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Full text of "Mennonite church history"

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Mennonite church history / J. s Hartzle 



olin 



3 1924 029 463 811 



Cornell University 
Library 



The original of tliis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924029463811 



MennonlterhurchJNistory 



BY 

J. S. HARTZLER, 

INSTRUCTOR IN GOSHEN COLLEGE, 
AND 

DANIEL KAUFFMAN, 

AUTHOR cf "MANUAL OF BIBLE DOCTRINES," "ONE HUNDRED 

LESSONS IN BIBLE STUDY," "A TALK WITH 

CHURCH MEMBERS," ETC. 



^ 



PUBLISHED BY '- '^'1 V t \{ [. | ■[ y 

Mennonite Book ani Tract Society, [ j j; (. ,, ,,.,, 

SCOTTDALE. PENNSYLVANIA. ■> '- 'v 1 
190S. 

EL 









k- 



%^(fi^dO 






Zo all of our Jfellow HHorkers, 

Who so generously assisted in collecting tte infor- 
mation necessary in compiling tkis volume, and aideJ 
us by tneir encouragement and advice; 



Co all wbo Stan& in tbe Succeseion, 

In exemplifying in tneir lives tke principles of tke 
Gospel or Cnrist; 



Zo all of ®ur l^oung people, 

\Vno sKould kno'w tne record or tke ckurck of our 
fatkers, tkat tkey may profit ky tkeir mistakes and 
imitate tkeir virtues: 

TLbis IDolume is affectionately UnscribeD. 



^ntvahnctovvi* 



STHE need of a work of this kind has long been apparent. If 
writing history would be as easy as talking about it is, 
many more books on the subject would have been written. 

At one time it was proposed to form a historical association 
for the purpose of collecting all the historical data which could be 
found, and which were necessary for a complete Mennonite his- 
tory. The proposition met with favor, but was never acted upon. 

January 31, 1902, marks the date when the undersigned to- 
gether with A. D. Wenger, of MillersviJle, Pennsylvania, and A. B. 
Kolb, of Elkhart, Indiana, agreed to take the matter in hand, collect 
the necessary information, and write the book themselves. A circu- 
lar letter was issued, and the work started. We had not gone very 
far, however, until we all fotmd ourselves overwhelmed with other 
duties, and for nearly two years the work was almost suspended. 
About a vear ago, we found ourselves free to go on witli the work, 
and began writing in earnest. Rut on account of feeble health, 
and numerous duties as pastor and evangelist, A. D. Wenger 
asked to be relieved of his share of the work. This request was 
granted with reluctance. He, however, has been of great help 
to us by way of gathering information and giving advice, which 
was much needed. Later on our other colaborer in this work, 
A. B. Kolb, also asked to be excused. Thus cur force was re- 
duced to half what it was when we began. 

We cannot begin to tell the names of all wlio so kindly as- 
sisted us in gathering" information. From every quarter there 
came letteis telling of the work of conferences, congregations, and 
individual^. Tn this, of course, there were some exceptions, and 



8 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

some congregations and conference districts did not receive their 
proportionate share of notice because m'C could not get the facts; 
Bat as a rnle, the brethren responded nobly. Several sent in re- 
ports so complete that we simply remodeled them a iittic to corres- 
pond with the rest of the book. Their names will be found at the 
head of the chapters. Equal credit is due to several brethren who 
prepared tables, so complete that they were not even rewritten. 
But for tliese and others who sent information, this bock could 
not have been written. Our hearts are full of gratitude to all who 
so nobly assisted in the work. May they find much pleasure in 
perusing the pages of this book in which they showed so much 
interest, and for which they performed such valuable service. 

In compiling statistics and recording records, we were as 
careful as we could be. We believe that our contributors were 
careful in their statements of facts, and have the confidence to be- 
lieve that the statistics herein found are reliable. But we know 
tliat "to err is human," and expect after the work is published, 
to be reminded of many mistakes made. In compiling the church 
statistics of the present, we copied from the "'Mennonite Year 
Book and Directory," published by the "Mennonite Board of Chari- 
table Homes and Missions," except in instances where we received 
later and more direct information. 

It will be seen that there are different kinds of Mennorfites 
si>okcn of in this volume. What to c<all them was a question. We 
decided to take them as recognized legally, '.i'lie original bodj- of 
American Mennonites who have retained their organization since 
the first American Mennonite settlement at Germantov.'n are 
simply named (as recognized by the government) "Mennonite." 
The rest are named by their prefixes and suffixes, as they of- 
ficially style themselves, or as they are generally known by others. 
As has been said, "There are a number of Mennonite bodies in 
America, but only one Mennonite body without a prefi.x or suffix." 
Closely allied with them is the main body of Amish Mennonites, 
who hold their membership in three conferences: "Eastern Dis- 
trict,'' "Indiana-Michigan" and "Western District." The mait» 
questions which separated the two bodies in the days of Jacob 
Amnion — shunning and feet-Ava.shing — no longer keep them sep- 



INTRODUCTION. 9 

arate, as they now agi-ee on both questions, and it is by many be- 
lieved to be only a question of time when the two bodies will be 
working together in the same organization. 

Concerning the other Mennonite bodies in America, no one liv- 
ipg today is prophet enough to foretell whether they will con- 
tinue to remain independent, eventually unite with other denomi- 
nations, become dissolved, or be riicrged again into one body. It 
was our work to record briefly their history, and let the future take 
care of itself. 

History should be studied, not merely for the sake 01 knowing 
what has happened, but rather that we mav liave something to 
profit by in future work. Study the career of the people herein 
mentioned, profit by their example. Wherein >ou see them tread- 
ing in the footsteps of their Savior, imitate their example. What- 
ever portion of their record does not bear the test of Scripture 
should be remembered only that we may avoid their mistakes. 
With the hope that the recorr! of the churcli mf>y be a means of 
inspiration to some, to press on in the work with a mind to imitate 
the virtues which made their record glorious, and avoid the m-^- 
takes which marred it at times, we submit the following for your 
perusal and study. 

J. S Haktzler. 

Daniel Kauffman. 






Hable of Contents 



Chapter. Pages. 

Introductory 7"9 

I. The Church of the First Century 15-24 

II. From John to Constantine 25-42 

III. Rise of Romanism AZS^ 

IV. In the Succession 52-77 

Novatians — Catharists — Paulicians — 
Henricahs — Al'bigenses — Waldenses 
— Anabaptists. 

V. Menno Simon 78-89 

VI. The Mennonites in Europe 90-112 

Mennonites in the Netherlands — Men- 
nonites in Switzerland — Hutterites in 
Moravia — Mennonites in the Palati- 
nate — Brethren in Prussia — Menno- 
nites in Russia — Mennonite Principles. 

VII. A Visit Among the Mennonites of Europe. .113-124 

VIII. European Settlements in Am^-ica 125-134 

Germantown — Lancaster County — 
' Swiss Jilennonites — Russian Menno- 

nites. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



II 



Chapter. • Pages. 

IX. The Amis!' Mennonites i35-ii;9 

Defenseless Mennonites — Illinois Con- 
ference of Mennonites. 

X. Franoonia Conference ^ 160-171 

XI. Lancaster County Conference 172-igo 

Lebanon County — York County — 
Cumberlrcnd Counts' -^ Jtiniata and 
Snyder Counties. 

XII. Washington County, Maryland, and 

Franklin County, Pennsylvania, Con- 
ference 191-197 

XIII. Virginia Conference 198-224 

XIV. Southwestern Penns^'Ivania Conference. . . 235-236 

XV. Ca,nada Conference 237-249 

XVI. ^ Eastern Aniish Mennonite Conference.... 250-255 

XVII. Ohio Conference 256-272 

XVIII. Indi.'ina-Michigan Conference 273-284 

XIX. Indiana- Michigan (A. M.) Conference ... 2S5-289 

XX. Illinois Conference 290-293 

XXI. Missouri-Iowa Conference 294-299 

XXII. Kansas-Ni.'braska Conference 300-305 

XXIII. Western Di.'^trict Conference 306-312 

XXIV. Nebraska- Minnesota Conference 313-316 



12 MENNONiTE CHURCH HISTORY. 

Chapter. * Pages. 

XXV. Northwestern Conference 317-318 

XXVI. Schisms 319-32^ 

XXVII. Reformed Ailennonites i Herrites) 323-325 

XXVIII. General Conference Mennonites (New 

School) 326-335 

XXIX. Church of God in Christ ( Roldemanites ) . . 336-338 

XXX. Wisler Mennonites 339-342 

XXXI. Mennonite Brethren in Christ 343-346 

XXXII. Missions 347-357 

XXXIII. Mennonites and Ediication 358-362 

XXXIV. Mennonite General Conference 363-368 

XXXV. Retrospect and Prospect 369-372 

List of Books Consulted 373-374 

. BppenDij 

Mennonite Confession of Faith 376-395 

Mennonites Protest Against Slavery 396-398 

Deed to First Mennonite Church at Germantown 399-400 

Two Interesting Letters 401-405 

The Address to the Church by the Preliminary General 

Conference Meeting (1S97) 406-409 



Xist of HUustrations 



Page. 
As Moses Lifted Up tlie Serpent 14 

Small Vise Used to Torture Early Mennonites 121 

Mennonite Church at Gerinantown 128 

The Old Hertzier Home 137 

Doylesitown Church 162 

Rohrerstown Churdh 174 

Kinzers Church 184 

Berlin Church, Ontario 241 

American Mennonite Mission, Dhamtari, India 354 

Goshen College 360 







1'^i'jjis.j;. i'S:i&iic:im&M. 



Mennonite Church History, 



CHAPTER I. 

THE CHURCH OF THE FIRST CENTURY. 

Sacred history takes us back nearly six thousand years to the 
creation. Since that time empires have risen and fallen, leaving 
their record in the annals of history. Some may find delight in 
studying the motives and customs of the people of Egypt, Babylon 
and other powers of that ancient period, while others care little 
about what occurred before that memorable night when the Son of 
God came to earth as the Savior of men and the heavens shone 
with celestial light as through the air rang the song of: 
"Glory to God in the highest, 
And on earth, peace, good will toward men." 

We love to watch the growth of that kingdom of which the 
Babe of Bethlehem is the Head. Born in poverty and nurtured 
in a humble home among the hills of Gali- 
The Babe of Bethlehem lee, He learned even before He began His 
ministry, to sympathize with the lowly 
and the unfortunate in their trials. When he arrived at the required 
age of priestly consecration (see Num. 4 :3, 35 ; Luke 3 :23) , He 
"was baptized of John in Jordan." Like his forerunner. His prin- 
cipal theme was "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." 
The self-righteous Pharisees were not favorably inclined toward 
the teadhings of this meek and lowly Lamb of God, but constantly 
opposed Him in His work. He was a friend of publicans and 
sinners, because He realized that they needed His help, and in 
many cases, were the most ready to receive His admonitions. 
His heart was filled with sadness when He saw the blindness of 
the people. He cast a longing loolJ at the rich young ruler, viewed 
with sorrow the inconsistencies at the temple, and wept over the 
sad condition of proud Jerusalem. Even among the twelve whom 



i6 MENNONJ.TE CHURCH HISTORY. 

He ordained there was none who fully understood His true mis- 
sion, but hoped to see temporal Israel restored to its former 
grandeur in which they were to occupy prominent places. 

He observed the sacred feasts at Jerusalem before, but we 
are especially interested in the one at which He said, "With desire 
T have desired to eat this passover 
His Work, Death, Bur- with you before I suiter," for there was in- 
ial and Resurrection, stituted that grand memorial by which we 
are reminded that "Christ our passover is 
sacrificed for us." This event brought with it that most touching 
and venerable sermon and prayer recorded in John 14-17, after 
which He and the twelve resorted to that favorite garden 
where, burdened with the sin of the world. He wrestled with God 
in agonizing prayer. The pangs of the cross were in sight. 
Finally He could say, "It is finished." That sacred head was 
bowed in death. He was placed in the tomb, but no sepulchre 
could hold the Mighty God. He arose, remained on earth forty 
days, then ascended to the right hand of the Father. His faithful 
followers had lost one who had been a great comfort to them, 
but they were not to be left alone. The Spirit came to abide, 
teach, remind, be a witness, convict, guide, declare future events, 
and glorify. So wonderfully did this Comforter do His work, 
that in a very short time the church was increased by the 
thousands. 

The work of Stephen, one of the seven deacons at Jerusalem, 
may well be termed an epoch in church history. Who of the 
twelve would have thought of disputing with freed slaves and 
people who were banished from other cit- 
The Growth and Scat- ies? Who else of all that vast multitude 
tering of the ChurcK of believers would have taken such aggres- 
sive steps as to bring on general perse- 
cution ? Regardless of the command to go into all the world and 
preach the gospel to every nation, there seemed to be a tendency 
to gather only a certain class into one church at Jerusalem. 
Stephen first began to reach oat. Persecution came as a result. 
Believers were scattered, and repentance and salva.tion through 
Christ was preached in other lands. The leader in bringing these 



CHURCH OF THE FIRST CENTURY. ly 

trials upon the defenseles's people was a young man of energy 
and ability, well educated, a Pharisee, and possessing the privi- 
leges of a Roman citizen. 

This man, Saul of Tarsus, was "exceedingly mad against 
them" and as the faith spread, he began to persecute "even unto 
■strange cities," but he was miraculously converted and became a 

great worker among the Gentiles. Damas- 
Saui of Tarsus. cus, Arabia, and his native city were among 

the first fields of labor. Jerusalem did not 
continue much longer to be the center of activities in the Christian 
religion. Barnabas and others had been laboring at Antioch in 
Syria for some time. The work became too great for them and 
Barnabas sought the aid of Saul. The growth of the church at 

this place was remarkable. Some time 
The Church at An- after the death of John, tlie last of the 
tioch in Syria. Twelve, the church here numbered a hun- 

dred thousand members and three thousand 
pastors and teachers. It was here that the name Christian was 
first applied to believers. 

The council at Jerusalem, about 51 A. D., to which Paul 
(formerly called Saul) and Barnabas were appointed as delegates, 
made decisions which greatly affected the Gentile Christians and 

•brought Antioch into prominence. From 
Council at Jerusalem; this place Paul started on his missionary 
Three Missionary journeys in which he traveled more than 

Journeys. eight thousand miles ; a wonderful work 

when we remember that about one-half of 
fhe journey was made on land and on foot. Luke, in the Acts of the 
Apostles, gives only a small part of his trials. For a more com- 
plete picture see II Cor. 11 123-28. 

