Schafbusch (Wissembourg, Alsace, France)
Schafbusch, a large farm (Gutshof) 2 miles east of Wissembourg in Alsace, just south of the German border, was formerly the center of the Deutschhof-Geisberg Mennonite congregation. Mennonite families expelled from Switzerland about 1700 settled here as renters and joined with other Mennonites of the vicinity to form the Geisberg-Niederrödern congregation. The Naamlijst of 1776 calls it the Schafsbusch-Röderen-Geisberg congregation. The family names of Schowalter, Borkholder, Müller, Schmitt, Hirschler, and Krämer occur in the 18th century. Services were held in a room reserved for the purpose, called the "Kirchenstube." Later, when the meetings were held in rotation on the various farms the communion services were still held at Schafbusch. In 1860, when the estate passed into non-Mennonite hands, Geisberg became the meeting center. Consequently the name Schafbusch has been dropped from the name of the congregation.
The church records, begun in 1855, and depending for their information on oral and written tradition, list the ministers and dates of ordination as follows: Johann Krehbiel of Niederrödern 1716, Johannes Borkholder of Schafbusch 1739, J. Weldy of Bühl 1775, Elias Dettweiler of Haftelhof 1780, Christian Hirschler of Schafbusch 1786, Johannes Müller of Schafbusch 1790, Heinrich Schmitt of Haftelhof 1790, Johannes Lehmann of Geisberg 1807, Christian Hirschler of Geisberg 1810, Jacob Hauser of Haftelhof 1813, Heinrich Hirschler of Niederrödern 1827, Johannes Lehmann of Niederrödern 1832, and Jacob Schowalter of Deutschhof 1839. This list, compiled so late, is, of course, not complete. Other sources fill in some of the omissions. Ernst Müller names Daniel Hirschler 1762, Hans Greiebüiel (Krehbiel), Jakob Lähmen (Lehmann), Hans Schowalter, and Johannes Miller (Müller). The Dutch Naamlijst names the first three, with the note that Daniel Hirschler held the office of elder from 1736 on.
Schafbusch is now the home of Philipp Hege (ordained elder in 1943), a descendant of Peter Hege of the Branchweilerhof who purchased it in 1912. The buildings of Schafbusch and Geisberg were severely damaged during World War II, but have been rebuilt.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. 3.
Mennonitische Blätter (1855): 41.
Mennonitische Geschichtsblätter (1938): 89.
Müller, Ernst. Geschichte der Bernischen Täufer. Frauenfeld: Huber, 1895. Reprinted Nieuwkoop: B. de Graaf, 1972: 212.
Sommer, Pierre. "Assemblée de Deutschhof-Geisberg." Christ Seul (December 1931): 5-9.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 439. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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To cite this page:
MLA style: Sommer, Pierre. "Schafbusch (Wissembourg, Alsace, France)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 22 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/S33342.html.
APA style: Sommer, Pierre. (1959). Schafbusch (Wissembourg, Alsace, France). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 22 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/S33342.html.