Ouwejan, Jacob (1706-1781)

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Jacob Ouwejan(s): b. 29 October 1706 at Zaandam, d. 2 October 1781, at Rotterdam, was the scion of a Mennonite family living for more than two centuries at Zaandam, Dutch province of North Holland, where they were mostly engaged in shipbuilding. Some of them were deacons in the United Mennonite congregation in the "Nieuwe Huys" of West Zaandam. Jacob Ouwejan(s), at first engaged in shipbuilding, was made a preacher of this congregation on 25 November 1725, when he was 19 years old. He had received no special training for this position. In 1741 he was called by the Flemish congregation of Danzig, Prussia, to mediate in the dissension that had arisen in this congregation, particularly with Elder Hendrik van Dühren. On 3 September 1741, a few days before leaving Holland, he was ordained elder in the Zonist church in Amsterdam by Petrus Smidt; "after a long, difficult, and dangerous journey" he was affectionately received in Danzig. He preached his first sermon in the Flemish congregation in the city on 5 November 1741, and soon succeeded in restoring peace. After only six weeks he received a call from the Rotterdam congregation, and although he was invited to stay in Danzig, he returned to Holland. On 10 June 1742 he preached his first sermon for the United Waterlander and Flemish congregation in Rotterdam, and stayed here nearly thirty years. The new, very handsome church (destroyed in 1940) was dedicated by him on 28 May 1775, with a sermon, Sions Tempelvreugd (Rotterdam, 1775). He was extraordinarily strong in body and mind. At that time there was occasional dissension in the congregation. Ouwejans favored the minority group of conservative Flemish, thereby offending the majority. Later he was involved in some difficulty with his more liberal colleague Menalda. He resigned on 16 September 1781, and died after a few weeks. In 1761 he published a collection of sermons, Hemel en Aarde Verheugd. His son Jan Ouwejans and his grandson Jan Ouwejan van den Berg served the Rotterdam congregation as deacons in 1782-1810 and 1816-1833.


Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1864): 106-108; (1912): 108.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 331.

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: v. I, No. 1680; v. II, Nos. 2673, 2675; II, 2, No. 812.

Lootsma, Sipke. Het Nieuwe Huys. Zaandam, 1937: 31, 47, 57, 186, 193.

Naamlijst der tegenwoordig in dienst zijnde predikanten der Mennoniten in de vereenigde Nederlanden. Amsterdam (1787): 56-62.

Vos, Karel. Geschiedenis der Doopsgez. Gemeente te Rotterdam. (1907, reprint): 29, 32, 44.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Ouwejan, Jacob (1706-1781)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 6 Oct 2022. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Ouwejan,_Jacob_(1706-1781)&oldid=144539.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1959). Ouwejan, Jacob (1706-1781). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 6 October 2022, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Ouwejan,_Jacob_(1706-1781)&oldid=144539.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, pp. 99-100. All rights reserved.

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