While the church was growing in parts of Palestine, Syria, 
and Asia Minor, events were occurring at Rome which will ever 
remain a blot on her 'history. Nero, possibly the greatest human 

monster that ever sat on the Roman throne, 
Nero and His Reign. threw off all restraint during the last 

years of this reign. His mother, sister, 
and wife were hurried to the grave by his wicked hand. Tlien 



i8 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

followed the execution of some of the most illustrious men of the 
empire. Simpl}' a suspicion of disfavor caused him to look for 
some excuse to call for their death. In July 64, A. D., nearly two- 
thirds of the city of Rome was destroyed by fire. W'hile the 
fire was raging- at its highest, Nero ascended a tower and ex- 
idtingly sang. "Troy is on fire" and seemed to rejoice at the 
misery which the calamity produced. People believed that the 
fire had been started by the emperor himself. Popular indignition 
knew no bounds. To relieve himself from suspicion, he claimed 
that the Christians were the authors of the awful deed and at 
once began the first general persecution. The suffering tvas 

terrible. Many were wrai>ped in garments 
First General Perse- . . , 1 -i , 1 • r 4. 

covered with pitch and oil and chained to 

the stake. Their clothes were then lighted 

and the flames dispelled the darkness of the night, typical of the 

darkness of the age. (_)ther methods of punishment are shown 

b}' the crucifixion of Peter, head downward, and the beheading 

of Paul. Both of these took place during this reign. Nero, the 

author of the persecution, committed suicide in the year 6S. 

It was during^ this year that two daughters of a Christian 
named \'alentinian of Aquila, a city in Eg\-pt, received instruc- 
tions in the doctrines of the Bible and were baptized b^- a minister 
named Plermagoras. This is the first recorded instance outside 
of the scripture, of any one being received into church fellowship. 

During the reign of Nero, a Jewish war broke out. It was 
caused by the oppression which the emperor brought upon the 
Je\\s. The governor of .Syria was sent to subdue the rebellion 
but was repulsed with heav)' loss. \^espasian was then sent with 
a large Roman arm}- to take Jerusalem. Some time after the death 
of Nero, Vespasian was proclaimed emperor, his son Titns taking 
command of the army. The latter completely destroyed the city 
and Jewish temple in 70 A. D. The suffering on the part of the 
Jews was intense. In referring to it, the Savior said. "For then 
shall be great tribulation,' such -as hath not been froni the begin- 
ning of the world until now, nor ever shall be." 

The Roman army surrounded the city with a view of stai-\'ing 
the inhabitants into siilDmission? This would have required many 



CHURCH OF THE FIRST CENTURY. 19 

years* if conditions within the cit}' had been favorable, but they 
were not. Discord was found on every hand. Three distinct 
bodies were finally formed each of which seemed as desirous to 
kill the other as they were to destroy the Romans. Aside from this, 
robbery was found on every band. The people living between the 
camps of these opponents were often placed in the most trying- 
circumstances. Many longed for the success of the Romans, ex- 
pecting to receive better treatment at the hands of their enemies 
than from the enraged and seemingly crazy Jews. The cries of 
the suffering were often beard above the din of battle. Many 
were slain by one of the three quarrelsome bodies while trying to 
escape from the dty and flee to the Romans. Others took 
the last morsel of bread from their perishing children to satisfy 
their ravenous appetites. Hunger became so intense that human 
flesh was eaten. As the siege proceeded Titus succeeded in cap- 
turing so many of the Jews that five hundred or more of them 
were crucified daily. "Room was wanting for the crosses, and 
crosses for the bodies. "t Truly, their punishment was wonderful. 

^ ,, ^ , ■ , The believers had been reminded of the 

Fall of Jerusalem; 

Flight and Return lof prophecy of Daniel and were told when and 

Believers. ^[ovf to escape. It is said that not one 

Christian perished. Perfect obedience brings even temporal 
blessings. 

This ended the history of the Jews as a nation. Despised and 
persecuted, the}- have since that time had no national existence 
and are scattered throughout the world. Possibly nothing else 
could have shaken so completely the faith of the Jews living in 
other parts of the world, as to know that their religious capital, 
and especially their temple had been destroyed. Eusebius, the 
father of churdi history, who lived in the early part of the fifth 
century, tells us that after the overthixiw of Jerusalem and the 
burning of the temple, a vast number of Jews accepted Ohris- 
tianity. During the thirteen years reign of Vespasian and his 
son, Titus, the Christians enjoyed hiuch freedom in religion. It 

*Josephus, Book V. Ch. I. 
tJosephus, Book V. Ch. JX. 



20 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

has even 'been suggested that during the latter part of bis reign, 
Tittis secretly espoused Christianity. 

After tilie fall of Jerusalem, the believers who lived there wei'e 
obliged to seek a new home. Tliey went to Pella, a city east of Jor- 
dan. In course of time, a number of them, accompanied by their 
bishop, Symeon, returned to Jerusalem and re-established a 
church there. 

From those Who remained at Pella arose the two sects 
known as NazareneS and Ebionites ? The Nazarenes, unlike their 
brethren who returned to Jerusalem, continued to observe many 
of the cerem'cn'ies of the Mosaic law and closel}- resembled the 
Judaizing teachers which caused Paul so .much trouble in his 
missionary work. The Ebionites denied the divinity of Christ. 
They claimed tliat He was born of hu- 
The Nazarenes and man parents and was in no sense divine 

Ebionites. until the Holy Spirit came upon Him 

at His baptism, and thereby made 
Him the Son of God. They accepted "the whole of the Old 
Testament, but rejected the New with the exception of the gosi^el 
of Matthew, from which they removed everything pertaining to 
the miraculous conception and birth of Christ. It seems strange 
that people living in the country where Jesus taught, suffered aiid 
died, should so soon accept such heretical ideas. 

Several other factions arose in the cliurch during the first 
century which were even more heretical than the Ebionites. The 
origin of these sects can usually be traced to some ambitious lead- 
ers who sought personal glory rather than the advancement of 
truth. Most prominent among these, were the Gnostics and the 
Nicolaitans. The doctrine of the former was a combination of 
Oriental theology, Greek philosophy, Judaism and teachings from 
the Gospel. Tlie First Epistle of John contains the most em- 
phatic denunciations of this doctrine although the name is not 
found in Holy Writ. ( See I John 2 : 1 8, 19, 22 ; 4 :2, 3. ) The latter 
advocated idolatrous customs and opposed the advice of the 
apostles, (Acts 15:29) and "mingling themselves in the orgies 



CHURCH OF THE FIRST CENTURY. 21 

of idolatrous feasts, they brought the im- 
Gnostics and Nicolai- purities of those feasts into the meetings 
tans. of the Christian Church."* This sect is 

most severely condemned in Revelations 
2:6, 15. Most of these heretical bodies would exist for some time 
and then pass from the scene of action ; but the true church has 
existed throug'h the ages and will exist until the Master will come 
to gather up his jewels for the heavenly kingdom. 

About the year 67, John, the last of the twelve, went to 
Ephesus in Asia Minor. Three years later, Jerusalem, the seat 
of Judaism, was destroyed and Asia Minor became the strong- 
hold of the 'believers. A perfect fusion of 
John, the Apostle, Jew and Gentile Christians into one united 

at Ephesus. body would mean much for the church in 

the future, and to this end he devoted his 
life. The great theme of love and unity seemed to be uppermost 
in his mind. 

Tradition says that when he became so old that he could 
not walk, he was carried to the church and with feeble, trembling 
voice would say, ''Children, love one another." His trend of 
thought and method of work may be summed up in a few of his 
teachings, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the 
world. If an)- man love the world, the love of the Father is not 
in Him." "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He 
loved us." "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." "He 
that com.mitteth sin is of the devil." 

' Persecutions are by no means desirable to the natural man, 
nor are they essential to spiritual growth. We notice, however, 
that heresy came into the church faster during the reign of Ves- 
pasian and Titus when the Christians had a larger degree of 
freedom in worship than at an}- previous time. But the Chris- 
tians were soon to undergo another period of bitter persecution. 
Domiitian, a younger brother of Titus, came to the throne about 
the year 81. He was cruel, treacherous 
Reign of Domitian. and morose. Nero seemed to be his pat- 
tern. The heathen subjects were the first 

"Smith. 



22 MEN HON IT E CHURCH HISTOR Y. 

victims of his cruel power, and afterwards the Jews and Chris- 
tians suffered from his tyranny. In the year 94 he began to 
levy excessive taxes upon the Jews, with whom the Christians 
were classed. He also heard that a ruler would rise from the 
house of David who would rule the world. In him, Domitian 
saw a rival, hence he ordered the Jews to be slain or banished. 
Thousands sufifered death and as many mare were robbed of all 
they had, and compelled to leave the country. Even Flavius 
Clement, uncle of the emperor, who had espoused the Christian 
faith, was numbered with the martyrs, while his wife, Flavia 
Domitilla, was banished to a rocky island in the Mediterranean 
sea. 

Nerva,' successor of Doniitian, invited the Jews and Chris- 
tians to return to the places from which they had been banished 
and in many cases restored to them their lands and aided them 
with such things as they needed to begin farming. 

Prominent among the early church fathers of tlie first cen- 
tury, was the venerable Clement, bishop of the Oiurch of Rome. 
Sacred history mentions him but once (Phil. 4:3.) representing 
bim as a fellow-laborer with Paul. He is 
Clement, Bishop of represented as being the author of several 
Rome; His Writings. letters, some of which may have 
been written a number of 3'ears later. 
Critics are generally agreed that the one address'cd to tilie 
Corinthians is truly the work of this venerable man, and is pro- 
nounced by such men as Eusebius and JMilner as a very deep and 
spiritual production. It was read in the church services at other 
places besides Corinth. The epistle very strongly opposed the 
faction spirit at that place, and advised that applicants for baptism 
fast and pray much, and that they be instructed in the .word of 
God for some tim.e before baptism. From this letter we may 
safely conclude that infant baptism was not practised at that early 
period. 

A single paragraph from this letter gives us some idea of its 
spiritual import. "Let us endeavor to be of the number of those 
who hope to share the promises of God. How can we accomplish 
this, my dear brethren? If our minds are established in tlie faith ; 



CHURCH OF THE FIRST CENTURY. 23 

. if we seek in all things to please God ; if we bring ourselves in 
entire accord with His holy will ; if we follow tlie paths of truth, 
renouncing all injustices, averice, contention, anger, deceptions, 
complainings, impiety, pride, vanity and ambition ; then, my 
dear 'brethren, we shall be in the path which leads to Christ 
Jesus our Savior. Let the strong help the feeble, let the fee?ble 
respect the strong. Let the rich give to the poor, and let the poor 
thank God that He has given to the rich imeans of supplying their 
wamts. He who has created us, has .introduced us into this 
world, which He has so ridily prepared for our abode. Having 
received from Him so many favors, we ought to thank Him- 
for all things. To Him be- glory forever and ever. Amen." 
Thoughts like these are as refreshing showers in a desert, or as 
pleasant dew upon the withering rose when compared witli the 
barbarous wars and wretched depravity of the nations of that 
early day. 

CHURCH AT THE CLOSE OF THE FIRST CENTURY. 

The church at the close of the first century had spread over 
much of Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, Northern Africa, and 
Southern Europe. In addition to these, churches were organized 
in India, Arabia, Etheopia, and other countries, even as far north 
and west as England. Excepting Antioch in Syria, the strongest 

churches as well as the greatest number of 
Forms, of Worship. them, were found in Asia Minor. Church 

government was largely congregational. 
In forms of worship, the churdi at Jerusalem was taken -as a 
model to a great extent, and this in turn was modeled after the 
worship in synagogues. The sermon was followed by extempora- 
neous speaking, reading of tlie epistles received from the 
apostles, prayers and singing of psalms and Christian hymns. 
These seasons of worship were usually held in soine private house. 
Many a time on these occasions the communion was observed. 
Some authorities claim that this ordinance was observed every 
Lord's day. Many times after the regular services were over, 
the condition of *he church in other neig'hborhoods, or of be- 
lievers in the same neighborhood was discussed, dwelling largel)' 



24 



MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 



on their spiritual needs. From I Corinthians i6, we may safely 
infer that at least for a time, each Lord's day witnessed a gath- 
ering of funds for persons in need in other places. Simplicity, out- 
side pressure, and the indwelling spirit bound the whole body 
together, having a common interest in each other and an intense 
desire for the upbuilding of the cause in general. 

The Apostolic Age closed with the death of the "Beloved 
Disciple." Before passing away, he saw deacons and elders in 
nearly all the churches. He saw the center of Christianity 
gradually moving north and west until some point in Asia Minor 
mig'ht be called the 'hub of the great circle enclosing the people of 
God, on earth. t 

The following table s'hows how the Twelve divided the field 
and how well they fulfiUeid the Great Commission. No modern 
missionary society has done so well in so short time : 



NAME 


FIELD OF LABOR 


PLACE AND MANNER OF DEATH 


DATE 


James the Greater 


Jerusalem and Judea 


Jenisalem-Beheaded. Acts 12:2 


45 


Philip 


Scythia, Phrygia 


Hierapolis— itoned 


54 


James the Less 


Jerusalem, Judea 


Jerusalem— cast down from the 
Temple and stoned 


63 


Peter 


Fontus, Galacia and 
Lower Asia 


• Rome— crucified, head downward 


69 


Andrew 


Scvthia, Sogdiana, 
Achia 


Patras— crucified; lived while on the 
cross, thrte days 


70 


Bartholomew or 
Nathaniel 


Persia. Arabia, India. 
Armenia 


Albanapolis — crucified, flayed and 
then beheaded 


70 


Thomas 


Parthia, Ethiopia, 
India 


Calaminia— cast into a hot furnace, 
then stabbed with spears 


70 


Matthew 


Chaldea, Persia, 
Ethiopia 


NaddaTar- nailed to the ground and 
beheaded 


70 


Jnde or Thaddeus 


Syria, Cyrene, Persia 


In Persia-citv not known. Beaten to 
deatli 


70 


Simon the Canaanite 


Egypt, Libya, Mauri- 
tania, l^ersia 


Same time and place as Jude— 
crucified 


70 


John 


Judea. Samaria, Asia 
Minor 


Ephesus— natural death 


100 


Judas Iscariot 




Jerusalem— hanged himself 


33 



fThe Copts in Eg-ypt and the Nestorians in India are supposed to 
toe the present result of churches planted t>y the apostles. 

»A11 the places of death except Rome are in the last province named 
also the last visited by each apostle. 



CHAPTER II. 



FROM JOHN TO CONSTANTINE. 



Just before the close of the first century, emperor Nerva 
died. He w&s succeeded by Trajan, a man of ability and one who 
desired the welfare of his subjects; but he. was a zealous ad- 
herent of paganism and therefore opposed to Qiristianity. It 
is said that this new religion, as he called it, grew so rapidly that 
those who sold victims for sacrifice to the heathen g-ods found but 
few purchasers. Pliny, governor of the province of Bithynia, 
wrote to the emepror and inquired what should be done with the 
©iristians who were becoming very nu- 
Trajan and Pliny. merous in his province. He was told to let 

them alone unless they were prosecuted by 
some one who was willing to give his name, and in case the 
accused party was not found guilty, the accuser was to be pun- 
ished for presenting ga false accusation. This made the accusers 
more cautious, but it also made every Christian a criminal — a 
position which had not been taken before. 
Christianity Consid- Then followed the third persecution. Two 
ered a Crime. men already mentioned, who were very ac- 

tive in the first century were among the 
first to suffer — Symeon who returned to Jerusalem some time 



26 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

after its destruction, and reorganized the church at that place, 

and Clement, bishop of Rome, whose writ- 
Symeon and Clement, ings have been quoted in Chapter I. The 
Martyrs. former had been a devoted servant of 

Jesus Christ and His church for many 
years, being about one hundred and twenty years old when he 
suffered martyrdom by crucifixion. 

