Zuidhollandsche Sociëteit (Netherlands)
Zuidhollandsche Sociëteit (South Holland Conference), also called Waterlander Conference, or Lamist Conference, was to some extent a continuation of the Waterlander conferences that had been held from time to time from 1568, as for example in 1647 at Amsterdam. In 1674, when the more conservative churches in North and South Holland organized in the Zonist Sociëteit, the more liberal or Lamist churches made an attempt to found a Lamist conference of all the progressive congregations. This conference as such did not come into being, most North Holland congregations feeling that their Rijper Sociëteit was sufficient. Thereupon, on the initiative of the Rotterdam congregation, the delegates of the four leading churches in Haarlem, (then) South Holland (Amsterdam, Leiden, and Rotterdam) held a meeting at Haarlem on 24 November 1675. This can be considered as the founding of the Zuidhollandsche Sociëteit, in whose meetings, at first held annually, several problems were discussed, but especially the decline of many Lamist churches because of a lack of capable ministers. The suggestion of Rotterdam, supported by Leiden, to start a seminary for the education of ministers was rejected, the Haarlem delegates in particular opposing this plan. In the meantime the Amsterdam Lamist congregation had instructed Galenus Abrahamsz on 5 December 1680, to train young men for the ministry, and in 1692, this Amsterdam church officially founded a seminary, which was led by Galenus Abrahamsz until his death in 1706. The proper task of the Zuidhollandsche Sociëteit having been realized, the conference was dissolved in 1694.
Besides its function in the training of ministers it also in its short life took care of catechetical instruction, mutual aid in filling pulpits, and subsidizing poor congregations. Moreover, Jan van Ranst of Rotterdam, as a delegate of the Zuidhollandsche Sociëteit, gave the impulse for the founding of a Mennonite Conference in Friesland (FDS), founded in 1695.
Apart from the four congregations listed above, the following churches also joined the South Holland conference: Schiedam, Gouda, Delft, Bridle, Weesp-Overmeer, and Bunschoten. A few other congregations like Wormerveer, Krommenie, Medemblik, Monnikendam, Durgerdam, Alkmaar, and Utrecht also occasionally sent delegates to its meetings.
Cate, Steven Blaupot ten. Geschiedenis der Doopsgezinden in Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht en Gelderland, 2 vols. Amsterdam: P.N. van Kampen, 1847: v. II, 90-93.
Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1872): 60-67; (1918): 49-56.
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, Nos. 774-853.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1041. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Zuidhollandsche Sociëteit (Netherlands)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 24 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/Z817.html.
APA style: van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1959). Zuidhollandsche Sociëteit (Netherlands). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/Z817.html.