Frerichs, Geert Elias (1836-1906)

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G. E. Frerichs. Source: Doopsgezind Jaarboekje (1908)

Geert Elias Frerichs, a Dutch Mennonite pastor, born 24 November 1836 at Rake, East Friesland, Germany, deceased 22 December 1906 at Helpman, near Groningen in the Netherlands, was at first a sailor. At the age of 14 he intended to go into mission work, but afterwards decided on the ministry. He was trained by Jan Pol, Mennonite minister of Norden, East Friesland, and at the Amsterdam Mennonite Theological Seminary. Becoming a ministerial candidate in 1861, he served the following Dutch congregations: Hoorn on the island of Texel 1861-1863, Warns 1863-1878, Nes on the island of Ameland 1878-1884, Oudebildtzijl 1884-1890, and Borne 1890-1901, in which year he resigned. He was well versed in Mennonite history and published a number of papers; in Doopsgezinde Bijdragen 1874 the history of the congregation of Warns, in Doopsgezinde Bijdragen 1905 a paper on "Menno's taal" (the language Menno Simons used), and in Doopsgezinde Bijdragen 1906 on Menno Simons' residence in the first years after he had left the Roman Catholic Church. Frerichs' manual for catechetical instruction, entitled De godsdienst in het menschenhart en in de menschenwereld, was formerly much used (1st edition, St-Anna-Parochie, 1890; 2d edition, 1899). The 3d edition of this manual was published 1905 in four separate booklets: (1)  Waarom zijn wij godsdienstig? (2) Waarom zijn wij Christen? (3) Waarom zijn wij Protestant? (4) Waarom zijn wij Doopsgezind?

Other publications apart from a large number of articles in the Dutch Mennonite weekly De Zondagsbode, were: Leer van den Christelijken Godsdienst (St-Anna-Parochie, 1885); Vragen ter voorbereiding van het Lidmaatschap in de Doopsgezinde gemeente (St-Anna-Parochie, 1886, reprinted 1888, 1891, 1901; Vroege Vroomheid (St-Anna-Parochie, 1886, reprinted 1888, 1893); De beteekenis van Menno Simons voor onze Broederschap (Amsterdam, 1893).

Pastor Frerichs introduced the use of private communion cups instead of the general cup in Borne in 1896.

His son J. G. Frerichs, born 1880 at Nes, Ameland, was the Mennonite minister at Ternaard 1906-1914, Staveren-Molkwerum 1914-1921, Aardenburg 1921-1927, Zaandam-Oost 1927-1932, and Haarlem 1932-1946. In 1946 he retired.


Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1907): 186-188.

Doopsgezind Jaarboekje (1908): 21-30 with portrait of Geert Elias Frerichs.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 701.

Visscher, H. and L. A. van Langeraad. Het protestantsche vaderland: biographisch woordenboek van protestantsche godgeleerden in Nederland, 8 vols. Utrecht, 1903-1918: III, 129-130.

Author(s) Karol Vos
Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1956

Cite This Article

MLA style

Vos, Karol and Nanne van der Zijpp. "Frerichs, Geert Elias (1836-1906)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 4 Mar 2024.,_Geert_Elias_(1836-1906)&oldid=145066.

APA style

Vos, Karol and Nanne van der Zijpp. (1956). Frerichs, Geert Elias (1836-1906). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 4 March 2024, from,_Geert_Elias_(1836-1906)&oldid=145066.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 394. All rights reserved.

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