Ignatius, second bishop of Antioch, who was very prominent 
in the building of the Church during the first century, and who 

suffered during this reign, was another 
Ignatius and His one of those illustrious men who would 

Epistles. have been a credit to any age. His life as 

well as his teaching was deeply spiritual. 
One of his favorite expressions was, "The life of a man is a con- 
tinued death, unless it be that Christ liveth in us." He seemed to 
have a desire to die in the interest of the cause and for his flock. 
During the persecution instituted by Domitian, he manifested 
great courage, being in very great danger on several occasions 
where the interest pf his flock seemed to demand it. 

The persecution of Trajan was more severe than that of 
Domitian. While passing thix>ugh Antioch after a victorious cam- 
paign in, the East, he offered sacrifices to the heathen gods. Ig- 
natius publicly rebuked the haughty monarch. For this act 
he was arrested; but fearing a tumult (for Ignatius was held 
in high repute) sentence was suspended «for some time, and the 
man of God was sent to Rome. On his way thither, he was told 
that he would be torn to pieces by wild beasts for the amusement 
of the people. Fifteen epistles are ascribfed to him. Eight of 
these were written while on his way to Rome or While there. 
They were addressed to the Ephesians, Magnesians, Philadel- 
pliians, Trallians, Smyrniots, Philippians, Romans, and to Pely- 
carp, his fellow-student under the instfuction of the Apostle 
John and afterwards his co-laborer in the church. 

The genuineness of these epistles is questioned by some of 
the later writers and strongly upheld by others. Doubtless this 
is because the epistles deal more or less with church government, 



FROM JOHN TO CONSTTANTINE. 27 

rather favoring the hierarchic form. At least advocates of 
that form claim that the epistles are genuine, while many who 
are opponents of it, hold that they are not. In one of these he 
has given us important information in regard to the dbservance 
of the Sabbath. He said, "Let us no more Sabbatize," that is, 
observe the Jewish Sabbath, but "let us keep the lord's day on 
which our Life arose." This gives additional evidence to that of 
the scriptures, that in the Apostolic times the first and not the 

last day of the week was kept as a holy 
The Jewish and day. Similar expressions are found in the 

Christian Sabbath. writings of Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons, 

France, and Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, 
both of whom lived in the second century. 

In his letter to the Romans, Ignatius says, "O that I were 
already with the beasts, which are ready to devour me ! I hope 
that ere long, I shall find them such as I wish them to be, tliat 
is, cruel enough to destroy me speedily. But if they will not 
fall upon me and tear me, I shall kindly allure them so they 
will not spare me, as tliey have already spared several Christians, 
but will quickly tear me to pieces, and will devour me. Forgive 
me for speaking thus. . . . Only pray for me, that inward and 
outward strength be given me, and not only to speak or write 
thus, but also to perform and endure it, so tliat I may not only 
be called a Christian, but also be found one in truth." He was 
entreated to forsake his Lord and sacrifice to the gods but 
stoutly refused. He was then led to a large arena, around which 
many thousand people sat. Walking to the center and while the 
lions were roaring, he said, "O, ye Romans, all of you who have 
come to witness with your own eyes this combat ; Icnow ye, that 
this punishment has not been laid upon me on account of any mis- 
deed or crime; for sudi I have in no wise committed, but that 
I may come to Gdd for whom I long and whom I enjoy, is my 
msatiable desire." Instantly two lions' cages were opened into 
the arena and the ferocious beasts sprang out and immediately 
devoured him. 



28 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

Hadrian, successor of Trajan, came to the throne in the 
year 117. He was a wise ruler in many respects but when the 
Jews under Bar-Cocob began to wage a terrible persecution 
against the Christians, the emperor seemed to pay very httle 
attention to it. Bar-Cocob claimed to be the "Star" of Numbers 
24:17, and desired that Jews and Christians should rally 
round his banner and he would punish the emperor for his 
actions in rebuilding Jerusalem and placing a temple to Jupiter 
on Mount JMoriah. The Christians knowing that the promised 
•'Star" had already appeared, claimed that 
The Emperor Hadrian. Bar-Cocob was an impostor. For this the 
The imposter Bar- Christians were made to suffer severel)- for 

Cocob. about four years, after which the pretender 

" was defeated and killed by the Romans. 

As a punishment for this uprising, the Jews were not allowed to 
visit Jerusalem nor even to come within sight of it, except on 
the anniversary of its destruction by Titus and then for only one 
hour at a time. 

Hadrian traveled much in the interests of his subjects, and 
in 125 came to Athens. Quadratus, bishop of the church at 
that place, and Arisfides, a Christian philosopher of the same 
church, each wrote an apology in defense of Christianity and 
presented it to the emperor. The next year the proconsul of Asia 
Minor explained some of the customs of the heathen in ac- 
cusing and persecuting the Christians. How mudh these writings 
influenced the emperor will probably never be known ; but he at 
once made a decree that Christians should not be molested unless 
they had violated some law. This brought something like re- 
ligious toleration. When it became evident that a Christian 
was accused simply on account of his religion, tlhe accuser was 
severely punished. About this time, a number of heresies akin 
to those of the early Gnostics sprang- up. 
New Heresies. Most of these were too ridiculous to receive 

considenation here. A thought from several 
will suffice: BasiKdes, an Alexandrian Gnostic, and teacher 



FROM JOHN TO COA'STAA'TINE. 2g 

claimed that there were three hundred sixty-five heavens. Saturn- 
ius, a prominent teacher of the Gnostics, denied the resurrection 
and advocated abstinence from marriage, and Marson, an eloquent 
minister of Pontus, Asia, found no vmion between justice and 
love. Althoug'h some of these heretical ideas had many ad- 
herents for a while, they were not destined to reach far beyond 
the country in which they originated and in most cases not many 
years after the death of their respective advocates. 

The peace enjoyed by the Christians under Hadriaii was 
neither perfect nor permanent. Even under an emperor as mild 
sa Antonius Pius, suffering was great enough in certain localities 
to cause Justin Martyr to write an apology 
Justin Martyr and addressed to the emperor and his adopted 

His Writings. gon, Marcus Aurelius. Being a phi- 

losopher, his apology was scholarly, 
philosophical, and convincing. His second apology exceeded 
the first in 1 anguage and thought and was addressed to 
tilie Roman Senate. He showed the inconsistency of perse- 
cuting a people who had committed no crime and ag^'ainst whom 
no complaint could be established except that they believed in 
a Supreme Ruler and loving Father and in His Son, their 
Savior and in the Holy Ghost, their Director and Comforter. 
Although the raibble did not cease to cry, "To the lions with the 
Ohristians," a temporary relief again resulted from these 
writings. 

Another prdduction from his pen is "A Dialogue with 
Tryphoon the Jew." Other writings are ascribed to him, but are 
generally considered spurious. At Rome he had frequent debates 
with Crescens, a noted Cynic philosopher, whom he completely 
defeated. This angered Crescens and he resolved to be avenged. 
An opportunity came when Aurelius became emperor. Accused 
by his enemy of being a Christian and refusing to recant, Justin 
was scourged and then relieved of his pain by the headman's axe. 



30 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

What ever noay have 'been the good qualities of the new em- 
peror — for he was idoHzed by many of his subjects — he was a 

bigot in religion. In faith he was a Stoic, 
Marcus Aurelius , , ,. i i 

and was soon made to realize that the 
as Emperor. „, . . . , . . ^ 

Lhnstians exercised more patience in suf- 
fering than tflie people of his own fafth. This displeased him and 
'he resolved to put them all to death. In Lyons (France), alone 
thousands suffered death during his reign. 

Probably the most noted sufferer during this period, aside 
from Justin Martyr, was Polycarp. Both are supposed to hive 

suffered martyrdom in the year i68. If 
Polycarp, His De- the messenger from heaven would have 

fense and Deatli. been personal (Rev. 2:8) doubtless he 

would have said, "Unto Polycarp write." 
It was teacher writing to student, or as father to son. The 
church there had suffered much and now comes the mes- 
sage, "There is still more to follow." This was soon fulfilled. 
Polycarp was apprehended first ; many of his flock followed. 
His friends tried to conceal him and when they saw that the 
persecutors were coming, they wanted to remove him to another 
place but he said, "Let tiae will of the Lord be done." He went 
out to meet those who came to take him and treated them with 
much kindness. He asked for an hour of prayer and medi- 
tation. It was granted. After being alone with God for some 
time, he came out of the roojii and said, "I am ready.'' He was 
taken into the presence of the governor or proconsul of Smyrna 
who threatened to have 'him town to pieces by wild beasts, but 
finding that to be of no avail, said that he should be burned if he 
did not accept the religion of the gods. Polycarp answered, 
"Eighty and six years have I served Him and He never did me 
wrong ; how can I now blaspheme my King who saved me ? 
Bring on the beasts or fire or whatever thou mayest choose ; thou 
shalt not by either of them move me to deny Christ, my Lord 
and Savior." He was burned alive. At his request he was not 
nailed to the wood as was customary on such occasions, but volun- 
tarily lay on the wood to suffer for Jesus. Those who urged his 



FROM JOHN TO CONSTANTINE. 31 

death most, advised the proconsul to deny the Christians the 
riglit of burying Polycarp, "lest abandoning Him who was cruci- 
fied, they should begin to worship this one." Can we imagine 
a hig^her tribute than this, especially wen we remember that it 
was given by his enemies? He wrote several epistles which are 
noted for their numerous quotations from the New Testament. 

Thus two noble teachers who formerly sat at -the feet of the 
"Belove'd Disciple" learning from him the words of the Blessed 

Master, sealed their faith with their blood. 
Three Disciples of the Of a third disciple as much can hardly be 
"Beloved Disciple." said. Papias, bishop of Hieropolis, Phry- 

gia, is said to have been one of the first 
advocates of the Millenium.* He did much writing. One thought 
from his pen will suffice to show his lines of argument. "When 
that time comes each vine shall bear ten thousand branches, each 
branch ten thousand shoots, each shoot ten thousand sprigs, each 
■sprig ten thousand bunches, each bunch ten thousand grapes, each 
grape shall be large enough to fill the largest ship." This is talk 
without thought. A little calculation will show that the fruit of 
one vine would cover the surface of the whole cartli many miles 
in thickness. Xot all believers in the literal reign of Christ on 
earth held such absurd ideas but many accepted the doctrine to 
some extent, and after many years of discussion, the doctrine . 
in some form still has many advocates. 

Montanus, a Phrygian, whose enthusiasm exceeded his judg- 
ment and scholarly attainments, claimed to be the Comforter whidi 
Christ had promised. He admitted tkat th« Holy Spirit came uix)n 

the disciples but claimed that the Spirit 

Montanus and Mon- j, ^-i r- r l. ^ ^u 

and the Comforter were not the same. 

He with his followers believed tliat the 

gift of prophecy was one of the many blessings which every 

believer should possess and miany of the prophecies pronounced 

by them consisted of the most severe denunciations upon the 

Roman empire as well as upon individuals. The most gifted 

prophets (?) among them were considered as successors to the 

•Ubrary of Universal Knowledge, Vol. XI., P. 841. 



32 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. ' 

twelve apostles and formed a kind of proud religious aristocracy. 
They believed that the millenium vi^as close at hand and con- 
siidered every time of persecution as the immediate forerunner of 
the time when Christ should reign supreme on earth. In many 
things, he was orthodox, and advocated a code of morals which in 
themselves were not altogether new and which corresponded quite 
well with those of the Master. Man ythought that the discipline 
of the dhurch was growing lax, and these rigid rules of life 
brought some prominent workers into his ranks. Montanus lived 
about the time that Polycarp was martyred. In the year 231, the 
council at Iconium decided that baptism performed by the Montan- 
ists was to be rejected, and that such persons would be denied com- 
munion unless they were re-biptizcd, and thereby rejected the 
heresy. Later the ndble Tertullian accepted this doctrine and 
proved to be a great power among tlie Montanists. 

The decision of the Council at Iconium was faithfully carried 
out by tlie noted Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, who flourished 
about twenty years after the decision was made. Not satisfied 
I with seeing this accomplished in his own 

Cyprian, Bishop of field, he entered into controversies else- 

Carthage, wliere on the subject of the validity of bap- 

tism performed by a Montanist. This led 
the Emperor, Valerian, to issue several edicts which caused the 
noted bishop to be banished and later beheaded. Cyprian was a 
stroni;- advocate of the hierarchic form of church government, a 
severe disciplinarian, and an energetic writer. He wrote ninety- 
fi^•e epistles a.nd treatises — a great work for a man who was not 
converted until he was forty-five years of age. 

Trcnacus was one of tb.c greatest men of the second century 
in miny respects. Possibl }-no one did more traveling to spread 
t!he gospel than he. He was bishop of the church at Lyons, 
France, but was well known in the church 
Irenaeus. throughout that whole country and was 

considered a religious father by many in 
other parts of Europe, and in Asia-Minor, his native country. He 
is considered by some, as a believer in infant baptism. A promi- 



FROM JOHN TO CONSTANTINE. 33 

nent advocate of infant baptism says, "He (Irenaeus) is the first 
author whose recognition of it can with certainty be inferred." 
Others claim that he did not teach nor sanction it. His principal 
work is a treatise "Against Heresies." It has been said that he 
was tainted with M'ontanism but this seems to be a mistake as he 
was required to apear before the bis'hop of Rome on the charge 
of that heresy and was acquitted. Not much is known of his 
death, but it is ahiiost certain that he was beheaded about the 
year 202. 

The Emperor Severus ( 193-21 1) was noted for his cruel 
persecutions as well as for 'his noble acts. He issued an edict 
which forbade anyone to forsake the Roman religion and accept 
Christianity. Some writers think that this 
Severus as Emperor. Still permitted children of Christians to 
accept the faith of their parents and that 
the edict was passed to prevent the wonderful spread of the 
gospel in Gaul and other countries north of Italy. It was under 
his reign that the sixth general persecution took place. Among 
the noted men of this period was the 
Tertullian and His learned Tertullian. He was so well versed 

Apologies. in Greek that he" wrote several treati.ses 

in that language. At the same time be 
was considered first among the Latin fathers. He was converted 
to Christianity about the year 193. He at once began to write 
on subjects pertaining to the new life. On account of the sevexe 
persecutions, he wrote his "Apology for the Christians against 
the Heatliens." He proved the illegal proceedings against the 
believers in Christ showing that in general the Charges were 
based on falsehood. He contrasted the chaste, temperate life of 
the Christians with the licentiousness of the heathen. 

