Altleiningen/Pfalz Mennonitengemeinden (Altleiningen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany)
The Altleiningen/Pfalz Mennonitengemeinden, a Mennonite congregation in the Palatinate (Germany), was established in the 17th century. At first the members, who lived chiefly on farms and mills in the vicinity of Grünstadt, met in the village of Rodenbach, where they owned a cemetery which they used until the middle of the 19th century, but which is today unknown. In 1790 the meeting place was changed to Weissmühle near Eisenberg. Thus it came about that in the Ibersheim Resolutions of 1803 it is called the Eisenberg church, for which David Herstein signed as minister. Near Altleiningen in the village of Höningen services were also held. In 1811 a trim, friendly little church was built in Altleiningen; the beautiful stone pillars of the entry, of real artistic merit, were said to have come from the old monastery at Höningen. Now the church met every Sunday in its own building. There were about 120 baptized members. For a long time Johannes Goebel of Hertlingshausen, a patriarch of the congregation, and J. Hertzler of Stauf, served them as preachers. Also Johannes Stauffer of Friedelsheim and Jakob Rings of Battenberg were mentioned as preachers.
After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871 the church was served from Weierhof by H. Risser, a theological student and teacher in the school at Weierhof, and later by Preacher Th. Löwenberg; but the membership decreased sharply. Emigration to America and into other congregations was the chief cause. Finally the church was completely empty. Then the Vereinigung der Mennoniten-Gemeinden im Deutschen Reich (Union of Mennonite Congregations in Germany) provided for seven regular services per year. When in 1900 the registration of land was carried out in the Palatinate, and there was no clear title to the church and its bit of land, the remaining members gave their right in it to the Vereinigung in gratitude for its service to the congregation. In 1912 the membership was scarcel15y or20, living in Altleiningen and Höningen. In the two decades between the two world wars the membership of the Altleiningen congregation doubled through influx of families from the outside and by natural increase. The church was renovated and equipped with a reed organ to accompany congregational singing. In 1935 the congregation was made a branch of the Sembach congregation, and was served since by the Sembach minister. In 1939 the first baptismal service in 50 years was observed in Altleiningen with six baptismal candidates; in 1943, 1946, 1948, and 1951 baptismal services were again held. Communion is celebrated twice a year; regular services are held once or twice a month. In 1951 the number of souls was 40, including children. Membership in 2004 was 21.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 42.
Address: Waldstrasse 17, 67317 Altleiningen Germany
Denominational Affiliation: Arbeitsgemeinschaft Südwestdeutscher Mennonitengemeinden
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 80-81. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Hege, Christian. "Altleiningen/Pfalz Mennonitengemeinden (Altleiningen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/A4546.html.
APA style: Hege, Christian. (1953). Altleiningen/Pfalz Mennonitengemeinden (Altleiningen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/A4546.html.