Texel (Noord-Holland, Netherlands)
Texel is the largest of the Dutch North Sea islands (1953 pop. 10,070, with 902 Mennonites; 2005 pop. 13,803); it belongs to the province of North Holland. Means of subsistence are sheep farming, flower growing, agriculture, and tourist trade. On Texel are found the villages of Den Burg (1953 pop. 2,890; 2001 pop. 6,160), Oudeschild (1953 pop. 775; 2001 pop. 1,145), Den Hoorn (1953 pop. 455; 2001 pop. 443), De Koog (1953 pop. 515; 2001 pop. 775), Oosterend (1953 pop. 910; 2001 pop. 898), De Waal (1953 pop. 275; 2001 pop. 188), and De Cocksdorp (1953 pop. 345; 2001 pop. 481). Anabaptists-Mennonites were found on this island from shortly after 1530. The martyrs Thijs Olbrants and Jan Gerrits, executed in 1543 and 1564, were natives of Texel. Elder Leenaert Bouwens visited the island twice in 1563-82, baptizing 13 persons there. Soon after this the Mennonites of Texel were divided into Waterlanders, Frisians, and Flemish. These branches merged gradually in the 17th-18th centuries. After 1772 there were only two congregations, that of Den Burg, Waal, and Oosterend, and that of Den Hoorn; since 1949 there has been only one congregation, called the Texel Mennonite congregation. For the early history, see Burg, Hoorn, Oosterend, and De Waal.
The Mennonites of Texel, particularly in early times forming an important part of the population, could develop rather undisturbed. Only in 1649 there were some difficulties with the Reformed clergy and the magistrates. In this year Claes Arentsz, elder of Nieuwe Zijpe, on the occasion of a baptismal service at De Waal, Texel, slightingly spoke of infant baptism, and was therefore arrested, but soon set free on bail. Soon after he had to return to the island to answer for his opinions to the Reformed clergy. In this dispute he was assisted by Galenus Abrahamsz and two other preachers of the Amsterdam Lamist congregation.
The Texel congregation in 1958 numbered 572 baptized members; meetinghouses were found at Den Burg, Den Hoorn, Oosterend, De Waal, and De Koog, whereas meetings were also organized at Oudeschild in a rented hall. The meetinghouse at De Koog was dedicated 18 December 1955. In the late 1950s the Texel congregation had two pastors: J. J. J. van Sluys 1954-58, Miss T. van der Zwaag since 1955, and H. van Bilderbeek since 1958. Well-known Mennonite families of Texel were Keyser, Daalder, Eelman, Roeper, and Bakker.
Cate, Steven Blaupot ten. Geschiedenis der Doopsgezinden in Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht en Gelderland, 2 vols. Amsterdam: P.N. van Kampen, 1847: I, 195-197.
Doopsgezind Jaarboekje (1957): 21-25.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 702. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Texel (Noord-Holland, Netherlands)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 25 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/T514.html.
APA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1959). Texel (Noord-Holland, Netherlands). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/T514.html.