Neudorferhof (Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany)
Neudorferhof, an estate farmed by five Mennonite families near Obermoschel in the Palatinate, which has since 1816 been the seat of a Mennonite congregation. Its members live scattered through a number of villages. Formerly the Mennonites on these farms belonged to the Rheingrafenstein congregation, and held their services in the hall of the castle and on the Dimrotherhof. Since 1816 services are held only on the Neudorferhof. For five years the members met in a living room and 1821-1886 in a room in the house of the leader Johann Zerger, which was furnished for the purpose. In 1885 the congregation built a meetinghouse of its own, and dedicated it in 1886. After the death of the first preacher, Abraham Hertzler of the Antoniushof (1817), the congregation was served by Jakob Galle, preacher of the Uffhofen congregation. On 7 November 1819 Johannes Weber of the Neudorferhof was ordained to the ministry. In 1841 Jakob Schowalter of the Bangerterhof took his place. In 1862 the vote fell on two brothers, Jakob Weber and Johann Weber.
In 1878 the congregation joined with Ernstweiler and Kühbörncheshof to employ the first salaried preacher, Samuel Blickensdörfer of the Kohlhof. In 1879 he accepted the pulpit in Sembach, leaving the one in Neudorferhof vacant. Then in 1880 Abraham Hirschler took the position, and gave it his untiring devotion for 50 years. He lived in Kaiserslautern. In 1930 he retired. In 1931 Abraham Harder of Thiergart, West Prussia, was installed as preacher in Ernstweiler. Four years later (1935) he moved to Paraguay. Hugo Scheffler, previously the pastor of the congregation in Sembach, took his place in 1935; Scheffler emigrated to America and was succeeded by Gerhard Hein. The affiliated congregations took the name Kaiserslautern.
On 16 July 1890 the congregation was incorporated. Baptismal services were held every other year in the fall. Communion was observed four times a year. In 1941 the congregation had 110 baptized members, and 96 in 1956. In 1951 the congregation detached itself from Kaiserslautern and joined the Sembach congregation.
In 1923 the inhabitants of the estate organized a cooperative with a specific division of labor, the individual holdings of each family, however, remaining intact. The work in the fields and in the vineyards was done in common. The cattle were housed in commonly owned barns. The proceeds of the entire establishment flowed into a common treasury, from which the needs of all the families were met. At the end of the year the net gain were divided according to the individual holdings.
Frankfurter Illustrierte Zeitung No. 5 (9 February 1933): 117, with photographs.
Gemeindeblatt der Mennoniten (1886): 55 f.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 207 f.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, pp. 846-847. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Neff, Christian. "Neudorferhof (Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/N4821.html.
APA style: Neff, Christian. (1957). Neudorferhof (Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/N4821.html.