Berlikum (Friesland, Netherlands)

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Doopsgezinde Kerk in Berlikum.
Photo by Kasteelbeer.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Interior and organ of the Doopsgezinde Kerk in Berlikum.
Photo by Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed.
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Berlikum is a village in the Dutch province of Friesland, in existence since 1100, 10 miles (16 km) northwest of Leeuwarden. Centuries ago it was on the shore of the sea (Middelzee) which extended from the north into Friesland. Some peculiar, antique gables indicate the passing of centuries since their building. In the 1950s the village, originally a fishing village, was located two hours from the sea and was inhabited by industrious gardeners. Most of the land was owned by nonresidents, and was rented at a high price. With the small size of the fields and the high rate of rent, the inhabitants could, of course, not be very prosperous.

The members of the Mennonite congregation were also, for the most part, gardeners and not well-to-do. The church originated in the 16th century. There are no written records to give information on its history. Leenaert Bouwens baptized no fewer than 255 persons here between 1551 and 1582. In 1695 the membership was about 50. There is an old account book of 1759 in the archives. Until 1900 there was an old building in the village called the "Oude Vermaning" (old Mennonite meetinghouse). Since the church has very little capital, the Algemene Doopsgezinde Sociëteit and the Friesian Societeit gave it financial support. After having a vacant pulpit for nearly a half century, it was nearly extinct in 1838, the membership having dropped to 12. Then S. Blaupot ten Cate wrote a letter to several congregations asking for contributions "to make the re-establishment of the Berlikum congregation possible," with the result that the congregation again had a preacher in 1839: Sine Hiddes van der Goot, 1839-1871. He was followed by I. Molenaar, 1873-1874; W. C. Schiff, 1876-1877; H. Koekebakker, Jr., 1878-1881; R. Kuperus, 1882-1884; then after a long vacancy I. Reinders, 1897-1937; E. H. Boer, 1938-1941; G. Kater, 1941-1946; and after 1946 Miss S. E. Treffers. The 1950s church building datee from 1841.

The membership increased from 12 in 1838 to 67 in 1861, 52 in 1898, and 143 in 1950. In the 1950s the congregation had a Sunday school, a young people’s organization, and a women’s circle. It was a member of Ring Dantumawoude.


Cate, Steven Blaupot ten. Geschiedenis der Doopsgezinden in Friesland. Leeuwarden: W. Eekhoff, 1839: 88, 189, 206, 246, 247, 306.

Doopsgezinde Bijdragen (1872): 189; (1882): 126.

Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 167.

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. II, No. 1541.

Additional Information

Congregation: Doopsgezinde Gemeente Berlikum

Address: Vermaningsstrjitte 3, 9041 BR, Berlikum

Denominational Affiliation:

Algemene Doopsgezinde Societeit


Map:Berlikum (Friesland)

Author(s) L. Reinders
Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1953

Cite This Article

MLA style

Reinders, L. and Nanne van der Zijpp. "Berlikum (Friesland, Netherlands)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 7 Aug 2020.,_Netherlands)&oldid=143926.

APA style

Reinders, L. and Nanne van der Zijpp. (1953). Berlikum (Friesland, Netherlands). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 7 August 2020, from,_Netherlands)&oldid=143926.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 285. All rights reserved.

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