Gouda (Zuid-Holland, Netherlands)
Gouda, a town in the Dutch province of South Holland (1947 pop. 37,283, with 89 Mennonites; 2004 pop. 71,797). Anabaptism was found here as early as 1534, and in 1542 the Anabaptist Marijtje Simons from Gouda was executed at The Hague. In 1571 Jan Dirksz suffered martyrdom at Gouda, and other citizens who had received their baptism on faith were hunted as heretics but escaped. Did a congregation exist here at that time? We cannot be sure, on account of lack of records. The oldest evidence of a congregation dates from 1626; in this year Adriaen Meyndertsz and Adriaen Jacobsz signed the confession of Outerman. They may be supposed to have been deacons. In 1645 Cornelis Born was a preacher. This congregation, which seems to have been rather prosperous about the middle of the 17th century, belonged to the Flemish wing. Its preachers also took care of the congregations of Boskoop and Schoonhoven. The congregation, of which the strict Hendrik Gijsberts was an elder after 1649, and which during the Lammerenkrijg, the conflict between the more spiritualistic Galenists and the rather dogmatic followers of Samuel Apostool, took the side of the "Apostoolsen," joined the conservative Zonist Societeit. In the second half of the 17th century the membership rapidly decreased. In 1674 there were found about 50 brethren. So the total membership could be estimated at about 120; they numbered only 50 in 1690. In this year a union was made with the Waterlander congregation.
This Waterlander congregation at Gouda, perhaps older than the Flemish, was always smaller than the Flemish church. In 1675 the membership numbered 20 or 25. Robbert Dam was its preacher about 1650, Isaack van Vrede (Vreden) 1677-1680. It joined 1674 the Waterlander (South Holland) Societeit. At the time of the union in 1690, the membership numbered about 30. Both the Flemish and the Waterlander churches of Gouda were often supported by other congregations, especially by those of Rotterdam and Amsterdam, as was also the united congregation.
At the time the two congregations united, the minister was Abraham van Loon, who had first served the Waterlander congregation. Gijsbert Antwerpen was a deacon, first of the Waterlander church (after 1682), then of the United congregation until his death in 1731. He was an influential man, with a warm love for the church, and contributed liberally as did his daughters after his death. Yet the congregation did not flourish. The membership, 44 in 1725, had fallen to 14 in 1770, and in 1795 there were only 10 left. In 1798 the congregation was dissolved and the meetinghouse sold for 800 guilders. This money was given to the Lamist church at Amsterdam, which had given so much support and which assumed the care of a few poor members until their death. So the congregation has died out.
In 1921, 75 Mennonites (baptized) were living in Gouda, in 1947 about 50. A number of years ago these Mennonites formed a circle which organized church meetings four times a year. The congregation of The Hague was in charge of this circle, which numbered 52 members in 1955.
Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1864): 121; (1872): 67; (1892): 103, 108, 124; (1896): 48; (1918): 50, 52.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: II, 150.
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. 109, 247, 613, 708, 778, 781, 846, 907, 1058, 1180, 1248; II, Nos. 1404, 1755-1823, 2063-2064, 2224, 2710-2712; II, 2 No. 336.
De Zondagsbode 35 (1921-22): Nos. 13-17.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, pp. 554-555. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Vos, Karel and Nanne van der Zijpp. "Gouda (Zuid-Holland, Netherlands)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 19 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/gouda_zuid_holland_netherlands.
APA style: Vos, Karel and Nanne van der Zijpp. (1956). Gouda (Zuid-Holland, Netherlands). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/gouda_zuid_holland_netherlands.