Weber, Peter (1731-1781)
Peter Weber, a Mennonite preacher of the Palatinate, Germany, who played a leading role in German pietistic circles, was born probably in 1731 at Hardenberg near Dürkheim an die Haardt. He experienced an early conversion through reading the writings of Johannes Deknatel. About 1750 he married Katharina Schmidt, establishing himself in Hardenberg as a weaver. In 1757/8 he was chosen preacher in the congregation at Höningen. His influence began to widen, having a marked almost revivalistic effect, but also meeting opposition. On 30 December 1758, Weber and three other preachers were removed from their office. Soon Adam Krehbiel was also removed from office. Serious division threatened the Palatinate congregations on the issue of Pietism. From the Deknatel group in Holland came support and encouragement for Weber, who had visited Amsterdam in 1757. The division was deepened by Weber's publication of a sharply polemic tract, Vermahnendes Bekenntnis, wie die Lehrer nach der Schrift geartet sein müssen, aus Menno gezogen und in den Druck gegeben von einem Freund der Wahrheit. Weber continued to hold private Bible study meetings and even public meetings, which led to the fear he would start a new Mennonite group. A second "silencing" of Weber by the churches resulted in complete cessation of all his activities. In 1763 peace was finally restored, partly through the efforts of Lorenz Friedenreich, the influential elder of Neuwied. In 1778 Weber moved to Kindenheim, where he died 8 September 1781. He shared in the publication of the 1780 edition of the Martyrs' Mirror at Pirmasens.
Peter Weber was an unusually powerful preacher, widely used in the Palatinate Mennonite churches and beyond, with an extensive acquaintance and wide correspondence with Pietist leaders.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. IV.
Neff, Christian. Mennonitischer Gemeinde-Kalender (1930): 61-102.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 906. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Bender, Harold S. "Weber, Peter (1731-1781)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 23 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/W4337.html.
APA style: Bender, Harold S. (1959). Weber, Peter (1731-1781). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/W4337.html.