Ernstweiler (Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany)

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Ernstweiler, a village near Zweibrücken in the Palatinate, Germany, where a Mennonite congregation has been meeting since about 1770, which had its origin about 1680. It was formerly called the Gemeinde bei Zweibrücken. Its members are descendants of refugees from the canton of Bern in Switzerland who settled in Alsace and the Palatinate at the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th, whence they gradually made their way to the duchy of Zweibrücken. They lived scattered on farms and mills or singly in villages as renters or owners of farms. At first they met in rotation on the Heidelbingerhof, Ernstweilerhof, Kahlenbergerhof, Freishauserhof, Hornbacherhof, Neuhof, and Kirchheimerhof. Early preachers were Johannes Schöny 1749, Johannes Lehmann 1745, Johann Schmidt 1755, Peter Böhn 1757, Joseph Schnebele 1762, Christian Lehmann 1813 (elder 1819), Jakob Schnebele 1829. The Ibersheim resolutions of 1803 were signed for the “congregation near Zweibrücken” by Ulrich Lehmann. Other later preachers were Jakob Finger of Bamsterhof, Christian Lehmann, Jr., of Waldhausen, Joseph Dahlem of Hunackerhof, Weber of Hornbacherhof, Böhr of Unterhof. In 1843 the congregation built a church in Ernstweiler. In 1876 the Ernstweiler congregation united with Kühbörncheshof and Neudorferhof in maintaining a preacher. They were served 1876-79 by S. Blickensdörfer of the Kohlhof, a teacher at the school at Weierhof, and previously a student at the missionary school in Basel (Mennonitische Blätter, 1877, 15), the first trained and salaried minister. When he was called to Sembach his place was filled by A. Hirschler of Kaiserslautern, who served 50 years 1880-1930. He was followed by A. Harder 1931-35, and H. Scheffler 1935-37. In 1898 the church was incorporated. In 1923 the congregation numbered about 140 souls. In 1937 it was merged with Ixheim to form the Zweibrücken congregation. At that time it had 114 baptized members.


Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 608.

Scheffler, H. “Vereinigung Ixheim-Ernstweiler.” Mennonitischer Gemeinde-Kalender (1939): 71-81.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Date Published 1956

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MLA style

Neff, Christian. "Ernstweiler (Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 20 Oct 2020.,_Germany)&oldid=145024.

APA style

Neff, Christian. (1956). Ernstweiler (Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 October 2020, from,_Germany)&oldid=145024.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 245. All rights reserved.

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