Possibly none of Tertullian's writings are more touching 
and full of the Spirit than 'his letters o fencouragement to those 
wdio were imprisoned for the name of Jesus and expected s'oon to 
be led to the stake or to the wild beasts. This was written about 
the year 204. Soon after this he was affronted by some of the 
leading men in the church at Rome, and being of a stern, pas- 



34 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

sionate nature, he accepted the doctrines of the M'ontanists. This 
doctrine he advocated until his death about eig^hteen years later. 

Times of great trial produce men of great minds. Origen 
was only seventeen years old when his father died a martyr. The 
son desired to die with the father but was restrained by his 
mother who would have been left with six 
Origen and His children and without means of support. 

Writings. When quite young, he became prominent 

in the church at Alexandria. Having re- 
ceived a good education and being an untiring student, he soon 
acquired a store of knowledge rarely found ev,en among the 
greatest church leaders. His knowledge of the various heretical 
ideas, as well as his familiarity with the scriptures fitted him, to 
successfully combat the heretics. In his discussions he was often 
obliged to take a positron far in advElnce of his time. His services 
\vere in demand in more places than he could fill. The Alexandrian 
bishop, Demetrius, watched him jealously. At the council of the 
bishops of Asia Minor which met at Caesarea, Palestine, he was 
elected to the office of presbyter, which place he filled ver}' suc- 
cessfully. He was final!)- excommunicated by the jealous bishop 
because he had said in a public discussion that the statements in 
the scriptures with regard to the final punishment of the wicked 
did not necessarily require a literal interpretation in every part in 
order to be true. The dliurches in Asia did not regard the excom- 
munication and for a time division seemed tio be unavoidable. 

When persecution raged imder JMaximinus, Origen was 
seized and cast into prison. There he was required to suffer 
tortures beyond the endurance of his frail body, and he died in tlie 
hands of his tormentors in the year 25.4. Thus- the cause of the 
danger of division in the churdh was removed and the rupture 
was avoided. Enthusiasts often wrote treatises on their favorite 
subjects and because they knew their own unpopularity and knew 
that Origen's writings were usually ac- 
Spurious Writings. cepted, they signed his name to their own 

productions. Thus he was represented as 
favoring and disfavoring Montamsm, advocating and opposing 



FROM JOHN TO CONSTANTINE. 35 

infant baptism, and contradicting himself on many other questions. 
The number of productions from his pen are not known but some 
idea of his works may be formed, for it is said diat, when not 
away from (home, he had sev^ secretaries and seven copyists con- 
stantly employed. 

The seventh general persecution took place under Max- 
^minus, an illiterate man whose only qualification for the office 
of emperor was his agility and size. More than eight feet tall, 
and able to run as fast as a horse, he be- 
came the object of admiration am.ong the 

Emperor Maximinus; ,,. tt n 1 i_ ■ ^ i. 1 ■ i.i 

soldiers. He had been mstrumental m the 
the Seventh General , ,, r x,i 1 1 • 

death of the emperor, and as his suc- 
Persecution. , , , • /■ 1.1 j 

cessor, he at once began a reign of blood- 
shed and terror. The favorites of the 
former emperor were hurried to their graves. He was very 
superstitious. He thougiht that storms and earthquakes were ex- 
pressions of the anger of the gods for allowing the Christians to 
live. A general persecution was the result. He turned his at- 
tention more particularly against the teachers and bishops of the 
church. He delighted to find some place where many Chris- 
tians were gathered to worship, lock the doors and set the building 
on fire. Thousands perished in this way by his orders. 

For ten years or more after the death of Maximinus the 
church enjoye'd peace. Many who at other times feared perse- 
cution embraced Christianity ; but when Decius came to the 
throne, he instituted another persecution 
against the Christians — the most bitter 
Emperors Decius and y^^ witnessed. These trials were the more 
° "^' * ^ intense because of a general distn.ist which 

General Persecution. p^g^^ii^.^ Friends betrayed each other, 

and even members of the same family 
proved traitors by giving each other's names to the inquisitors. 
People feared their nearest relatives as much as their worst 
enemies. Men fled to the woods, caves, and mountains to live 
in solitude. Here was not only safety, but the murmuring of the 



36 MENA'OAUTE CHURCH HISTORY. 

brook, the starry sky, and the dusk of evening suggested com- 
munion with God. Others followed oven after the persecution 
ceased. This gave rise to what were known in later years as 
"monks," "lone birds," "pillar saints," etc.* The short reign of 
Decius was followed by that of Gallus which was equally short, 
the two continued only four years. With the death of the latter 
Valerian, successor of Gallus, treated the Christians with 
kindness during the first four years of his reign, but later was 
influenced by his prime minister to believe that they were detri- 
mental to the empire. So with a rest of 
Valerian. only four )ears they were made to go 

throug'h the fiery trials of the ninth general 
persecution in which great numbers sealed their faith with their 
blood. Bishops and teachers were made special objects of his 
wrath. Some of the churches were left for more than a year 
without either. Colossians 3:16 was made the general rule for 
conducting the regular services. 

Evil tendencies in the heresies, and persecutions of the 
second century had carried their respective advocates so far away 
from the Truth that, one hundred }ears 
Sabellianism. after their origin they had either gone out 

of existence or had become so corrupt tliat 
they caused the church but little trouble. In the third century, 
however, several heresies arose which are discussed in t!he theolo- 
gies of the present day. During the reign of Valerian, Sabellius 
taught that instead of a Trinity there was but one person in the 
God-head and that from Him came forth the functions of the 
Deity as Ghrist and the Holy Ghost and that fhey would not 
continue after they had performed their work. That there was 
no Son now and probably not even a Holy Ghost, as both, ac- 
cording to his theory bad done their work. Bishop Dionysius of 
Alexandria, in whose territory this heresy arose, was equal to 
the emergency, and, regardless of the shrewdness of Sabellius in 
keeping his real doctrine a mystery while before the council, the 
doctrine and its auth'or were condemned. 

•See Rise of Romanism. 



FROM JOHN TO CONSTANTINE. t,? 

In the year 260 Paul of Antioch pTesented another doctrine 
whidi was somewhat akin to that of SabelHus. He claimed that 

Christ was born of human parents and 
Paulinists Not the only wlien the Holy Ghost came upon Him 

Same as Paulicians. at His baptism did He become the Son of 

God. He was tried the second time before 
his true positron was positively known and was excommunicated 
in the year 269. His followers, who are generally known as Paul- 
inists, must not be confourided with the Paulicians, who 
will be discussed under another head. 

Councils ma}- condemn heresies and excommunicate their 
originators, but tbat does not blot out the heresy, for even in some 
orthodox churdhes of today there may be found persons who still 
hold the same ideas presented by these two men. 

Another doctrine came to the public notice during the third 
century which can hardly be termed a 
The Manichaeans. heresy, not because of its orthodoxy, but 

because Alani, its author, never claimed 
that his doctrine was that of true Christianit)-. It was rather a 
blending of the doctrine of the Buddhists, and the ?\Iagicians, 
gotten up in New Testament order. 

Since Roman Catholic writers have made great efforts to 
prove that the \yaklenses had their origin in this so-called heresy 
and since many of the Protestants aim to trace their origin 
through the W^aldenses to the Apostles, this doctrine will neces- 
sarily receive more space. Catholics contend that the Waldenses 
could claim none of the promises of Qirist because they could 
not have His abiding presence through several centuries in this 
heretical body. The founder of this sect was a man of great 
ability as a speaker, writer and artist. The legends of his life are 
too vague and contradictory to receive attention here. 

His followers, called Manichaeans, believed that there were 
two great forces — Lig<ht, the Good, or in other words, God ; Dark-' 
ness, the Bad, or matter. Each 'being in his realm, there was a 
time when Darkness did not know anything of Light. Darkness 



-38 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

pressed the borders of his realm until he saw the Light arid im- 
mediately pressed into it. In the conflict between the two. Dark- 
ness succeeded in getting some of the Light from which nian 
was created (tlius saying man was made of the good by the evil). 
Christ came from the sun to save the world, but the demons 
accomplished his crucifixion. His suffering and death were not 
real. On account of the weakness of his followers a paraclete 
(a term applied to the Holy Ghost) was necessary to finish the 
work.* Mani was that Paraclete. He rejected the Old Testa- 
ment, but accepted the New, after changing it to suit his taste, 
A perverted New Testament and a correspondingly perverted 
disposition were usually found in the Manichaean home. So true 
was this that Pope Leo said, "The deVil reigned in all other here- 
sies, but has raised his throne in that of the Manichaeans who 
embraced all the errors and impieties that the spirit of man is 
capable of." Tliere were a great many who accepted this doc- 
trine and it did not completely pass away until the Reformation. 
During the last half of the third century, the Roman empire 
and especially Rome itself, witnessed scenes that beggar descrip- 
tion. Thirty or more generals claimed the right to the throne in 
the short period of twelve years. Each would institute an in- 
vasion upon Rome and consternation and bloodshed were found 
upon every iliand. Famine followed as a natural result. Pesti- 
lence was an almost constant companion. AH of these together 
took one hundred and fifty millions of her citizens from the 
scene of action. Good sense finally came to the rescue. Diocletian 
came to the throne in 284 and ruled with vigor. Dark and ap- 
palling as this century was, it finally came to a close. Heresy, per- 
secution, murder, rivalry, treachery, and idolatry. Draw the 
curtain ! It is too dreadful to look upon any longer ! 

WORSHIP. 

From the birth of die church, eaCh body of worshippers de- 
cided questions of diurch government arising within its borders. 

•Moral — If Christians will continue to place as much stress on the 
religious novels of the present day, they can expect, in course of time, 
to have ideas which are just as perverted and no less dreamy than 
that of the Manichaeans. 



FROM JOHN TO CONSTANTINE., 39 

To give a detailed account of tlie forms of 
Church Government. wors^hip as practiced tlirouglioiit the whole 

church during this period would be imprac- 
ticable, if not impossible. If they were ever fully described, many 
of the records are lost, and, then as now, the practices were not 
the same in all localities. From the 'history left us, the following 
may safely 'be said to apply to the church in. general. They 
chose their own elders and deacons, excommunicated the 
heretics and otherwise reproved offenders of their rules. At 
the same time an effort was made to keep a unity of faith without 
organization further than that formed in each congregation. 

During the latter part of the first century, as the apostles 
were called home to their rewards and could no longer be ap- 
pealed to as to what constituted true Christianity, the Gnostic 

teachers became bolder in their efforts to 
Bishops Distinct prove that Gnosticism was in accordance 

from Elders. with the B'ible and Christianity. This 

called for more definite work and each 
Christian community found it proifitabie to have one of the leaders 
as authority on those questions. This gave rise to bishops as 
distinct from elders. Bishops of two or three communities would 
meet and exchange ideas. These meetings grew in numbers of 
bishops until nearly all Asia was represented, but the repre- 
sentation scarcely extended beyond that during the second century. 
At first the representatives in council did not claim any authority 
for that body but held that the power was vested in the church 

with its tri'shop. Slowly but surely the 
Origin of Councils. councils assumed more and more power 

until in the latter part of the second century 
the bishops thought themselves to be the successors of the 
apostles and, as a body in council, had the rig'ht to dictate laws for 
their flocks. At first all the bishops in council were considered to 
be on an equality, 'but later the bishops of Jerusalem, Antioch, 
Rome, Constantinople and Alexandria, rose to higher distinction, 



40 MENNONITE, CHURCH HISTORY. 

and in little more than a century after the first council was held, 
the 'bishop at Rome was acknowledged as "the greatest of all 
bishops on earth." 

Even as late as the year 150 the word scripture was used 
almost exclusively in connection with the Old Testament. How- 
ever, the words of Jesus were considered authority but as yet were 
not generally known by the name scrip- 
Scripture Canon. ' tures. It seems rather peculiar that the 
heretics should be the cause of the New 
Testament canon being formed, yet such was the case. Attention 
has already been called to the fact that epistles were circulated 
bearing the name of Origen as the author, although he had never 
written them nor even taught the doctrine held forth in these man- 
uscripts. Heretical teachers, even more bold, forged epistles 
under the names of the Apostles and had gathered such writings 
as taught their doctrine together into a canon. This called for a 
gathering of the genuine writings of the Apostles and those most 
intimately connected with Christ and His work. In this there 
was disagreement, which at times almost amounted to contention. 
Some wished to include Hebrews, James, II Peter, II and III 
John, Jude and Revelations, while others desired the epistles of 
Clement, Barnabas (not the companion of Paul), and Hermas, to 
complete the canon. Many years later the former were accepted 
and the latter rejected. 

A form of the Apostles' Creed was used early in the second 

century. This was considered necessary to guard young people 

and especially converts against Gnosti- 

Apostles' Creed. cism as it contained a number of things 

which were much opposed by these 

heretics. 

The agape was a service which was introduced in the first 
century (for its early abuses, see I Cor. 11 : 17-22 and Jude 12) and 
for a long time was observed after the 
The Agape. public worship in the morning. This gen- 

eral description of this exercise is given 
by TertuUian. "Nothing low or unseemly is committed by them; 



FROM JOHN TO CONSTANTINE. 41 

nor is it until after having prayed to God that they sit down to 
a table. Food is ta:ken in moderation as wanted, and no more is 
drank than it becomes discreet persons to drink. Each takes 
such refreshments as are suitable, in connection with the recol- 
lection that he is to be engaged in the course of the night in ado- 
rations to God : and the conversation is conducted as becometh 
those who know that the Lord heareth them. After water has 
been brougiit for their 'hands and fresh lights, every one is 
invited to sing arid to glorify God, whether by passage from the 
■sacred scripture or of his own composition. This discovers 
wheflier proper maderation is used at the table. In short, the 
repa.9.t concludes as it began, that is t osay, by prayer. ' 

Tn a letter by Pliny to the emperor, Trajan, we notice that 
already at that early date the general or regular church services 
were held in the morning, followed by 
Pliny's Testimony. communion, after which the audience dis- 

persed. In the evening they again 
gathered to partake 'of the agape. He says, "After the ser- 
vices of Christ, they departed and returned to take a harmless 
repast in common." After the repast they greeted each other with 
a' holy kiss, talked over the special needs of the church where it 
was already established, new fields, and the best means of bringing 
the Gospel to them and the selection of workers for the pur- 
pose. He also admitted that men and women of ever)- rank and 
of all ages had accepted this "superstition'' (Christianity) in 
such numbers that victims which were kept on sale for sacrifices 
to the heathen gods found few purchasers. 

