Leermens (Groningen, Netherlands)
Leermens, a village in the Dutch province of Groningen, where there have always been Mennonites since the earliest times. Obbe Philips worked here and won many followers. A congregation was organized, which like most in this province later joined the Old Flemish branch. After a period of decline it united in 1783 with another small congregation at Loppersum. The church in 1954 was listed as the Leermens-Loppersum congregation. The membership was always small. Before the merging with Loppersum the baptized membership numbered about 75 in 1710, 70 in 1733, 50 in 1754, and 30 in 1767. It was long served by lay preachers: Klaas Tonnys until about 1754, Pieter Jans 1719 until his death in 1760, Sievert Pieters 1739 until his death in 1778, Pieter Klaassen 1752 until his death in 1760, Jacob Tietes (Huizinga) after 1763. After the union it was also served by lay preachers, Jacob Tietes of Leermens serving until his death 29 July 1821. Then the pulpit was vacant until 1836, when Claas Bakker, trained at the Amsterdam Mennonite Seminary, became pastor. He served until his death in 1884 and was followed by Alje Muller 1888-1905, Frederik ten Cate 1907-1912, L. G. Holtz 1914-1918, R. C. de Lange 1919-1923, A. P. van de Water 1925-1928, F. J. de Holl 1929-1934, Miss H. C. Leignes Bakhoven 1934-1940, H. A. M. den Herder 1942-1946, S. J. Bouma 1946-1953, H. J. Witteveen after 1953.
The membership of the united Leermens-Loppersum congregation was about 35 when the two congregations merged in 1783, 42 in 1836, 91 in 1898, 90 in 1956. Originally meetings were held both in Leermens and Loppersum, later in Leermens only, where there was a simple meetinghouse. This was abandoned in 1848 after a new meetinghouse—improved in 1927 and still in use in 1954—had been built in Zeerijp, now the center of the congregation, where a parsonage was built in 1835. An organ was not installed until 1908. In 1834 the Leermens-Loppersum congregation received the property of the neighboring congregation of Appingedam, which was then dissolved. In 1912 the female members were given the same rights as the male. Church activities in 1956 included a Sunday school for children.
Cate, Steven Blaupot ten. Geschiedenis der Doopsgezinden in Groningen, Overijssel en Oost-Friesland. 2 v. Leeuwarden: W. Eekhoff en J. B. Wolters, 1842. 1 and 2, passim; see Index.
Doopsgezind Jaarboekje, (1837): 32 f.; (1840): 42; (1850): 58.
Doopsgezinde Bijdragen, (1877): 108; (1879): 4.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon., 4 v. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: II, 628.
Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de. Inventaris der Archiefstukken berustende bij de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam. 2 v. Amsterdam: Uitgegeven en ten geschenke aangeboden door den Kerkeraad dier Gemeente, 1883-1884.2, No's. 2040 f.
Naamlijst der tegenwoordig in dienst zijnde predikanten der Mennoniten in de vereenigde Nederlanden. Amsterdam (1829): 64.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 308. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Leermens (Groningen, Netherlands)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/L43005.html.
APA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1957). Leermens (Groningen, Netherlands). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/L43005.html.