Menno Simons

Menno Simons (17Kb): ME IV illustrations, p.14
Menno Simons

Menno Simons was an early leader of the Anabaptist movement in Holland. Born in 1496, Simons became a Roman Catholic priest at the age of 28. After a few years, Simons began to have doubts about the church's practice of infant baptism and the Lord's Supper. He did not leave the church immediately, but continued to preach and develop his ideas. In January of 1536 he left his position in the Catholic church and soon led the area's group of Anabaptists.

Menno Simon's House and Linden Tree (10 Kb): "16th Century Anabaptism," slide36
House of Menno Simons

Menno Simons is important to Mennonite history for several reasons:

  1. Many groups which follow their history back to the Anabaptist movement of the 16th century call themselves Mennonites today.
  2. Simons wrote many pamphlets, articles, and books, which have been very important in the development of Mennonite beliefs and practices.
  3. Menno Simons was one of the first Anabaptists to present and explain a peace position as important. This was especially important after the fiasco at Münster.
  4. Simons also wrote about the importance of discipleship and repentance in the life of believers, issues which are still discussed today.

Menno Simons died of natural causes in 1561. The house where Menno Simons lived in Germany still stands, along with a large linden tree which he is said to have planted and under which he was buried.

Created 1998 by Derek Suderman