The transforming power of the Gospel was a surprise, even 
to the heathen. The deeply wronged prayed for their enemies, 
the licentious became virtuous, and the 
Effect of Gospel. most miserly were transformed into gen- 

erous, helpful men and women. 
The clergy followed the most honorable pursuits of life. 
According to some historians there were farmers, merchants, 
carpenters, smitihs, masons and even herdsmen among them. 
By these means they did much toward' their own support, but 



42 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

in many cases the nuntber of workers, and especially gifted 
speakers was too small to fill the demands or calls for work. 
Such parties were supported by donations and collections. It 
seems to have been the choice of the ministry rather than the 
deuTand of the congregation that the former should do some- 
thing toward self support. The qualifications of the ministry was 
more a matter of conforming to certain outward conditions than 
development of mind or degree of culture. One of the many 
necessary conditions will serve to illustrate this point. Marriage 
was no barrier, but if the candidate's wife had been a slave, a 
mistress, a widow, or a harlot, he could not be ordained, not- 
withstanding there had been a great change in the life of both 
the candidate and his wife. 

In describing the public worship of that day, Fisher in his 
History of Christianity says : "In the sub-apostolic ages, wor- 
ship continued to be a spontaneous living expression of re- 
ligious feeling. It was that self oblation which Paul styled tlie 
Christian's "reasona'ble service' as being a spiritual act, freely 
performed. This was the character of Christian worship in tiie 
time of Justin Martyr (about* 150). Later, as the second century 

draws to an end, from the days of 
Public Service. Irenaeus and Tertullian, new motives 

and another spirit are apparent. Worship 
is looked on more as a service to God, which it is an obligation 
to render and as having a worth, even a sort of merit of its own, 
on account of which it is acceptable to Him. The scriptures were 
read in extended passages. From the exhortations connected with 
these- readings, the sermon was developed. At Alexandria, 
discussion was mingled to a considerable extent with hortatory 
element, giving to the serjnon a more intellectual cast. Church 
music, which at the outset consisted mainly of the singing of 
psalms, flourished especially in Syria and Alexandria. Tbe 
music was very' simple in character. There was some sort of 
alternate singing of Christians, as it is described b)- Plinv." 
Amthems \vere probably not sung in public service until the 
beginning of the third century? 



CHAPTER III. 

RISE OF ROMANISM. 

Looking at the Roman Catholic Churdi as it exists today, 
or as it was in the time of the Reformation, one would naturally 
ask, "Wlien did these things begin and how did they attain 
su'ch proportions?" This question is not easily answered, be- 
cause these things came slowly and singly, but when put to- 
gether they constitute one enormous whole. 

Early in the second century the clergy were looked upon as 
priests and the bishops as hig'h-priests, thus forming a kind of 
hierarc'hy, as Wedel expresses it, "The bishop was the bearer 
of blessings. Without him there was practically no baptismal, 
communion, or church service." Attention has already been 
called to the fact that bishops assumed more authority as time 
advanced ; also that the bishops of Rome, 
The Hierarchy. Cathage, Antioch (Syria), Jerusalem, 

and Constantinople were considered later 
as superiors. The bishops of Rome and Constantinople each 
made great strides for the ascendancy. Several resolutions 
passed by various Synods were used by these bishops for their 
'own aggrandizement. The idea that Peter, the chief spealcer of 
the apostles, was the head of the church on earth and that the 
bishop of Rome was his successor, had slowly grown from the 
earl)' part of the second century. This idea was used by those 
who wanted to see the bishoiD of Rome rather than the bishop 
of Constantinople, the head of the religious capital on earth. 
Leo, bishop of Rome, wrote in a letter to the ^emperor saying, 
"Without that rock (Peter) which the Lord had so wonder- 
fully laid as a foundation, no structure can stand." 

The church, too, became somewhat idolized. "Our visible 
churcb and one only can be right. In it and not beyond it," said 



44 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

I 

Cyprian, "is iie abode of the Holy Spirit." No ddfference how 

corrupt the dhurch at a certain place had 
Cyprian's Views of beccane, if One stood aloof from the 
the Cliurcii. church, though he led a most holy life 

and died for his faith, he was not con- 
sidered a martyr and his salvation was very much doubted. 

About the close of the second centur_v the positions of 
deacons, ministers, presbyters, and "bishops were looked upon 

as different degrees of sanctity and 
Degrees in the Church. Standing. The ordination caused rhe 

individiul to become sacred according to 
the office to which he was ordained. The corrupting inf5uence 
of this doctrine a few centuries later can hardly be determined. 
Being more sacred than the common people, the clergy were 
expected to show more piety, ' and as the 'common people were 
considered lower than the clergy, their standard of morals was 
correspondingly lower. Because of ignorance, sinful practices 
grew most shamefully. Outward actions were often considered 
more essential in the person to be ordained than the condition 
of the heart. This is illustrated in the preceding chapter in 
reference to the marriag 'of the person ordained. 

Those who had been excommunicated, and afterwarcls re- 
pented of their sins, were assigned special seats in public wor- 
ship for a certain period of time, according to the nature of the 

sin, and were called •"penitents." Many 
Excommunicated Peni- persons dreaded this public manifestation 
tents. worse than the}- did the displeasure of 

God. Possibly none of tlie various steps 
did more to ex-alt the priest and cause the, laity to bow in 
humhle submission to his word than this ; and certainly none did 
more to prepare the laity to accept Romanism in all its cor- 
ruptions. 

At a very early period the church at Alexandria held that 
the scriptures _vere of such a nature that many people were not 



RISE OF ROMANISM. 45 

able to imderstanid their inner import ; that 
Scripture Interpre- more than ordinary faitli was needed to 

'^^'■s- find out their true spiritual meaning. 

In the main, this is admitted by nearly 
all orthodox Christians of the present day, but they do not 
admit the erroneous idea that high position confers faith or 
power, and that the common people may not through the guid- 
ance of the Holy Spii'it understand the teachings of the scrip- 
tures. The higher the office held by anyone, the more authority 
was given ,to his ideas and scripture interpretations. This ac- 
counts for the greater power of the pope in later years. 

At the close of the third century Christianity had spread 
over the whole Roman empire. It was probably this tli^t caused 
the farsighted Constantine to declare himself dn favor of Chris- 
tianity, just before going to battle with Maxentius, another of 
the six rivals to the Roman throne. Constantine was finally 

successful in getting supreme power as 
Church and State. emperor. The religion of the emperor 

was then the religion of the State, and 
as he claimed this to be Christianit}', it was but a short time 
until there was a union between church and state. The cor- 
rupting influence of this upon the church may well ^be imagined. 
A formal piety was the only" necessary qualification for office in 
church and state. Hypocrisy was found on every hand. Bishops 
quarreled over minor points of doctrine and thereby the more 
fully proved their lack of true Christian piety. By the support 
of the clergy, the government began, to persecute the adherents of 
the old time Qiristianity. The brutality of the former brought 
them still more into disfavor with the thinking people of that age. 
The decline of the church is further illustrated in its at- 
titude toward the emperor. In the year of 325, the eniper*; 

called a council of bishops with five attend- 
Council of Nice. ants each, to meet at Nice, a city of Asia 

Minor. When the appointed time arrived 

and all was ready, Constantine walked up the long isle of the 

', building in which the council was to be held while the audience 



46 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

ence arose to its feet to receive him. His robe was a wonder to 
behold. Decked with gold, silver, diamonds, gems, and what not 
— he sat on a throne of gold made for the occasion. How 
dianged! In her church government only a few years before 
the churcih souglit to keep herself pure and separate from the 
world. Now a man who has not even received the rite of 
baptism, but was guilty of many sins, upon which the true 
Qiristian would look with disdain and disgust, presides over 
a council of three hundred and eighteen bishops and about five 
times as many attendants. No wonder that a power could rise 
within the pales of the diurc^h which would wield sucli a wonder- 
ful influence as popery. 

Christianity had become honorable and the emperor ofifered 
to relieve those who would enter the Christian ministr_\' from 
certain forms of taxation and many other grievous duties. This 
caused many unscrupulous persons to become teachers and 
preachers. It placed men of very low standard into great con- 
fidence with the people because of their ordination,. Their in- 
terpretations, which were frequently made with selfish and 
financial ends in view, were generally accepted. 

The decline and fall of the \\"e'stern Empire gave the 
Roman bishop an opportunity to make his influence felt more and 
more. The bar^baric princes which ruled the \\^est did not give 
the desired protection to the people, and they began to look to 
the ecclesiastical leader, who was now called pope. So suc- 
cessful was he in this, that when En- 
Decline of the nodious, a member of the Synod, was ap> 
Western Empire. pointed to try certain charges against 
I'ope Symmachus, he said, "God alone 
should try the bishop of Rome." 

Christ and His disciples taught that salvation was a free 
gift; that man must confess his sins to God, and ask forgiveness 
df Him ; that God would bestow His grace freel\- to the indi- 
vidual ; and that the Holy Ghost might be had for the asking. 



RISE OF ROMANISM. 47 

The' Channel to Alas, what a change! Now men were 

Grace. 'being taug'ht that grace to forgive and 

impart the Holy Ghost came down through 
Christ and the apostles to the pope, and only as the latter imparted 
this power to ardi-bishops, bishops and priests, could they in 
turn give these blessings to the common people. If this doc- 
trine were true, then no one outside the Roman Catholic church 
could be saved, and those who took a stand against that church 
in all her corruptions and for conscience's sake died a martyr's 
death, would be lost and could by no means obtain eternal life. 
As this was thought to be the only gateway to heaven, regard- 
less of what corruption might be found within the church, many 
would overlook the inconsistencies found there in order to 
receive, as they believed, a right to the "tree of life which stands 
in the midst of the paradise of God." 

Many also united with the church for selfish purposes, 
without even the thought of a change of heart and life. Pagans 

became Christians without any other 
Other Motives. change than name. Baptism, communion, 

and alms-giving were means by which 
others sought relief from a guilty conscience caused by a sinful 
life. Dark as this picture may appear there were those here and 
there who were truly consecrated to God and whose lives were 
as pure as the most devout of any other age. 

But in many cases they suffered persecution from those 
who were Christians only in name. This, with the crumbling 
condition of both church and state, caused many to seek places 
of solitude, usualh^ along some stream where they might not 
hear anything but the rippling waters, their own voice while 
engaged in prax'er, and the songs of the birds ; and where the 
scenery would bring to their minds the thoug'ht of worship. 

While these worshippers received the 
Beginning of Mon- blessings brouglit about by meditation, 

asticism. they were of little service to the masses, 

who by this time had very little knowl- 
edge of what was meant by change of heart, much less an ex- 



48 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

perience of it. These solitary persons became known as "lone 
stars,"' "lone bird's," "pillar saints," and various oth^er names of 
similar meaning. From this arose the monasteries and nunneries 
of later years. Pure as were the motives of the originators of 
this practice, it proved to be a stepping-'stone to places of great 
licentiousness, a curse to the priesthood, and a bane to the whole 
church. 

Even as late as the time of Constantine's death, the places 
of worship were generally provided with several copies of the 
scriptures where the common people might read them, but since 
it was thought that the clergy had re- 
ceived special faith and sanctity in their 
Scriptures Removed ,■ ■ , i , , 

ordination while the common people were 
from Places of Pub- , , . , . , , , 

unable to interpret scriptures for them- 
lic Worship. , ^i • , r 

selves, these copies were removed from 

the churches and finally were forbidden 
to be read by an}- txcept the clergy. This necessitated very much 
teaching if the people were to know even the simpler requirements 
of God's word. To aid in teaching, such pictures as "Christ on 
the Cross," "The Good Shepherd," "Christ Blessing the Chil- 
dren," "The Virgin Mary," "Paul on Mars Hill," and many 
others were used in the churches and were frequently referred 
to in the public service. But pictures failed to impress as much 
as was desired. Images were then made to serve the same 
purpose. This brought about image aud saint worship. "They 
worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator." 

The apologies, histories and theological discussions of 
Didymus, Cyril, Eusebius, liasil, the Gregories and a score of 
other writers o-f the fourtli and fifth centuries did much to es- 
tablish doctrines which little Ijy little prepared the hearts of the 
people for Romanism ; but possibly none did more than Augustine. 

When Rome was sacked by the half- 
Augustine, civilized Goths under Alaric, there was 

a great cry against God and Christianity 
because He did not defend the city, the home of the greatest 
bishop on earth. Augustine wrote a treatise showing that such 



RISE OF ROMANISM. 49 

was the fate of the best governed countries in tlie world, that 
God might permit this seeming misfortune for discipHnary pur- 
poses, and that God is good and the church is riglit, regardless of 
what is made to come into the way or how bad some people may 
be, who claim a membership in the church. His works were 
read by a great many people and had the same effect as oil thrown 
upon troubled waters, so far as quieting the minds of the people 
was concerned. 

In Augustine's writings he intimates that possibly those 
who had not committed sin unto death might be made to suffer 

for a time in purgatory, a place of literal 
Purgatory. fire, until the)/ were purged from their 

sins and then j:arried directly to heaven. 
This mere supposition was soon made an established doctrine for 
which the pope and his inferiors found an abundance of proof 
in the scriptures as interpreted by tiiem. In the hearts of the 
simple-minded, ignorant, superstitious people, the first anxiety, 
after the death of their friends, was how to get them out of this 
place of torment. The idea that one whom they dearly loved 
should suffer in these awful flames drove many almost to des- 
peration. Priests who were supposed Jo have special faith, and 
therefore superior power with God in prayer, frequently took 
advantage of such cases. Many a poor widow, whose only sup- 
port for herself and her family was a cow, was obliged to give 
up this last means of livelihood before the priest would intercede 
for her husband, whom she often heard in her dreams as he 
writhed in agony in his place of torment, pleading that she do 
ieverything in her power to have the priest pray for his release. 
In the time of 'Cyprian (200-258 A. D.) there was a general 
supposition that the anger of God would be turned away from 

persons who had borne testimony to those 
Indulgences. in prison as to the saving power in 

Jesus' blood, on condition tiiat no "sin 
unto death" had been coinmitted. Later the idea prevailed that 
the reading of certain psalms or tlie payment of fines would ex- 



so MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

cuse from observing certain fasts which the church required o? 
its members. 

This suggested the idea of paying money for other sins 
also when the remorse was sufficient. The idea of indulgence 
grew until not only past sins were considered forgiven because 
a certain amount of money had been paid, but even the right to 
commit sins in the future was procured by money. The Ger- 
mans said, "The popes have put a price upon sin like shop- 
keeper's wares and have sold remission of sins by means of in- 
dulgences for jingling coin." 

