Kress, Simon (d. before 1617)
Simon Kress came from Gündelbach, Maulbronn district of Württemberg, Germany, the home of Bartholomäus Riegel. Simon Kress was an unusually zealous missionary for the Hutterian Brethren in Moravia, preaching in his home town and vicinity (1574) and in the region of Schorndorf, was seized in Oberurbach near Schorndorf and taken to Wittingen on 12 November 1582.
In 1589 it was reported in the synodus, which was a conference of the consistory, the church council, and the general superintendent, that the bailiff of the castle was permitting Kress to go about freely and work outside the castle grounds. Although the magistrate and superintendent of Urach had protested, it remained thus. In 1596 Pastor Tobias Fetzer in Wittlingen admitted that the two Anabaptist prisoners, Simon Kress of Gündelbach and Hans Dauber of Illingen, conducted themselves modestly, kindly, and friendly, and had asked to be permitted to go to church. They actually came to church, accompanied by the bailiff of the castle, sang the psalms with the rest, listened to the sermon, by nods and gestures indicated their approval of the pastor's words, and indicated disapproval by shaking their heads. This confused the congregation; it seemed to them that something contrary to Scripture was being said. Therefore the permission to attend church was withdrawn. The bailiff thought the prisoners ought to cut down some willow thickets into pasture. With pick and hoe it would be easier to convert them than with the Bible.
Their imprisonment continued. The Urach Pfarrelationen of 1603 state that Kress has become quieter, less defiant than Hans Dauber. In 1605 Kress received a visit from his wife and son, who persuaded him to present a petition: if he could return to his home, he would promise not to enter into a discussion with anyone, but attend quietly to his business. It is not known whether or not he was released. In any case, by 1617 he had died.
Beck, Josef. Die Geschichts-Bücher der Wiedertäufer in Oesterreich-Ungarn. Vienna, 1883; reprinted Nieuwkoop: De Graaf, 1967: 198.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 567 f.
Wolkan, Rudolf. Geschicht-Buch der Hutterischen Brüder. Macleod, AB, and Vienna, 1923.
Zieglschmid, A. J. F. Die älteste Chronik der Hutterischen Brüder: Ein Sprachdenkmal aus frühneuhochdeutscher Zeit. Ithaca: Cayuga Press, 1943.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 240. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Bossert, Gustav, Sr. "Kress, Simon (d. before 1617)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1957. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/kress_simon_d._before_1617.
APA style: Bossert, Gustav, Sr. (1957). Kress, Simon (d. before 1617). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/kress_simon_d._before_1617.