Margoredjo Mennonite Mission (Jawa, Indonesia)

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Margoredjo, the first missionary colony of the Mennonite mission on Java, Indonesia, former Dutch East Indies, is situated on the north side of Mt. Muria, 10 miles (16 km) from Taju. The founder of this colony was Pieter Anton Jansz, the son of the first missionary in Java, Pieter Jansz, who had worked for many years without visible results in Japara. His son therefore tried another method, namely, evangelization by means of cultivating the land. He had recognized that the religious life of the Javanese was closely interwoven with their economic life, and that it is almost impossible for a Christian to remain true in a Muslim community. In 1880 he therefore sent a request to the colonial government to have a virgin forest given to his care. On 26 August 1881 he received an area of 400 acres, on which he erected Margoredjo. The mission school at Japara, which his father had taken over from missionary Schuur-mann, was now transferred to Margoredjo. He also built a teachers' seminary here in 1903 to train native teachers. All the native teachers in the Mennonite concession received their training here. After 30 years the seminary was closed for lack of funds.

From 1888 to 1901 Johann Fast worked with P. A. Jansz. In 1895 he built a church here, which was dedicated on 7 November 1897, and a second missionary residence. In 1893 missionary Johann Hubert came to Margoredjo and took charge of the church at Kedungpendjalin. In 1899 Johann Klaassen took charge of the medical work in connection with evangelism. The congregation grew in the faith. Attendance was good. The first missionary doctor was Dr. Bervoets, who operated the hospital with two nurses, H. Goosen and S. Riechert. In 1915 he took charge of the central hospital located at Relet. From 1905 to 1937 N. Thiessen was in charge of the mother church at Margoredjo, also doing evangelistic work in the subsidiary congregations of Tegalamba, Tawangredjo, Kembang, Dukuhseti, Banjutawa, Taju, Puntjel, Bumiardjo, Udjungwatu, and Bandngardjo.

Since 1928 the Margoredjo church has been independent. Its first native preacher was Rubin. After 1931 S. Harsesudirdjo was the elder of the congregation, while Hardjosuwito (after 1939), Armujadi, and Martohadi (both after 1941) were preachers. In 1937 it had a membership of 1,830 souls; in 1953 the membership numbered 970 baptized members and 1,144 children.

During the Japanese occupation 1942-1946 the congregation had to endure many hardships. The beautiful church of Margoredjo was destroyed by a band of nationalistic Muslims. After 1946 a period of new growth began.


Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 35.

Reports of the Dutch Mennonite Mission Association.

Uit Verleden en Heden der Doopsgezinde lending. N.p., 1947: 26-28.

Author(s) Daniel Amstutz
Jan Matthijssen
Date Published 1957

Cite This Article

MLA style

Amstutz, Daniel and Jan Matthijssen. "Margoredjo Mennonite Mission (Jawa, Indonesia)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 21 Sep 2020.,_Indonesia)&oldid=144334.

APA style

Amstutz, Daniel and Jan Matthijssen. (1957). Margoredjo Mennonite Mission (Jawa, Indonesia). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 September 2020, from,_Indonesia)&oldid=144334.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pp. 478-479. All rights reserved.

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