At first the Waterlander congregation held its meetings in a large room of a private quarter near the city wall, but in 1654 a meetinghouse was erected on the Singel, which held 600 persons. This meetinghouse, being rather uncomfortable and moreover in a dilapidated condition, was rebuilt in 1842 (dedicated on 10 April) and in 1855 provided with a beautiful entrance hall. It is still used by the congregation. A large hall, called "Mennozaal," used for all kinds of congregational activities, was built in 1927 close to the church. A parsonage next to the church was built in 1900-1901.
In 1695 (earlier figures are missing) the membership numbered about 200; 392 in 1796; 310 in 1838; 347 in 1861; 434 in 1900; 452 in 1958.
During the 18th century not all Mennonites living at Sneek belonged to the Waterlander congregation; a small number, more conservative in maintaining the old Mennonite doctrines and church discipline as well as in simplicity of dress, were members of the Groningen Old Flemish congregation at neighboring Ijlst. In 1746, however, the 17 members of this congregation who lived at Sneek, particularly it seems on the instigation of Wouter Berends, a wealthy brother of advanced age, separated from Ijlst and founded an independent Groningen Old Flemish congregation at Sneek. A house on the Kleinzand belonging to Wouter Berends was adapted as a meetinghouse, and Yde Rienks was called as their pastor, serving 1746-died 1763. The membership soon increased: 34 in 1754, 43 in 1767. Such outstanding families as ten Cate and Veen belonged to the Kleinzand congregation. Pastor Rienks was followed by Hidser S. Hoekstra, serving 1764-1772, and J. U. Siedsma 1775-d.l838, from 1831 assisted by the preachers of Kromwal and IJlst. In the course of time, particularly from about 1790, most members of the ten Cate and Veen families and some others left the Kleinzand church to join the "Groote Huis" or Singel congregation. In 1839 the Groningen Old Flemish group merged with the Singel congregation, after an attempt at such a merger in 1813 had miscarried.
The congregation meeting on the Singel had always been served by ministers chosen from the brethren until the early 18th century. In 1746 Klaas Bruin, called from the outside, was the first salaried preacher, serving until about 1773; he had not been trained at the Amsterdam Mennonite seminary. The first minister from the seminary to serve here was Albertus van Delden 1773-97, followed by Pieter Wepkes Feenstra 1797-1842, Izaak de Stoppelaar Blijdenstein 1842-57, J. A. J. Versiege 1858-88, L. Hesta 1889-90, V. Loosjes 1890-1912, H. Schuurmans 1912-33, W. Mesdag 1934-46, and M. van der Meulen 1946- .
Church records have been preserved since 1667. Church activities now include a ladies' circle, men's circle, and a Sunday school for children.
Brandt, G. Historie der Reformatie II Amsterdam, (1674): 3, 12-14.
Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1861): 141 f.; (1873): 88 f.; (1890): 87-123; (1892): 89-98; (1901): 15.
Doopsgezind Jaarboekje (1840): 25 f., (1850): 47 f.
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. 607-9: v. II, No. 487.
|Author(s)||Nanne van der Zijpp|
Cite This Article
van der Zijpp, Nanne. "Sneek (Friesland, Netherlands)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 23 Oct 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Sneek_(Friesland,_Netherlands)&oldid=96459.
van der Zijpp, Nanne. (1959). Sneek (Friesland, Netherlands). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 October 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Sneek_(Friesland,_Netherlands)&oldid=96459.
Herald Press website.
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