The following from Hausser shows the avaricious dispo- 
sition of those who should have been a help to tlie people in 
rising to a higher standard of spiritual life instead of so cruelly 
deceiving fhem and encouraging sin to such an alarming ex- 
tent. He says, "Between 1500 and 1517 five extraordinary in- 
dulgences were proclaimed, and tliat at a time when men's 
minds were beginning to be stirred up against them. It was 
quite incomprehensible. The church was acting on the shame- 
less principle of the chamberlain of Innocent VIII, who said 
'God willeth not the death of a sinner but that he should pay 
and live.' " 

"We still have originals of these pardon tickets of that 
time. There is one of 1517, for exam.ple, on which there is a 
figure of a Dominican monk, with a cross, crown of thorns, and 
a burning heart. In each upper corner is a nailed hand of the 
Savior, and in each lower one a nailed foot. On the front are 
the words, Tope Leo X, Prayer. This is the length and 
breadth of the wounds of Christ in His holy side. As often as 
any one kisses it, he has seven years' indulgence.' On the reverse 
side : 'The cross measured fifty times makes the height of Christ 
in His humanity. He who kisses it is preserved for seven days 
from sudden death, falling sickness, and apoplexy.' The dealers 
in indulgences put up such notices as this, 'The red indulgence 
cross with the Pope's arms suspended on it has the same virtue 
us the cross of Christ. The pardon (indulgence) makes those 
who accept it cleaner than baptism, purer even than Adam in a 



RISE OF ROMANISM. 51 

state of innocence in Paradise. The dealer in pardons saves more 
people than Peter.' " This is unadulterated blasphemy, and 
would sap out the last spark of spirihtal life in any church.' 
Looking; back nearly five centuries, it seems impossible that 
people coold be so blinded as to purchase this worthless trash. 
It is known, however, that an immense amount of money was 
gathered into ttie coffers of the Pope by these sales regardless of 
the fact that many of the most thoughtful mem.bers strongly 
protested against these blasphemous robberies. 

Briefly v/e have traced the career of this remarkable church 
through the centuries and brought it up to the verge of the Re- 
formation. The "Rise of Romanism" is a synonym for "the 
decline of spirituality on earth." But it is refreshing to know 
^hat there were evangelical bodies which had within them the 
spark of true Christianity. Through them we trace the succes- 
sion from Pentecost to the present time. It is to them that we 
shall now direct our attention. 




CHAPTER IV. 
IN THE SUCCESSION. 

The spiritual decline of the church at Rome and the ex- 
tension of her ecclesiastical power caused some congregations to 
quietly stand aloof without giving any serious offense. 

The very lax discipline in this church, together with the cor- 
ruption which increased with the extension of her power, caused 
many to openly renounce her as the Babylon of Revelation i8. 
To find the church of apostolic succession, therefore, we must 
look outside the pales of Roman Catholicism. 

Long before the church of Rome became the religion of 
state, there were evangelical bodies which, at least to a large 
extent, retained the purity of the apostolic faith and practice, and 
had no connection with the leading so-called Christian organ- 
izations, and as a consequence suffered much persecution. It is 
the purpose of this chapter to give a brief account of some of 
these bodies, whose records, though mutilated by the heel of the 
oppressor, are sufficiently dear in the eyes of many to place them 
in the line of apostolic succession. 

NOVATIANS. 

In the time of Cyprian (about 225-258), a controversy 
arose as to what should be done with those who had profes^'ed \ 
Christianity, but during the Decian persecution had denied the 
Savior and sacrificed to the heathen gods, and later wished to re- 
new their relations with the cliurcli. Cyprian was inclined to be^ 
lenient and receive them into full fellowship. Others considered 



IN THE SUCCESSION. 53 

this a very dangeraus thing to do — first, because of the greatness 
of the sin, and second, because of the influence that such a step 
would have upon those who would be required to pass through 
fiery trials in the future. Novatus, a presbyter at Carthage, 
seemed to be very bitter in his denunciations of Cyprian's views. 
The latter fled during a siege of persecution. This gave the 
former an opportunity to ordain a deacon who was favorable to 
his own 'views. Finding that Cyprian would soon return and 
that he (Novatus) would be brought under censure, and in all 
■ probability would be excommunicated, he fled to Rome. The 
same controversy was having its etfects upon the church at that 
place. On the death of Fabian, the bishop, a presbyter named 
Cornelius was chosen to that office. His views corresponded 
very largely with those of Cyprian. A fellow presbyter, named 
Novatian very much opposed the election of Cornelius. Being 
a man of rather quiet but stern disposition, Novatian made no 
aggressive movements for a time ; but Novatus, who by this time 
had become quite influential at Rome, induced many of those who 
were opposed to Cornelius, to elect Novatian to the office of 
bishop in a church separated from the mother church. At the 
same time he used his influence upon Novatian to accept this 
office. His plans were finally carried out. Aggressive work 
began at once. Novatus was sent out to Africa and succeeded 
in persuading some of the most ' influential men of Carthage to 
espouse the cause of Novatian. The sect was named after the 
first bishop. The Novatians now spread over Asia Minor and 
Southern Europe with wonderful rapidity. There seems to have 
been but little difference between them and other Christians ex- 
cept that the former refused to receive those into church fellow- 
ship, who, on account of persecution, had denied their Savior. 

They advocated a more rigid churcih government, required of 
their converts a deeper and more thorough change in life and 
action than was usually required by other Christians, ^and re- 
fused to again receive those into church followship who had 
forsaken Christianity and offered the pagan sactifices in times of 



54 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

persecution. Beginning early in the third century, the Nova- 
tians continued to exist to the end of the sixth century. 

CATIIARISTS. 

According to some authors this name was applied as early as 
the third century. The general persecutions of the first three 
centuries did much towards keeping the church comparatively 
pure, for then the heretics would either leave the church or be 
fully reconciled to her doctrine and practice. While many abuses 
crept into the church, before the days of Constantine, ithe greatest _ 
corruption came after Christianity became the relitiou of the 
state. / 

At the same time there were many pastors who, seeing the 
evil influences slowly but surely sapping the spirtual life out of 
the church, sought to lead their flocks in the path of our Savior 
without awakening the prejudice of the church at Rome. In 
©ther localities wliole congregations retained their relations with 
what they considered to be the mother church, but by faithful lead- 
ers were kept free from those degrading practices. In course of 
time, that body which had endured such wonderful persecutions 
for her faith, departed from her former doctrine to sucih an 
extent that she, in turn, becomes the persecutor of those who 
held the same faith which she herself had formerly advocated. 
This caused many who formerly adhered to the mother church to 
renounce her practices and unite with those Christians who were 
never connected with the Catholic church. 

There is probably no other class of people whose historj- is 
so little known, considering the importance of their work, as the 
Catharists. Two reasons may be given for this — First, when the 
Catholic church had gone so far wrong that some could not con- 
scientiously comply with her wishes, but united with those who 
claimed a higher state of purity, the state church at once re- 
taliated and the pretenders were persecuted and their writings 
were burned. Second, one of the leading characteristics of this 
people was to quietly pursufe their course in life without parading;] 
their sufferings or their doctrine further than was necessar\' for 



IN THE SUCCESSION. 55 

the conversion of their fellowmen. According to some CathoHc 
writers, the Catharists were a very inconsistent people, teaching 
many things that were unscriptural. This is easily accounted for. 
When some wicked men saw tliat there were some who upheld the 
corruptions of the church as their reason for leaving it, they pre- 
tended that they too could not endure such depravity and there- 
fore severed their connection with what was frequently termed 
the Babylon of Revelation i8. Their later actions proved, how- 
ever, that it was not a matter of conscience but of still greater 
degradation existing in their own lives that caused the step. 

These seceders assumed the name Catharists which had de- 
risively been given to the "brethren" who from a true motive and 
a pure life refused to be connected with Catholicism. Ignorance 
and prejudice combined, soon had all those bodies grouped under 
one class. If what is written on tlie Catharists were true of all 
who were called by that name they would not be worthy of the 
name Christian, but time will doubtless bring to light many 
things which will show that their work was, i;n many respects, 
equal to that of the greatest reformers. A few instances may be 
produced whidi will show their faith and practice as well as their 
fortitude. 

Augustine, in his writings speaks of Bishop Vincent Victor 
as opposing him on infant baptism. Victor argued from the 
scriptures that baptism upon confession of faith was the only 
true baptism. He also argued that the bread and wine did not 
change into the literal body and blood of Christ as advocated by 
the Church of Rome. He is supposed to have died a martyr for 
his faith about the year 400. About 429 A. D. Cyril, l^ishop 
of Alexandria, taught the great importance of thorough instruc- 
tion in the scriptures before the person was baptized. While ad- 
dressing a number of applicants for baptism, he said, "If I merely 
tell you these things without bringing any proof from the Holy 
Scriptures do not believe me, for the salvation of our faith 
; proceeds, not from an eloquent recital, but from the demonstration 
oi the scriptures." He also showed that a thorough change of 
actions, of life, and spiritual conditions were necessary in order 



S6 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

to be a child of the King. Many suffered death in this century as 
a result of their determination to serve God according to their 
faith. 

Correspondence between Pope Gregory and bishop of Larissa 
of Asia Minor show that in the seventh century there were whole 
congregations in and about Thessalonica, in Asia Minor which 
loathed the ways of the mother church and refused to be con,- 
sidered members of the Greek or Roman church. Persecutions 
always followed such declarations very closely, but in 1640 
those churches claimed to have "remained unchanged in faith 
from the time of the Apostles," and comparing their confession 
of faith with the scriptures, there is no reason to doubt their claim. 

PAULICIANS. 

The Paulicians, like many other churches, had a peculiar 
origin. Photius and Si cuius both claim that they were Mani- 
chaeans while Mosheim says that the Paulicians themselves very 
positively protest against such a charge. Possibly the most 
authentic idea is that a man of Armenia named Constantine 
entertained a Christian who was returning from Syria, where 
he had been carried as a captive by the Mohammedans. As a 
reward for the hospitality which he received, the Christian gave 
Constantine a copy of the four Gospels and the fourteen epistles 
of Paul. Being open to truth, he at once began a careful study of 
his new treasure, and in a short time saw that. his own life was 
far from right. He sought to adjust his life to the teachings of 
this new book, and in a short time drew many followers after 
him. Because of the frequent references made to the apostle to 
the Gentiles they were called Paulicians. They had no distinct 
order of clergy but like the Quakers of a later period they spoke 
"as the Spirit moved them." 

Siculus, a nobleman under Basil, Emperor of Macedonia, 
endeavored to write a history of the Paulicians, but his limited 
knowledge of them and his very great prejudice disqualified him 
for the task. He especially commends " the divine and orthodox 
emperors" for the way in which they burned the heretics and 



IN THE SUCCESSrON. 57 

their writings, and boasts that if any person was found "to have 
secreted them, he was burned and his goods confiscated." They 
rejected the worship of images, saints or relics and permitted even 
women and children to study the scriptures. This, to such men 
as Siculus and Photius, was a wrong use of God's word, if not a 
crime to humanity. They accepted no title, not even that of 
elder or presbyter. They ate no flesh, not even fish, and drank 
no wine. They seemed to greatly offend the Catholics because 
they changed their surnames to Scriptural names, as Timotliy, 
Titus and Silvanus and called themselves Christians, as if 
Catholics were Rom.an and heathen; they also designated their 
churches by New Testament titles, as Ephesians, Colossians, and 
the like. 

They were persecuted for many years vmtil they finally lost 
their non-resistant spirit and took up arms in self-defense. It 
is .said that one hundred thousand perished by persecution. This 
peculiar people will be noticed again in Southern France under 
the name of Al'bigenses. 

HENRTCANS. 

The standard of morals in, the cloisters was frequently very 
low, so much so, that it was no uncommon thing for the most 
pious monk in one monastery to go to another with the view of 
finding a place which was purer in thought as well as in action. 

About the year 1115 Henry, commonly known as the deacon, 
and a native of Northern Italy or Southern Switzerland, be- 
came disgusted with various cloisters where he had been, and 
burning with zeal against the corruptions of Romanism, he 
preached in different parts of Switzerland but soon came to 
France where he was welcomed for some time, but later was 
imprisoned. His followers were known as TIenricans.* 

* PETKOBUSIANS. 

This sect rose in Southern France about the beginning of the 
twelfth century. Peter de Bruis became dissatisfied with the corrup- 
tions in the Roman church and made an effort to restore Christianity 
"to it.s primitive Durity. He bitterly opposed infant baptism and held 
that prayers rai^ht bo offered anywhere, therefore church buildings 
were useless. Images were burned or otherwise destroyed by his fol- 
lowers. They were immersionists but were non-resistant, if the testi- 
monies of their enemies are true. Peter preached for about twenty- 
years and in 1126 was burned at the stake. Their leader being dead, 
his followers united with the Henricans. 



58 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 



ALBIGENSES. 

The purity of life claimed for the Albigenses is illustrated 
in their fair dealings with their fellowmen, the sacredness of the 
family relations, and their abhorrence for evil. In some lo- 
calities they were first called Catharists which in itself suggests 
that they placed much stress on the righteous acts of the in- 
dividual. Their growth was remarkable and as the greater 
number were located in and around the city of Albi, they soon 
became known as the Albigenses. 

Just what they believed is not so easily proven, but since 
they arose from the Paulicians, they probably held many things 
in common with that body. Fisher claims that they *"were 
tainted with Manichsean doctrine wliile tFaber stoutly denies 
that any such charge can be truly established. He also shows 
how such reports became prevalent and argues that they were 
as orthodox as the Waldenses with whom they were frequently 
chssed. Whatever may be said of them, they bitterly op- 
posed the authority of the pope and condemned the mass, saint 
worship, the 'efficiency of carrying a cross, the doctrine of pur- 
gatory, indulgences, and penance to the priest. Like all others 
who dared to raise their voices against the inconsistency of 
Romanism, they were required to endure untold suffering. 

Fisher says, "A sect arose in the south of France, which 
with a zeal for purity of life and an opposition to the claims of 
priesthood as well as ecclesiastical abuses in general, combined 
peculiar doctrinal beliefs which were somewhat akin to the 
dualistic ideas prevalent in the East. Their tenets threatened 
the very foundation of the hierarchy. Persecutions were of no 
avail. All Languedoc was filled with heresy. The violence of 
the papal legate was avenged by his murder. Pope Innocent at 
once proclaimed a crusade, olTcring the sunny lands of the South 
and heaven hereafter to all who would engage in the Holy War." 
This needs some explanation. The Albigenses, as well as the 
Waldenses, were non-resistant in doctrine but in course of time 

• History of the Christian Church. P. 204. 

t Faber on the ancient Valdenses and Albieenses pp. 106-124. 



IN THE SUCCESSION. 59 

some of them forsook that doctrine and when persecutions came, 
took up arms and fought for their lives. 

These were the people who avenged the violence of the 
papal legate. The foundation of the hierarchy were threatened 
but it was a threat to forsake, rather than to offer violence. The 
crusade referred to was terrible. Simon de Montfort, a Norman 
nobleman, under the direction of the Pope, led the papal forces. 
Montgomery in his History of P'rance, says, "Even old men, 
women and innocent children were remorselessly slaughtered, lest 
in some way the seed of unbelief might chance to be preserved, 
and take root again. Not even those who promised to confess their 
guilt and go back to the communion of the Church could obtain 
mercy. Two heretics had been taken captives at Castres, one 
remained obstinate, the other begged for life, and offered to 
publicly recant. 'Burn them both' said the inflexible Simon. 'If 
this fellow who asserts his repentance means what he says, the 
fire will expiate his past sins ; if he lies, he is still a heretic, and 
will suffer the penalty of his deception.' Where there had been 
rich towers, nothing was left but mounds of ashes ; fields were 
desolate ; the mill wheel turned idly in the stream ; the very wells 
were choked up with human bodies and heaps of stone." 

