Joure (Friesland, Netherlands)

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Doopsgezinde Kerk, Joure.
Photo by André van Dijk.
Source: Reliwiki.
Doopsgezinde Kerk, Joure.
Photo by Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed.
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Joure, a village in the Dutch province of Friesland, has since earliest times been the seat of a Mennonite church. Leenaert Bouwens baptized 9 persons here in 1551-1554 and 8 in 1563-1565, a total of 17 at Joure. It can be assumed that a congregation was established here then, though its existence is not mentioned until the end of the century. In the 17th century there were two congregations: the one belonging to the Old Flemish branch was extinct by 1700, when the two remaining members, Wolter Beerends and his wife, moved to Sneek and joined the Old Flemish at IJlst, to which they handed over the treasury of the dissolved church. The only congregation remaining, which took a rather moderate position, built a new meetinghouse in 1664. It seems to have had a stained glass window, probably a memorial of the founding.

In 1760 a division occurred in this church on the question of choosing a new preacher. Eight brethren and sisters left the church, formed the "small congregation," and soon had a church on Botersteeg, called "Nieuwe Huis," previous meetings having been held in the homes of members, most of whom lived in Broek, a hamlet near Joure. Their first preacher, untrained, was Barre-Hiddes (Gorter) from 1763 until his death in 1804. He was followed by a trained and salaried preacher, Govert Jan van Rijswijk, serving 1808-1817. In 1817, with a membership of 52, it returned to the mother church. On 24 August the first sermon was preached in the "Oude Huis" to the combined congregation. Until then the "Oude Huis" congregation had been served by lay preachers, like Gjoldt Hylkes (Brouwer) 1743-1804, and Inne Wouters (Cath) 1780-1814. The last lay preacher, the strict but also sensitive Ulbe Durks Bakker, who had served the church after 1780, felt himself too old to serve the combined church. He was succeeded in 1818 by Abraham Doyer of Zwolle. In 1823 K. Ris of Makkum followed.

The old church became too small for the growing membership; the new one, built on the same site and dedicated on 26 September 1824, was still in use in 1957, a pipe organ added in 1858. A new parsonage was acquired in 1919 and again in 1946. K. Ris served until his death in 1852. The following ministers served the congregation after that time: J. Hartog 1853-1854, F. Born 1854-1886, J. Pottiuga 1886-1890, M. L. Hartog 1891-1928, N. van der Zijpp 1928-1940, J. Meerburg Snarenberg 1941-1947, A. G. van Gilse 1947-1951, and J. Krijtenburg 1951- .

The baptized membership in 1695 was about 100; in 1817, when the congregations merged, 210; in 1861, 239; 1900, 356; 1916, 384; 1955, 250. Members lived in town (1955 population. about 4,000), and a number of surrounding villages, even at a distance of 16 miles (25 km). Members in town were mostly businessmen or workingmen; members in the vicinity were usually farmers. In winter, services were held monthly in Langweer. Church activities included a Sunday school for children; Menniste Bouwers (youth group 12-18 years); weekly church services of the youth 12-16 years; young members' group 18-35 years; ladies' circle. The congregation possessed six large silver communion cups of about 1770 in rococo style of high artistic value.


Archives of the congregation.

Cate, Steven Blaupot ten. Geschiedenis der Doopsgezinden in Friesland. Leeuwarden: W. Eekhoff, 1839: passim, see index.

Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1879): 2; (1890): 88, note 1; (1892): 90 f.; (1895): 12, 24; (1910): 21.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 436.

Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de. Inventaris der Archiefstukken berustende bij de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam. Amsterdam: Uitgegeven en ten geschenke aangeboden door den Kerkeraad dier Gemeente, 1883-1884: II, 2, No. 222.

Naamlijst der tegenwoordig in dienst zijnde predikanten der Mennoniten in de vereenigde Nederlanden. (1829): 50 f.

Additional Information

Congregation: Doopsgezinde Gemeente Joure

Address: Midstraat 70 - 72, 8501 AS Joure, Netherlands

Church website: Doopsgezinde Gemeente Joure

Denominational affiliation:

Algemene Doopsgezinde Sociëteit


Map:Doopsgezinde Gemeente Joure, Joure, Netherlands

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1957

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Joure (Friesland, Netherlands)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 23 Jun 2021.,_Netherlands)&oldid=145548.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1957). Joure (Friesland, Netherlands). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 June 2021, from,_Netherlands)&oldid=145548.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pp. 124-125. All rights reserved.

©1996-2021 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.