Emmerich am Rhein (Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany)

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Emmerich, a city (pop. 16,300 in 1950) in the Prussian Rhine province, six miles from the Dutch border, in which there was a small Mennonite congregation for almost four centuries, going back to 1534. The radical Münsterites presumably also had a following in Emmerich. Bernhard Peters in 1574 printed here a book on polygamy for the "king" Johann Wilmsen, who had his headquarters in Wesel and was executed in Dinslaken in 1580. Nothing is known about the early history of the peaceful Anabaptists. From 1663 to 1717 Hendrik van Voorst preached there. During that time, in 1672, Emmerich was occupied by the French for a short period, who attempted to catholicize the town. To convert the Mennonites they sent Dr. Formantijn from Paris; but van Voorst’s superior knowledge of Scripture blocked the attempt (Doopsgezinde Bijdragen  1873, 58). On 1 December 1676 the magistrate of Emmerich granted freedom from taxation for a church they were planning. They purchased a large lot on Steinstrasse and on it built a church and parsonage. In the 17th century a number of members of the prominent Block and Leeuw families in this congregation immigrated to Amsterdam and Haarlem, Holland. Hendrik van Voorst was succeeded by Abraham Fortgens. During a later pulpit vacancy Cornelis van Braght preached here occasionally. From 1742 on, the congregation was served by Dutch-speaking ministers, mostly trained at the Amsterdam Mennonite Seminary: Klaas de Vries 1742-1744, Hermanus Jaarsma 1744-1783, Joannes Stijl 1786-1789, Matthias Hesseling 1788-1798, Anthoni de Vries 1798-1817, J. Kuiper 1819-1820. In 1820-1849 the congregation was served by H. W. van der Ploeg, the pastor of Goch. The last preachers were P. W. van Zutphen 1850-1873 and D. Lodeesen 1873-1883. The church was then served by preachers of the neighboring Mennonite churches, Nijmegen, Zutphen, and Winterswijk. In 1740 there was a baptized membership of 65. In 1825 there was no church board and only a few members. By 1836 the membership had declined to 18, 1870 to 16, 1898 to 7, and 1912 to 5. For more than a century the congregation was financially supported by the Amsterdam congregation.


Doopsgezind Jaarboekje (1850): 64.

Doopsgezinde Bijdragen  (1873): 58-73; (1895): 183; (1898): 242; (1912): 242.

Goebel, M. Geschichte des Christlichen Lebens in der rhein.-westf. Kirche. Coblence, 1849: I, 208 ff.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 584.

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. 1164, 1424; II, 315, 2571, 2581, 2700-2741; II, 2, 860-862.

Nippold, F. “Zur Reformations-Geschichte der Stadt Emmerich.” Monatshefte für rheinische Kirchen-Geschichte III (1909): 289-300.

Nippold, F. Monatshefte für rheinische Kirchen-Geschichte IX (1915): 19-24.

Mennonitische Blätter (1887): 80; (1915): 36

Naamlijst der tegenwoordig in dienst zijnde predikanten der Mennoniten in de vereenigde Nederlanden (Amsterdam, 1829): 70.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1956

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MLA style

Neff, Christian and Nanne van der Zijpp. "Emmerich am Rhein (Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 29 Sep 2023. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Emmerich_am_Rhein_(Nordrhein-Westfalen,_Germany)&oldid=145002.

APA style

Neff, Christian and Nanne van der Zijpp. (1956). Emmerich am Rhein (Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 29 September 2023, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Emmerich_am_Rhein_(Nordrhein-Westfalen,_Germany)&oldid=145002.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 212. All rights reserved.

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