Not all who suffered during the crusade were living out the 
principles upon which they started. Many of them resorted to 
carnal weapons when they were attacked, and in this way lost 
their own lives and cast a reflection upon their fellow men who 
remained non-resistant to the end. 

Doubtless some who have read histories of the Catbarists, 
Albigenses, and Waldenses, will think of some of the atrocities 
ascribed to them and wonder how such a different story could 
be told of the same people. Four things need to be kept in 
mind: First, the lov/ly quiet spirit of these believers prevented 
them from parading their history or their doctrine: Second, 
nearly all their writings that they had were destroyed during the 
inquisitions; Third, the histories now extant were often written 
by prejudiced monks ; Fourth, many things were ascribed to them 
which were done by jpersons who left the Catholic church for 



6o MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

other reasons than for conscience sake and who were in no 
respect acknowledged as brethren by the Albigenses and Wal- 
denses. Then, as now, the righteous were often made to bear the 
iniquities of the wicked so far as man is concerned, but God knows 
every heart and will in that great day put the wrong where it 
belongs. 

WALDEiSrSES. 

In the time of Nero's persecutions, a body of worshippers 
sought refuge in the valleys, caves and cliffs of the Cottian Alps. 
After his death they settled in the se- 
cluded parts of that locality. Possibly 

Italian Waldenses. ^.i i_ j r /-i • i- j: j 

no other body of Christians was so favored 

at that time. Surrounded by the moun- 
tains of Northern Italy, they were separated to a very large 
measure, from the government at Rome, and yet not so far sep- 
arated that they could not see the spiritual decline of the hierarchy. 
This prompted them to live righteous lives and created a desire to 
retain the Bible in its purity. Reinerius Sacco, a leader among 
the inquisitors of this region during the early part of the 
thirteenth century, said, "Concerning the sects of ancient heretics, 
observe, that there have been m^ore than seventy; all of which, 
except the sects of the Manichaeans and Arians and Runcar- 
ians and the Leonists which have infected Germany, have, 
through the favor of God, been destroyed." "Among all these 

sects which either still exist or which 
Reinerius Sacco's have fomerly existed, there is not one 

View. more pernicious to the Church than that 

of the Leonists ; and this for three reasons. 
First, it has been of longer continuance; for some say, that it 
has lasted from the time of Sylvester ; others, from the time of 
the Apostles. Second, it is more general; for there is scarcely 
any land in which this sect exists not. Third, while all other 
sects, through the immanity of their blasphemies against God, 
strike horror into the hearers, this of the Leonists has a great 
semblance of piety; inasmuch as they live. justly before men, 
and believe, together with all the articles contained in the creed. 



IN THE SUCCESSION. 6i 

every point respecting the Deity ; only they blaspheme the Romaii 
Church and clergy ; to which the multitude of the laity are ready 
enough to give credence." 

Claude Scyssel, Archbishop of Turin, during the latter part of 
the fifteenth centurj', said, "The Waldenses of Piedmont derived 
themselves from a person named Leo ; who, 
Claude Scyssell's View, in the time of the Emperor Constantine, ex- 
ecrating the avarice of Pope Sylvester and 
the immoderate endowment of the Roman Church, seceded from 
that communion, and drew after him all those who entertained 
right sentiments concerning the Christian religion." With all due 
regard for such high authority on theology and history as Dieck- 
hoff and Herzog who claim that no one can trace their doctrine 
back to the time of the apostles through any class of believers, 
we still believe that the evidence of Sacco, Scyssel and a half dozen 
other enemies of the Waldenses, justify the following conclusions : 
First, that the Leonists and Valdenses or Waldenses were one and 
the same people. Second, thart the Leonists or Valdenses were not 
the same as the heretical body called Manichaeans, as many writers 
try to make it appear. Third, that among them were those who 
had never gone the way of the Romanists, 
Conclusion Drawn. and that all through the Dark Ages there 

were people to be found who lived lives 
that were beyond reproach. Fourth, that Peter Waldo, instead of 
being the founder of the Waldenses, was an organizer and pro- 
moter in a body of worshipers which existed long before that 
noted worker was born. 

In .Scyssel's work entitled, "Errors and Sect of the Valden- 
ses," a work w'hich shows the bitter spirit of the man against this 
people, he says, "Upon examination we shall find that their theo- 
logical principles had, in no respect, varied from those which 
they are attested to have maintained at an earlier period. They 
acknowledge no authoritative rule of faith except the Bible, receiv- 
ing only what was expressly said by Christ or handed down by 
His apostles, and rejecting the glosses of the popish doctors, they 
followed it in plain and obvious sense according to the letter, 



62 ^ MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

deeming the Church of Rome the Babylonian Harlot, and assert- 
ing their own dhurch to be alone the true Catholic Church of 
Christ ; they paid no attention to the ecclesiastical censures of the 
Popish Prelates and Clergy. The vital doctrine of justification 
through the merits of Christ alone they firmly maintained, as- 
serting that men required not the suffrages of the saints, Christ 
only being to all abundantly sufficient for all things. Purga- 
tory they altogether rejected; affirming that departed spirits 
passed immediately to a state either of happiness or of misery; 
and they pronounced, that the payment of money, in reference 
to the expiation of the souls of the deceased by penal sufferings, 
is a foolish and destructive superstition; the whole fable having 
been invented by the priests for their sordid emolument. They 
maintained that, with one or two exceptions at the utmost, the 
contraction of matrimony is freely open to all degrees of men; 
and in every other case they denied to the pontifis the right of 
prohibition. The power of absolution by the Priests, and the ne- 
cessity, of confession to them, they entirely disallowed. 
All worship of the Virgin and Saints they rejected, as idolatry; 
and thence they threw aside those prayers addressed to them, 
which have been composed even by the highest doctors of the 
Church." 

Faber, in his History and Theology of the Ancient Val- 

denses and Albigenses, says: "The tenet of Transubstantiation 

they denied and derided; and though Scyssel describes them as 

mere babblers ugon this point, he waives 

all argument with these dreadfully incon- 

.^^ , elusive reasoners, on the ground, that even 

Waldensean Theology. ., , ... . . ^. , ° ' , 

the faithful themselves and the most 

skilful theologians, so far from being 
capable of understanding so deep a mystery, were unable even 
to deliver it to others. All benedictions of cemeteries and holy 
water and oratories and ecclesiastical ornaments , they affirmed 
to be utterly useless. The adoration of images they strenuous- 
ly opposed." Scyssel further says, "They commonly lead a 
purer life than other Christians. Except by compulsion they 
swear not; and rarely take the name of God in vain. They ful- 



IN THE SUCCESSION. 63 

fil their promises with all good faith; and, living for the most 
part, in poverty, they protest that they alone preserve the apos- 
tolical life and doctrine. On this account, tliey assert, that the 
power of the Church resides with themselves, as being the in- 
nocent and true disciples of Christ; for whose faith and religion, 
to live in poverty, and to suffer persecution from us, they esteem 
honorable and glorious." 

The Waldenses of the Piedmont were a constant annoyance 
to the pope and his friends, and while it is not the object of this 
work to show the cruelty of the Catholics, an instance will be 
given here which is only one of the many, suffered by the Wal- 
denses of this region. The following is taken from the Herald 
of Truth of May 15, 1889 : 

"A young inquisitor, Francesco Borelli, obtained from Pope 
Gregory XI. pressing letters to the King of France, the Duke of 
Savoy, and the governor of Dauphiny, enjoining them to unite 
their forces for the purpose of extirpating from the Alps this 

inveterate heresy l^he inquisitor undertook the charge of the 

temporal arms that were confided to him; 
Francesco Borelli's and his persecutions left not a single vil- 

Inquisition. lage unassailed. Like the fabulous robe 

of the centaur, which destroyed whatever 
it touched, it seized whole families, whole populations, so that 
the prisons were soon inadequate to receive the multitude of pris- 
oners. New dungeons were constructed for them, of mere bare 
walls, designated only to secure and inflict suffering on the 
captives." 

"The valley of the Durance, with its ramifications of Quey- 
ras, Frayssinieres, and Val-Louise, was absolutely decimated ; one 
would have said that the plague had passed over ; but it was only 
the inquisitors. \ 

"Borelli began with summoning before him all the inhabi- 
tants of these valleys; they did not appear, and he condemned 
them for not appearing. Thenceforward, exposed to be surprised 
by his satellites, they suffered the double anguish of their own 
perils and the anguish of their families. Oiie was seized on the 
highway, another in the field, another by his fireside ; for fifteen 



64 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

years did the work of extermination proceed, in the name of the 
Catholic faith, at the breath of the Vatican. 

"At length, on the 22nd of May, 1393, all the churches of 
Embrun were decked as for a grand solemnity, and the cathedral 
especially, where the mass of the local clergies covered with 
their theatrical decorations were grouped in the choir, while, near 
them, a double line of soldiers served at once to keep the people 
in the nave, and, to guard a troop of prisoners, soldiers of Christ, 
condemned, for the vindication of his word, to be burned alive. 
Presently the list of these martyrs was read out to the people; 
there were eighty from the valleys of Frayssiniers and Argen- 
tiere, and one hundred and fifty from the Val-Louise — a large 
proportion of the population of that valley; and after each name 
was pronounced the fatal formula that condemned the living 

bodies of these two hundred and thirty victims to the stake 

The solitude of the desert now reigned in these depopulated 
mountains; and as the wolves abandon the exhausted charnel- 
house, the inquisitors withdrew from, the impoverished valleys." 

Moreland, in his History of the Evangelical Churches of the 
Valleys of the Piedmont, says, "Cataneo had with him a daring 
and experienced leader, named La Palud. This captain, seeing 
the impossibility of forcing the entrenchments of the grotto on 
the side by which the Vaudois had reached it, led his own men 
back into the valley; then with all the ropes he could collect, 
he ascended Mount Pelvoux, and making his way to the preci- 
pice overhanging the entrance to the cavern, descended by means 
of the ropes, to the platform. Nothing could have been more 
easy than for the Vaudois either to have cut the ropes, or to have 
slain each soldier before he reached the ground, and then hurled 
him into the abyss ; but in that case, they would have disgraced 
the cause of Him, who said : 'My kingdom is not of this world, 
else would my servants fight.' They remained in the place with 
the exception of a few, who, losing control of their minds, threw 
themselves over the precipice rather than fall into the hands of 
their bloodthirsty persecutors." 

Whether the Waldenses practiced infant baptism has long 
been a disputed question. It should be remembered however, that 



IN THE SUCCESSION. 65 

persecution caused them to flee to various parts of Europe and 
that not all maintained the same doctrines 
Infant Baptism. at all times. For example Ermangard, 

Alanus, .Stephen of Borbone, Rienerius, 
Moneta, and David of Augsburg, writers from 1192 to 1272 have 
plainly shown that the Waldenses did not practice infant baptism. 
On the other hand, Faber in article XIV of their confession has 
these words: "They greatly err who deny baptism to the chil- 
dren of Christians." The reason for this is obvious. At the 
time of the writers above referred to, infant baptism was dis- 
carded by the great majority of the "brethren" while two hundred 
and seventy years later, the time when the above was written, 
some had departed from the faith of their fathers, and were not 
recognized as true brethren by a large part of the church, hence 
the above clause in their confession of faith. 

Thus far we have referred to the Waldenses as exclusively 
Italian, while history in general refers to them as being of French 
nationality. The Italian Waldenses, it 
French Waldenses. seems, were not actively engaged in mis- 

sionary work except in the regions of the 
Italian Piedmont until the twelfth century, when they were in- 
spired to greater activity by some of their French brethren. 

About the year 1160, Peter Waldo, a rich merchant of 
Lyons, France, was aroused to a sense of his condition by the 
death of one of his friends. Waldo and two others were in con- 
versation when one of his comrades fell down and immediately 
expired. The question of that man's 
Peter Waldo. future state led Waldo to repentance. He 

learned much from the Albigenses, but de- 
cided that the only true source of knowledge was from the word 
of God itself. He at once began a careful study of the Bible, and 
to impart its truths to his fellowmen. He saw the need of having 
this sacred book translated into the language of the common peo- 
ple and took action for its accomplishraent. He gave away very 
many copies of his new translation to those who were not able 
to buy, and distributed of his wealth to the needy until his large 



66 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 



fortune was gone. The effect was wonderful. It created a great- 
desire to carry the gospel to others. Even 
Rapid Spread of Doc- in the times of persecution, men would 
trine. leave their families iti the care of theii" 

friends, and with a shovel, a pick or an 
axe upon their shouders, to hide their real purpose, travel great 
distances to preach the gospel to others. So effective were 'these 
evangelistic efforts that in little more than half a century after 
Waldo's death one could walk from Belgium to Rome and lodge 
with those of his own faith every night. The persecutions spread 
equally fast and untold suffering was the result, but "Divine 
truth is immortal," says Hubmeier, "and although it may allow 
itself to be taken and scourged, crowned, crucified, and buried it 
will nevertheless rise again on the third day and reign and triumph 
in eternity.'' Among the true Waldenses of this later period 
were many well educated men, who did much writing and some 
of their works which escaped the inquisitors' fire have been pre- 
served to the present day. 

From the articles of faith which these men sent to the king 
of France and which were closely followed in their lives, the 
position of the Waldenses is well set forth. From writers of that 
day, we have also received valuable information on this point. ■ 
The following taken from the Martyr's Mirror, shows the attitude 
of the Waldenses toward the practices of the Catholic Church. 
"Infant baptism is wrong." "Men ought not to swear at all, not 
even to the truth." "No judge who would be a Christian may 
put to death any one not even a malefactor." "An ungodly 
priest can not consecrate." "We are not subject, neither intend 
to be, to the pope or to other prelates." "In matters of salvation 
we must believe only the holy scriptures, and in no wise depend 
on men. Said scriptures contain everything that is necessary to 
salvation, and nothing is to be received but what is commanded 
of God." "There is but one Mediator (Christ; consequently 
saints ought not to be invoked." "There is no purgatory birt all 
who are justified in Christ enter into everlasting life and tliose 
who do not believe shall be cast into everlasting death, thus deny- 
ing that there is still a third ^nd fourth place." "All masses. 



