Pekela (Groningen, Netherlands)

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Pekela (named for the river Pekel-A). Oude Pekela and Nieuwe Pekela are two adjoining villages in the Dutch province of Groningen, which were founded in the first half of the 17th century, after the peat-moors around the Pekel-A had been dug away and a fertile soil appeared, suited for agriculture. Among the founders of Pekela there were apparently some Mennonites, because as early as about 1660 there was a Danzig Old Flemish Mennonite congregation at Pekela. This congregation, always small in membership, was until about 1750 served by preachers chosen from the congregation. Hendrik Wolters was its preacher until about 1750; in 1747 he and his wife Jantje Coops Boon made arrangements that a room in their farm home would in the future be at the disposal of the congregation as it had been until then. From about 1750 until shortly before 1780, when the pulpit was vacant, it was served by Jan Panneman, preacher or elder of the Danzig Old Flemish congregation at neighboring Sappemeer. Panneman may have moved to Pekela, for his descendants, called Panman, are still found there. Soon after 1780 the Pekela congregation declined or even died out. At least by 1815 there was no longer a congregation ([[Naamlijst der tegenwoordig in dienst zijnde predikanten der Mennoniten in de Vereenigde Nederlanden|Naamlijst]] 1815, 107), though a number of Mennonites were living both in Oude and Nieuwe Pekela. A new congregation was founded at Pekela in 1851, and a church built, which was dedicated on 19 September 1852. The congregation has always been served by the pastor of Veendam. In 1900 the baptized membership numbered 40, and 52 in 1958. There is a ladies' circle and a Sunday school for children.


Cate, Steven Blaupot ten. Geschiedenis der Doopsgezinden in Groningen, Overijssel en Oost-Friesland, 2 vols. Leeuwarden: W. Eekhoff en J. B. Wolters, 1842: v. I, 212 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: v. II, 2185 f.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 339.

Zangen bij . . . de eerste godsdienstoefening in de nieuwe Doopsgezinde kerk te Pekela. Wildervank, 1852.

Author(s) Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. "Pekela (Groningen, Netherlands)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 20 Sep 2020.,_Netherlands)&oldid=144559.

APA style

Zijpp, Nanne van der. (1959). Pekela (Groningen, Netherlands). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 September 2020, from,_Netherlands)&oldid=144559.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 132. All rights reserved.

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