Smissen, Johannes van der (1808-1879)

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Johannes van der Smissen, a German Mennonite leader, was born on 17 July 1808, at Altona in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, studied mathematics and the natural sciences at the universities of Copenhagen and Berlin, also attending lectures in theology. After completing his course he held positions as private tutor in Altona, the Baltic provinces, and in Danzig; here he was persuaded by Jakob Mannhardt to make further preparations for the ministry. In 1856 he accepted the very difficult position of minister of the Kiernica congregation in Galicia and there married Elisabet Vlaar, of the Altona congregation, on 18 April 1858. In 1868 he accepted the call to Sembach in the Palatinate, to occupy the Mennonite pulpit left vacant by the death of Johannes Risser. He was an energetic worker for the Mennonitische Blätter. In 1875-1879 he was its coeditor with his cousin Hinrich van der Smissen. He also performed an important service as chairman of the board of the school at Weierhof and in reviving the conference sessions of the Palatinate and Hesse. On 28 April 1879, he died, deeply mourned by his congregation.


Mennonitische Blätter (1879): 33, 42, 44.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. IV, 191.

Author(s) Christian Neff
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Neff, Christian. "Smissen, Johannes van der (1808-1879)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 25 May 2022.,_Johannes_van_der_(1808-1879)&oldid=146726.

APA style

Neff, Christian. (1959). Smissen, Johannes van der (1808-1879). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 May 2022, from,_Johannes_van_der_(1808-1879)&oldid=146726.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vo. 4, p. 552. All rights reserved.

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