Oldeboorn (Friesland, Netherlands)
Oldeboorn, a village in the Dutch province of Friesland, where there have been Anabaptists since very early times. Eelke and Fije of Boorn (Oldeboorn) suffered a martyr's death in Leeuwarden, the Frisian capital, in 1549. Eelke had gathered the "Godfearing people and read the New Testament to them." In 1556 five persons were baptized by Leenaert Bouwens in Oldeboorn and soon afterward an additional 21. In 1573 Reytse Aysesz, who lived in the adjacent village of Beetsterzwaag, was seized in Oldeboorn where he had spent the night with fellow believers in his father's house; he was executed by drowning at Leeuwarden on 23 April 1574. The letters that he wrote in prison reveal that his parents, his brothers and sisters, and his wife were also members of the congregation, and that there were numerous "friends," so that we may assume that there was at that time already a congregation of considerable size in Oldeboorn.
Concerning the Oldeboorn congregation in the 17th century not much is known. In 1695 it joined the Frisian Conference, founded in that year. In 1700 there were 118 members who were not supported by the church. In 1738 there was a division (it is not quite clear whether the cause of the division was disharmony). For another 150 years two congregations, the "Oude Huis" and the "Nieuwe Huis," existed side by side. In 1838 the former had 142 members, the latter 46; in 1868 the corresponding figures were 251 and 179. The Oude Huis congregation acquired a new church in 1856. The relationship between the two congregations had gradually become quite friendly. In 1882 when the Nieuwe Huis found itself without a minister the two congregations decided to merge; this took place on 1 January 1887. K. Schuiling, the minister in the Oude Huis at that time, became the minister of the united congregation which at that time had about 400 members. The church building (the original Nieuwe Huis) was sold and in the 1950s was a Reformed church. The membership which in 1900 was 483, was in 1957 only 182. In 1936 the congregation built a new parsonage to replace the one of 1861.
Both the Oude and the Nieuwe Huis congregations were served by lay ministers chosen from the members of the church until shortly after 1800. Sjoerd Ebeles Wieling, called in 1805, was the first educated pastor of the Nieuwe Huis congregation; in the Oude Huis all the untrained preachers retired in 1810 and Jan ter Borg, who had been educated at the Amsterdam Mennonite Seminary, became its preacher. After the merger of 1887 K. Schuiling served until 1889. He was followed by P. Botke 1890-1920, Jacob Hulshoff 1920-1930, A. P. van de Water 1935-1939, Miss C. Soutendijk 1939-1942, E. Daalder 1942-1947, H. C. Valeton 1948-1950, J. P. Jacobszoon 1951-1956, and A. Veldstra 1957- . The church records go back to 1755. In the mid-1950s the congregation had a Sunday school for children and a ladies' circle.
Braght, Thieleman J. van. The Bloody Theatre or Martyrs' Mirror of the Defenseless Christians Who Baptized Only upon Confession of Faith and Who Suffered and Died for the Testimony of Jesus Their Saviour . . . to the Year A.D. 1660. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1951: 484 and 994. Available online at: http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/contents.htm.
Braght, Thieleman J. van. Het Bloedigh Tooneel of Martelaers Spiegel der Doops-gesinde of Weereloose Christenen, Die om 't getuygenis van Jesus haren Salighmaker geleden hebben ende gedood zijn van Christi tijd of tot desen tijd toe. Den Tweeden Druk. Amsterdam: Hieronymus Sweerts, ..., 1685: Part II, 84 and 677.
Cate, Steven Blaupot ten. Geschiedenis der Doopsgezinden in Friesland. Leeuwarden: W. Eekhoff, 1839, passim
Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1887): 147.
Gorter's Doopsgezinde Lectuur. 1858: 7.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 298.
Hoop Scheffer, Jacob Gijsbert de. Inventaris der Archiefstukken berustende bij de Vereenigde Doopsgezinde Gemeente to Amsterdam, 2 vols. Amsterdam: Uitgegeven en ten geschenke aangeboden door den Kerkeraad dier Gemeente, 1883-1884: v. II, Nos. 2177-83.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 52. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Oldeboorn (Friesland, Netherlands)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/O5514.html.
APA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1959). Oldeboorn (Friesland, Netherlands). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/O5514.html.