Almelo (Overijssel, Netherlands)
Almelo is a town in the Dutch province of Overijssel (population in 2006 is about 72,000). According to tradition a Mennonite family by the name of Warnaars came here from Flanders in about 1550, bringing with them a linen factory. The existence of a congregation here in the early period is surmised, but there is no evidence of its existence before 1601. In 1629 the congregation seems to have belonged to the Flemish. About 1650 a number of Mennonites from Westphalia came to Almelo. For a time meetings were held in a yarn house, since most of the members were weavers; in 1684 a church was built, which was remodeled and enlarged in 1791. (The church still has an interesting clock and two decorative vases, made by the noted clockmaker Hendrik van Heilbronn,a physician and member of the congregation, placed in 1791.) At this time the organ was added. In 1927 the church was entirely renovated. The parsonage, a characteristic old house, was sold in 1874.
The congregation, which was Flemish in the seventeenth century and united with the Zonist Societeit in the eighteenth, has always been small. In 1730 the membership was 130. In the course of the eighteenth century the membership decreased markedly, the cause of the decline being no doubt chiefly the internal dissension in the congregation. The very conservative Jacobus Rijsdijk was minister of the congregation from 1715 to 1723 and from 1742 to 1744. In 1844 there were only seventy-three members; since that time the membership has been increasing somewhat; 125 in 1900 and 185 in 1950. Some of the members live in surrounding villages.
Old documents possessed by the congregation are an Armenboek with records from 1692, a Protocolboek from 1715 to 1771, and a Kerkeboek opened in 1754.
Over and over again the congregation had difficulty with the baron of Almelo (Graaf van Regteren): in 1746 regarding the calling of R. Klopper as minister, in 1775 regarding the wife of a member of the Reformed Church who joined the Mennonite congregation, in 1790 regarding an organ that had been put into the church. With the dawn of freedom and equality for the Mennonites in 1795 these problems disappeared. In that year the Mennonite minister Gerardus ten Cate delivered an address in the Reformed Church, "Feestrede over de staatkundige toestand."
The ministers from 1746 to 1955 have been Reinier Klopper, 1746-1752; Gerardus ten Cate until 1755; Pieter Beets, 1756-1771; Gerardus ten Cate (the second time), 1772-1810; Egbert David ten Cate, 1811-1838; Cornelis Cardinaal, Jr., 1838-1873; Isaak Molenaar, 1875-1876; Anne Willem Huidekoper, 1877-1878; August Snellen, 1879-1886; Bauke Haga, 1888-1891; Wiebe J. van Douwen, 1891-1911; Petrus Marinus Heringa, 1912-1920; L. G. Holtz, 1921-1927; O. T. Hylkema, 1928-1939; N. van der Zijpp, 1940-1946; H. Luikinga, 1947-1949; S. Gosses Gzn. after 1950.
The congregation belongs to Ring (district) Twenthe. In the 1950s it had an organization for the women, one for the men, one for young people, and a Sunday school.
Cate, Steven Blaupot ten. Geschiedenis der Doopsgezinden in Groningen, Overijssel en Oost-Friesland, 2 vols. Leeuwarden: W. Eekhoff en J. B. Wolters, 1842: v. I and II, passim.
Heeringa, G. Uit het verleden der Doopsgezinden in Twenthe. Borne (O.): J. Over & Zoon, [ca. 1929]: 22-29, 83-85.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 35.
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. I, 571, and II, 1470 f.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 64-65. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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To cite this page:
MLA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Almelo (Overijssel, Netherlands)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1955. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/A4495.html.
APA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1955). Almelo (Overijssel, Netherlands). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/A4495.html.