 December 1771, had to submit to an examination on 8 April 1772, given by Cornelis Ris of Hoorn and Jan Slot and Pieter Groot of Middelie. Until 1803 each minister had to promise to preach and instruct the children in the Zonist doctrine. At that time they were no longer able to support a preacher, and were served every two weeks by the ministers of Monnikendam, Middelie, and Axwijk; later on only the Monnikendam minister came, but on 27 February 1859, R. de Vries asked to be excused from this service. Then Ring Noord-Holland and the Algemene Doopsgezinde Sociëteit supplied them with preachers until September 1862, when, after a period of about 60 years, the congregation was again able to support itself.

Since that time the following ministers served until the 1950s: Aemilius W. Wybrands 1862-1870, I. J. le Cosquino de Bussy 1870-1872, C. R. van Dokkum 1873-1877, C. N. Wybrands 1878-1881, P. K. Bijl 1881-1886, A. Sipkema 1888-1912, P. A. Vis 1912-1918, A. A. Sepp 1918-1926, Miss A. Leistra 1927-1944, J. Maarse 1947-1951, and S. L. Verheus since 1952. Since 1935 the Edam congregation has united with Monnikendam for preaching services. The minister lives in Edam. In 1900 the congregation adopted the Leidsche Bündel  as its hymnal, and replaced it in 1946 with the new Doopsgezinde Bündel. The membership, 60 in 1726, dropped to 20 in 1834, but then steadily increased: 26 in 1847, 80 in 1900, 111 in 1950. In 1955 the congregation had an active Sunday school for children and a women’s organization.


Braght, Thieleman J. van. Het Bloedigh Tooneel of Martelaers Spiegel der Doopsgesinde of Weereloose Christenen, Die om 't getuygenis van Jesus haren Salighmaker geleden hebben ende gedood zijn van Christi tijd of tot desen tijd toe. Den Tweeden Druk. Amsterdam: Hieronymus Sweerts, 1685: Part II, 485.

Braght, Thieleman J. van. The Bloody Theatre or Martyrs' Mirror of the Defenseless Christians Who Baptized Only upon Confession of Faith and Who Suffered and Died for the Testimony of Jesus Their Saviour . . . to the Year A.D. 1660. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1951: 823. Available online at: http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/index.htm

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 503 f.

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: I, Nos. 20, 334, 337 f., 1136, 1164; II, 1715.

Reliwiki. "Edam, Jan Nieuwenhuizenplein 4 - Doopsgezinde Vermaning." 14 October 2012. Web. 12 October 2014. http://reliwiki.nl/index.php/Edam,_Jan_Nieuwenhuizenplein_4_-_Doopsgezinde_Vermaning.

Wybrands, C. N. "Anteekeningen uit de geschiedenis der Doopsgezinde Gemeente te Edam." Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1887): 113-131.

Additional Information

Congregation: Doopsgezinde Gemeente Edam

Address: Jan Nieuwenhuijzenplein 6, 1135 WV, Edam, Netherlands

Denominational affiliation:

Algemene Doopsgezinde Sociëteit


Map:Doopsgezinde Gemeente Edam, Edam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands

Author(s) A. A. Sepp
Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

Sepp, A. A. and Nanne van der Zijpp. "Edam (Noord-Holland, Netherlands)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 27 Oct 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Edam_(Noord-Holland,_Netherlands)&oldid=144091.

APA style

Sepp, A. A. and Nanne van der Zijpp. (1956). Edam (Noord-Holland, Netherlands). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 27 October 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Edam_(Noord-Holland,_Netherlands)&oldid=144091.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 145-146. All rights reserved.

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