Middelharnis (Zuid-Holland, Netherlands)
Middelharnis, a village on Overflakkee, an island in the Dutch province of South Holland, was once the seat of a Flemish Mennonite church, which dated back to the early days. Elias Jansz van Wijlvliet, Coenraet Jansz van Wijlvliet, and Coenraet Philipsz Block of Middelharnis were present at the Flemish meeting in June 1660 at Leiden. Later on the congregation belonged to the Zonsche Sociëteit. The congregation was always small in membership. It had declined to 12 male members by 1747. The congregation was always very poor and for nearly a century Rotterdam contributed to the minister's salary. Also the congregations of Amsterdam and Haarlem supported it, particularly when the church needed repairs in 1779. In 1805 the church was sold (it still existed in the 1950s as a warehouse), and the congregation ceased to exist. Its last preachers were Pieter Beets until 1753, Jacob van Loon 1755-1757, Jan Nieuwenhuyzen 1758-1763, T. G. van Grouw 1764-1770, Abr. Tersier 1771-1805. In the 18th century it was united with Sommelsdijk, where there was also a church. On 7 December 1540 Paulus Harrouts of Middelharnis was burned at the stake at Zierikzee. In 1617 the Mennonite elder Francois de Knuyt of Zierikzee held a public dispute at Middelharnis with the Reformed pastor Abr. Stamperius on infant baptism.
Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1864): 121; (1880): 50; (1908): 106-114.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon., 4 v. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 132.
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. 1164, 1180; II, Nos. 2109-41.
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