Zonist Conference (Zonsche Sociëteit). Soon after the founding of the Amsterdam Zonist congregation (see Zonists) Samuel Apostool and other Zonist leaders tried to win over other churches to their views: in 1665, for example, Apostool visited several congregations in the province of Zeeland. As early as 9 September 1664, a meeting of conservative leaders held at Utrecht drew up the outline of the Verbondt van Eenigheydt, which was approved and signed by the delegates of 23 Zonist churches at a second meeting held at Leiden 1, 2 October 1664. In this Verbondt they agreed upon certain principles, such as the strict maintenance of the Mennonite confessions of faith and rejection of Collegiantism. On the basis of the Verbondt a conference was founded on 18 July 1674. In the booklet Grondt-steen van Vreede en Verdraegsaemheit other churches were invited to join the Zonist conference, which in 1674 embraced the 23 churches that had signed the Verbondt in 1664 and some 25 others. In 1787 the Zonist conference still comprised 39 congregations. Meetings were held annually until 1787, thereafter every two years, from 1684 to 1796 in the Amsterdam Zonist meetinghouse. The purpose of this conference, which was promoted chiefly by the Amsterdam Zonist church, was to maintain the old Mennonite doctrines as formulated in the confessions of faith. Attempts made in 1684 and 1688 to reunite with the Lamists failed; likewise a conference between the Zonists and Groningen Old Flemish in 1766 failed to bring about a desired merger. In 1766 the annual Zonist conference approved the project of having a new confession of faith drawn up by Cornelis Ris; it was introduced by the Hoorn congregation, but was not officially accepted by the conference until 1776, and even then it was used in only a few Zonist churches. In 1796 the Zonist congregation of Amsterdam withdrew because it no longer wished to stand for the principles of the conference, and because it was preparing a merger with the Amsterdam Lamist congregation. This actually meant the end of the Zonist conference, which did not hold any meetings after 25 May 1796.
Cate, Steven Blaupot ten. Geschiedenis der Doopsgezinden in Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht en Gelderland. 2 v. Amsterdam: P.N. van Kampen, 1847: I, 344; v. II, 81-90.
Doopsgezind Jaarboekje (1940): 58 f.
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: I, Nos. 885-944.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1038. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Zonist Conference." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/Z745.html.
APA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1959). Zonist Conference. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/Z745.html.