Reeder, Hermann (19th century)
Hermann Reeder, a Mennonite minister in the Palatinate in the 19th century, concerning whose life few particulars have been discovered. He probably stemmed from non-Mennonite parents, but he is reported to have been reared by Mennonites and to have been baptized by a preacher Dahlem (letter by David Kaege of Offstein to Johannes Galle of Monzernheim, 1 January 1836). He was educated in a Baptist seminary in England, and was then ordained as an elder by Dahlem. This Dahlem is apparently not Valentin Dahlem of Rosenkoppel, since there is no mention of this ordination in Dahlem's letters although he casually mentions Reeder.
For a time Reeder served in the small congregation of Neuwied. Having had his attention directed to the Palatinate by the Baptist preacher Angas, he visited the Mennonite congregations there, and preached sermons to deepen the spiritual life and cultivate the newly awakened missionary spirit. There is definite information on a visit by Reeder to the Weierhof in August 1832, when he was given money collected for the Baptist mission. A letter written by Reeder on 22 September 1832 to Jakob Krehbiel indicated he was already considering moving to the Weierhof. However, housing difficulties frustrated this plan.
In 1835 the Weierhof congregation decided to extend a formal call to Reeder, and thus acquired its first professional and trained minister, though not without opposition from the conservative element led by Johannes Galle of Monzernheim. Reeder lived for a time in Kirchheimbolanden, four miles distant.
In a short time Reeder succeeded in reviving the congregation, so that both the inner and outer growth were soon evident. In two years (1837) the new, larger church was built, modeled externally after a Baptist meetinghouse in Tottenham, England, which Reeder had doubtless seen. Much of the cost of the building was raised by Reeder himself on a tour via Elberfeld to England.
In 1836 Reeder also took charge of the Uffhofen congregation near Alzey, which had almost disintegrated. His first sermon there, delivered on 6 March 1836, was printed and distributed in the interest of the Weierhof church. Reeder built a parsonage at Weierhof out of his own funds, including a barn, which he used in farming as a secondary source of income. He is thought to have been the first to use a team of horses at Weierhof. He also set up a sort of boarding home for young Englishmen in his home and engaged a tutor for them. By means of these supplementary sources of income Reeder was probably finally able to support himself without the rather small salary at first offered him by the congregation, returning the money for the education of Michael Lowenberg, who was to be his successor.
Reeder left Weierhof in 1848 or 1849, apparently on account of the disturbances of the German revolution of that year. It is not known whether or not he accepted another pastorate. At any rate he was still living at Bad Kreuznach in 1853 with his wife, Therese Keetman. He apparently had no children. In 1852 he sold his property in Weierhof to Johannes Kaegy, and in 1853 he gave the Weierhof congregation a gift of 400 guilders. Most of this money came from the sale of his book, Predigten an Festtagen und bei besonderen Veranlassungen, gehalten von Herm. Reeder, Prediger der Taufgesinnten-Gemeine Weyerhof, which was printed, perhaps gratis, by Karl Tauchnitz at Leipzig in 1842.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 439 f.
Cite This Article
Schowalter, Paul. "Reeder, Hermann (19th century)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 1 Oct 2022. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Reeder,_Hermann_(19th_century)&oldid=146102.
Schowalter, Paul. (1959). Reeder, Hermann (19th century). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 1 October 2022, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Reeder,_Hermann_(19th_century)&oldid=146102.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 264. All rights reserved.
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