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Rijkman Roelofs, a member of the Rijkmans family, born circa 1750, was baptized at Zuidveen, Dutch province of Overijssel, by a preacher of the (New) Flemish Mennonite congregation of Giethoorn Zuid; but this baptism was not recognized in the Old (Danzig) Flemish congregation of Zuidveen. Disagreements of this sort led to dissension and division in the congregation, and thus also to strife about the meetinghouse and possessions of the congregation. Whereas the conservative congregation, which was much the smaller of the two, died out early in the 19th century, the larger one persisted, and built a new church at near-by Steenwijk in 1848. In this congregation Rijkman was a leader. In 1774 he was one of two deacons chosen by the congregation. In 1796, when a new preacher had been chosen, Roelofs was asked to confirm him as elder. On this occasion Roelofs presented the preacher, Reinder Pieters Veen, with three questions; (1) whether he considered his choice by the congregation good and in accord with requirements; (2) whether in his preaching he was willing to remain on the foundation of the Old and New Testaments and Anabaptist principles; and (3) whether he was ready to serve the congregation with the signs of the covenant, that is, baptism and communion. The preacher answered the questions affirmatively and promised, with the help of the Lord, to fulfill these requirements.

In 1802, when an assistant preacher was considered necessary, Roelofs again circulated a document inquiring whether the appointment of a new preacher was considered necessary and how much the members would be willing to contribute to his support. The questions were answered affirmatively and a relatively high sum was collected. When the next pulpit vacancy occurred Roelofs appealed to Professor Hesselink, of the Amsterdam Mennonite Seminary, since they did not want an untrained preacher. In other instances as well, Roelofs took serious interest in the welfare of the congregation, finally as secretary of the church council. In 1806 he and his sister gave the congregation an organ, and in 1816 he enlarged the church building at his own expense.

[edit] Bibliography

Bijl, A. J. "De Scheuring in 1774 onder de Doopsge-zinden te Zuidveen." Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1878): 1-37.

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, 102, 104, 218, 239; v. II, 68.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 527.

Author(s) Ernst Crous
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Crous, Ernst. "Roelofs, Rickman (18th century)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 30 Nov 2015.,_Rickman_(18th_century)&oldid=106684.

APA style

Crous, Ernst. (1959). Roelofs, Rickman (18th century). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 30 November 2015, from,_Rickman_(18th_century)&oldid=106684.

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 351. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.

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