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Preacher (German, Prediger; Dutch, Predicant; French, Predicateur), a widely used title among Mennonites in all countries, especially in former days. In those groups which have adopted the prac­tice of a single minister-pastor the title pastor or minister has been introduced. "Preacher" has gen­erally been displaced by pastor or minister in Amer­ica, in Germany by Pfarrer (South Germany) or Pastor (North Germany), and in the Netherlands by Dominine. In all these cases the function of the office is more than simply preaching, and includes pastoral care and full responsibility for leadership. Preacher is then reserved for those ordained or licensed men who have no exclusive pastoral charge but serve with other ministers (bishops, elders, or preachers) in a given congregation. Among the Mennonites of Russia the titles Pfarrer, Pastor, or Diener were never used; only Prediger and Aeltester (elder) were used. Among the Hutterites the title Diener am Wort, and among the Amish Diener zum Buch were used instead of Prediger or preacher. In the Netherlands in former times the title Leeraar (teacher) was used, and in North Ger­many the corresponding term, Lehrer, also Vermaner (Dutch) and Vermahner (German), mean­ing "admonisher." The term preacher or its equiv­alent is still the standard term in the Badischer Verband in South Germany, in France, Switzer­land, South America, and the more conservative groups and areas in North America, as also in the German-speaking bodies in Canada. Predicant is still used some in Holland.

Author(s) Harold S Bender
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Bender, Harold S. "Preacher." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 16 May 2022.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. (1959). Preacher. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 16 May 2022, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 214. All rights reserved.

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