Goch (Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany)

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Goch, a city (1950 pop. 11,798; 2005 pop. 34,200) in the Rhine Province, government district of Düsseldorf, Germany, on the Dutch border. Here the conference was held in 1547 at which Adam Pastor was banned by Dirk Philips and Menno Simons for his anti-Trinitarian views. It is said that Adam Pastor, whose principal field of activity was at Kleve, had also "brought many to rebaptism" in Goch. Theunis van Hastenrath, put to death in 1551 at Linnich, was a preacher in Goch about the same time, but did not baptize there. In the second half of the 16th century there was already a congregation of Anabaptists here, but little is known about its history. Most of the members were weavers; in 1607 the schoolteacher of Goch was a Mennonite. The van Heukelom family, many members of which later lived in Amsterdam, belonged to the congregation at Goch. The membership was always small, but was augmented in the last quarter of the 17th and the first quarter of the 18th centuries by an influx of refugees from the Palatinate. The congregation was supported by that of Amsterdam and in the last part of the 18th century also by Rotterdam. In 1736 it contributed 75 florins to the Dutch Fund for Foreign Needs. In the 18th century it had two (untrained and until 1747 unsalaried) ministers, both of whom served for a long period: Pieter Wendels 1712-1760, and Abraham Alders 1729-ca. 1772. The first educated minister of the congregation was Gerrit Schimmelpenninck, serving from 1774 until his death in 1792. He was followed by H. van Hinten from 1793 (?) until his death in 1799, and Evert Akkeringa 1800-1815, in whose time the membership greatly decreased and the finances collapsed. About 1790 the membership numbered 100, in 1840 only 20. In 1815-1818 Jan van Hülst of Cleve also served at Goch. The last minister of the congregation was Hidde Wybe van der Ploeg, 1819-1855. After his death (1855) until 1898 it was served by Pastor Leendertz of Cleve. Services were still held in the Dutch language. In 1885 it is said that church and parsonage were in good condition, and there was a considerable property, but no church board (DB 1885, 8-9). In 1898 there were 15 members; in 1904 a church board was chosen, and once a month Pastor Kraemer of Krefeld conducted a service, but soon after the congregation became extinct.

Jacob Gottschalk (ca. 1666-1763), the first bishop of the Mennonite Church in America, was a member of the Goch congregation; he received a church letter on 11 June 1701 and presumably immigrated to America in the same year, settling first in Germantown.


Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1864): 121; (1885): 8 f.; (1895): 184, (1898): 112 f.; (1904): 232; (1906): 191; (1909): 116, 124.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 129 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, 1538; II, Nos. 2571, 2769-2787.

Naamlijst der tegenwoordig in dienst zijnde predikanten der Mennoniten in de vereenigde Nederlanden (Amsterdam, 1829): 69.

Niepoth, W. "Jacob Gottschalk and His Ancestry." Mennonite Quarterly Review 23 (1949): 35-47 contains valuable information on the Gottschalk family and the congregation in Goch.

Rembert, Karl. Die "Wiedertäufer" im Herzogtum Jülich. Berlin: R. Gaertners Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1899: 416, 485, 496, 500.

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

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MLA style

Vos, Karel and Nanne van der Zijpp. "Goch (Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 23 Jun 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Goch_(Nordrhein-Westfalen,_Germany)&oldid=145258.

APA style

Vos, Karel and Nanne van der Zijpp. (1956). Goch (Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 June 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Goch_(Nordrhein-Westfalen,_Germany)&oldid=145258.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 533-534. All rights reserved.

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