7^ THE SUCCESSION. 67 

particularly those for the dead, should be rejected." "They ad- 
mitted no other degrees in Church offices than bishops, teachers 
(then called priests) and deacons ; all are on the same level be- 
fore the Lord." "Popes and bishops who carry on wars ire 
murderers." "Inmates of mgnasteries ought not be allowed ju- 
dicial power, nor should they be promised support." "Repent- 
ance and conversion are necessary to eternal life, and bowing to 
images is idolatry." ' 

The Waldenses claimed that tliey had an uninterrupted suc- 
cession of bishops from, the time of the apostles and they are 
probably correct in their claim. In Italy they are still known 
"by the same name and have churches in at least forty-seven cities 
and mission stations in sixty-one cities. In all, more than one 
Tiundred cities in the Pope's own country are more or less in- 
fected with this much hated people. Aside from this there are 
many churches and missions in other countries and on the islands 

of the Mediterranean Sea. Their work is 
"Waldenses of the not without serious opposition even now. 

Present. One faithful minister writes under the 

date Jime 24, 1898, "Our field seems to 
l)ecom.e more difficult. The increasing intolerance of the clergy 
is impressing on the religious life of our brethren a character 
marked by incessant struggle. The Cure' (Parson) of Chia- 
"verona prophesied the other day from his pulpit that soon all 
the Protestants of the parish— about twenty — would return into 
Tiis fold. The prediction is not yet fulfilled; en the contrary, as 
though to give it a more formal contradiction, the wife of a 
membejT of our churdh. on 'whom all that, her husband could say 
seemed not to produce the least effect, has made her appearance in 
our place of wonship and we have every reason to hope that she 
is not far from the kingdom of God. The same priest, after 
mainly trying every means to make a poor, old woman come to con- 
fessional, forbade his parishoners, on pain of excoanmunication, to 
attend her funeral when the I^ord called her home. Plis threat 
Tiad for result the doubling of the number of fnose who desired 
to give this proof of their respect for the memory of the deceas- ' 
*d." 



68 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

J. S. Coffman, while on an evangelistic tour in the South, 
visited a colony of Waldenses in North Carolina. The following is 
copied from his diary, March 20, 1895 : 

"I have learned much concerning these Waldenses. There 
are many things which they have in common with us that show 
conclusively that they are of the same people wiin us in faith 
and practice." "They believe in heart conversion and truly pious 
living. They are a plain people, baptize by pouring, oppose 
secrecy and have no musical instruments in their churches." 

ANABAPTISTS. 

The prefix. Ana, means again, or to do over, and when 
placed before the word baptist means, to baptize again. The 
great body of Anabaptists never accepted the name. They claim- 
ed that it misrepresented them. The question was not whether 
the persons had bpen baptized by someone else, but they said that 
water applied to a child who did not know 
The Term. the meaning of the ceremonyj was no 

baptism, hence such person never was 
baptized. 

In 1 52 1, Nidiolas Stork, a well-to-do weaver and probably a 
native of Zwickau, Saxony, began to hold public meetings for 
praise and prayer. In this way Thomas Munzer, pastor of the 
Lutheran church at Zwickau,' came in con- 
Nicholas Stork. tact with Stork and soon after said in a 
public service that this weaver had received 
the Holy Ghost and understood the scriptures better than the 
priests who were trying to teach others the way of life. Munzer 
claimed to reject infant baptism and later said that the pure 
church should be established by means of the sword if necessary, 
after which God would maintain it and 
Thomas Munzer. keep it pure. His position on infant bap- 
tism is not exactly known. When in Switz- 
erland he renounced it and yet in his church, he baptized infants 
twice each year. Uhlhorn says that he "did not practice rebaptism 
and did not form a congregation." He was deprived of the right 
to preach at Zwickau, after which he fled from one place to 



IN THE SUCCESSION. 69 

another and finally settled at Muhlhausen. From this time on, the 
"sword kingdom" was the main theme of his preaching. The 
peasants had many grievances amoiig Which was the one that 
those whom Christ had redeemed, should not be required to live 
in bondage. This was good soil for Munzer's doctrine, and some 
authors hold that he is largely responsible for the Peasant War, 
which followed in 1525. Thus w'hile Munzer may have rejected 
infant baptisn.i, he may well be considered a fanatic on the subject 
of establishing the kingdom of God on earth, and, contrary to the 
scriptures, an advocate of war. 

While these disorders were going on in Germany, there was a 
religious movement in Switzerland caused by Conrad Grebel, 
Felix Mantz, *George J. Blaurocl':, Balthazar Hubmeier, and oth- 
ers, which tended to mar the quietness of the Zvdnglian state 
church. These men believed that the churdh should )je made 

up entirely of converted people and should 
Grebel, Mantz, Blau- seal their vow with water baptism after 
rock, Hubmeyer. they had given evidence of a changed 

life. Some time before the Peasant War 
in Saxony Thomas Munzer came to Klettgau, Switzerland. 
Here he and tlie Swass brethren held long discussions on 
the religious conditions and their outlook. There seems to have 

been quite a spirit of unity between them. 
Munzer Visits This is evident from a letter written by 

Switzerland. the Swiss brethren to Munzer in which 

they called him '"dear brother." In a later 

*Some writers and speakers make great efforts to prove that Immer- 
sion was the only mode of baptism used by the early Anabaptists. The 
following taken from the History of the Baptists by Armltagre proves 
the contrary: "George Jacob Claurook was another Swiss Baptist (Ana- 
baptist) worthy. He was a monk who abandoned the monastery of 
Chur for the Gospel, a very simple-hearted man, who became an in- 
trepid and eloeiuent disciple of Christ. When he reached Zurich he went 
at once to Zwingrll to be instructed in the way of salvation, with but 
little satisfaction. He then sought tlie Baptists and in great agony of 
soul obtained remission of sins from God whilst among them. At once 
he saw that Infant baptism was not of Christ, and begged to be bap- 
tized on a confession of his own faith In his Savior. Falling on his 
knees, Grebel poured water on his head. Zwlnccli charged him of schism 
In becoming a Baptist. He replied that he had the same right to 
separate from Zwlngll that Zwingli had to leave the pope. Then ho 
held debates with the reformer, once in the cathedral and BuUinger's 
account of him shows that he was a full match for Zwingli." Bven the 
most strenuous Baptist will be obliged to receive this as It comes from 
one of their leading historians. As the faith spread from this place, 
surely the practice would do likewise. 



70 MENNONITB CHURCH HISTORY. 

letter, however, Grebel, in behalf of ihe Anabaptists in Switzer- 
land, wrote as follows: "Is it true, as we hear that you have 
preached in favor of an attack on the princes ? If you deteiid war 
or anything else not found in the clear word of God, I admonish 

you by our common salvation to abstain 

Swiss Anabaptists from these things now and hereafter 

Reprove iMunzer. Unless everything is to be altered 

after the example of the Apostles it were 
better to alter nothing. If this radical and complete change can- 
not be made at once, teach at least, what ought to be, for it is 
far better that a few should be rightly instructed by the word of 
God, than that many should believe through deception an adulter- 
ated doctrine." From this it may be inferred that either Munzer 
conceived the idea of establishing the kingdom of God on earth 
bv n'cans of the sword after he left Switzerland, or that he was 
not true and frank in stating his belief during their consultation. 

Even those who opposed the erroneous views of the Munzer- 
ites or the still more fanatical views of the Munsterites on the 
one hand and the partial-reform views of Luther and 
Zwingli on the other hand, were by no means one in faith. Hub- 

meier believed in all usual forms of gov- 
Want of Unity ernment in which every citizen had a 

in Faith. right to take part, even to the use of the 

sword when so ordered by the govern- 
ment.* Hans Denck, a man of the most irreproachable life, be- 
lieved in the final salvation of all men,t while Grebel, Blaurock 
and others did not agree with either, but were imcompromising 
characters who would urge their views in the face of the great- 
est opposition.* In addition to all these were the many Walden- 
ses scattered over the various parts of Europe. 

With regard to doctrine, the Anabaptists may well be divided 
into three classes: First, the Munzerites and Munsterites who 
believed that the kingdom of God shouM be established by the 
' sworo if necessary. The latter were also a very low moral class 

• Armitage. ' 

'" ;+ Keller ■ 
r; * Fishel- ana-HoFSch. 

,■■.-'/} .y y.-it .:~-.''l ■■■: J V— ' 



IN THE SUCCESSION. 71 

of people. Second, those who, though highly moral in their 
actions and charitable toward fellowmen, believed that they with 
the nor-Christians might exercise the rights of citizenship, hold 
any cfiice to which they mig'ht be elected and use the sword in 

self defense or for the welfare of their 
Three Classes country. Third, those who believed that 

of Anabaptists. government was a divine institution and 

that Christians should willingly pay their 
taxes and when its ordinances did not conflict with the laws of 
God to fully obey them, and to render them due respect, but were 
not to take part in making or enforcing the laws of the state. 

In speaking of this third class, Armitage says, "As a 
magistrate must bind himself by civil oaths and use the sword, 
they held that a Christian should nOt be a magistrate because 

the apostles knew nothing of church taxes 
The Third Class. imposed by the state, held no civil ofifice 

and took no part in war." Referring to 
confession of faith, he further says, "The sixth article of the 
Schleitheim Confession contains a clear and distinct recognition 
of the divine sanction of civil government, its legitimate powers, 
duties and obligations. It fully defines the absolute separation 
of Christian discipline and pralicy from the civil power — ^de- 
nouncing the use of . the sword by Christian people for any 
purpose. It enjoins abstention from law-suits in worldly disputes, 
and is so careful of the sphere of Christian action, as to advise 
exclusive devotion to Christian duty and refusal to assume the 
respojisibilities of civil office." 

It is not difficult to see that neither Zwingli, who was a 
leader in secular government, nor Luther, who held that infants 
should be baptized and thereby all should be members of the 
church, could accept such doctrine if they wished to hold sway 
with the people to whom they owed their prominence, neither is 
it difficult to see that many who had been converted and helped 
out of the bondage of priest-craft and popery would not be 
willing to again enter what was .just as truly a bondage — the 
state church, even if it was a little more refined. Many of those 
who were converted under preaching of some of the more pop- 



•]2 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

ular leaders of the Reformation united with the Anabaptists who, 
with this outside aid, grew in numbers very rapidly. 

The following from Horsdi's History of Christianity shows 
their true position : 

"From the name, it migbt be inferred that the principal 
tenet of the Anabaptists was the one in regard to baptism, or 
that they placed more weight on baptism than other churches of 
the same period. This, however, is far from correct. Their op- 
ponents in the state church did not find 
Horsch on the fault with them on the ground that 
Anabaptists. they made too much of baptism, but rather 
that they did not think highly enough of 
it, rejecting, as they did, the doctrines of the baptismal regener- 
ation and of the damnation of unbaptized infants Tha 

Anabaptist movement began when it became evident that Luther 
and Zwingli would not organize new churcbes on the voluntary 
principle, but would merely introduce certain improvements in the 
Romish church, permitting the union of the church with the 
state and the world to continue." Fisher says of them, "They 
were enthusiasts, but not fanatics. They were peaceful in their 
spirit, and as it would appear, they were sincerely devout." 

Several of their leaders held a public discussion with Zwingli, 
January 17, 1525, on the subject of baptism in which the magis- 
trates were judges. It is needless to say that they decided in 
favor of Zwingli. This gave opportunity for the magistracy 

to understand the exact position of the 
Public Debate and Anabaptists on this subject but it also gave 
Its Results. the magistrates a pretense for banishment 

of some of them and an absolute denial 
of religious liberty and freedom of public worship, otherwise 
thnn in the state church. A week later another public service 
was held in which Conrad Grebel preached and baptized several 
converts by effusion, as this is known to have been the mode used 
by the Swiss '•brethren" (see Herald of Truth, Dec. 15, 1889). 
Grebel was doubtless the most gifted as well as the most fearless 
speaker among them. 



IN THE SUCCESSION. 73 

The magistrates saw that the Anabaptists would follow 
their convictions and if the so-called heresy was to be stopped, that 
immediate action was necessary. All unbaptized children were 
commanded to be baptized within eight days and if the parents 
neglected this they were to be banished. A large number refused 
to obey and were made to flee, among them were Reublin, 
Broetli and Hetzer, some of their best workers. They assembled 
once more for exhortation and prayer, and to bid farewell, never 
to see each other again. But banishment did not decrease the 
number, and harsher means must be used. In a short time 
twenty-four of their leaders were imprisoned in the Augustinian 
cloister at Zollikon, but were soon released on bond of one thous- 
and guilders (about three hundred and eighty dollars), accompan- 
ied by the threat that if they did not cease to spread and practice 
their doctrine they would be sent to the "tower" and required to 
live on bread and water, and not an over supply of either. This did 
not frighten them. They held "public services and baptized be- 
lievers as before. Grebel, Mantz, Rogenacher, Brennwald, Blau- 
rock and many others were imprisoned. Kessler, the pastor of 
the state Church at St. Gallen, one of their strongest opponents, 
gives them this beautiful testimony : "Their life was a shining one, 
altogether pious, holy and blameless ; they avoided costly apparel, 

despised costly food and drink, clothed 
Testimony of themselves with coarse cloth, covered their 

an Enemy. heads with broad, felt hats. Their life 

and walk were very humble, they carried 
no weapon, neither sword nor dirk. They urged more upon right- 
eous works than the papists." 

While these things were going on in Zurich and other parts 
of Switzerland, Grueningen, one of the principalities of Upper 
Zurich, seemed to be quite successful in keeping the heretics out, 
but in 1526 the Anabaptists got a foothold in this province also. 
All Switzerland seemed to be infested now. This was too much 
for the state church. Imprisonment seemed to do no good. Many 
of the members of the state church bore marks upon their bodies 
which they received from thp Catholics scarcely ten years before. 
The martyrdom of loved ones, simply because they claimed the 



74 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

right to worship God according to the dictates of their own con- 
science, was still fresh in the minds of the magistrates as well as 
others. Regardless of all this, an edict was passed in 1526, that 
any one who would henceforth rebaptize any one, would be 
drowned without mercy ; that every one must attend a church in 
charge of a minister acknowledged by the state ; and that no one 
Avould dare give lodging or comfort to the heretic. In the very 
face of such mandates, large assemblies would gather in forests 
and secret places in the mountains to hear the word of God. Prob- 
ably the first one to suffer death tinder this sentence was Felix 
Mantz. In January, 1527, he was delivered into the hands of the 

executioner with the following charge: 
Mantz Martyred. "Bind his hands, place him in a ship and 

take him to the lower Huettli, slip his 
hands down over his knees, and thrust a stick of wood through 
between his arms and his thighs, and thus bound, throw him into 
the water and then let him die, and decay, and by this satisfy the 
law and justice." A prominent theologian describes his death as 
follows t "As he was led down from Wellenberg to the fish 
market and below the slaughter house to the ship, he praised God 
that he was to die for the sake of the truth. In this manner he 
spoke much; but he was opposed much by the priest that ac- 
companied him. As he was led out, his mother and brother came 
to admonish him to remain steadfast and thus he remained 
staunch in his much abused profession until his, end. When he 
was bound on the Huettli and was about to be dragged down into 
the water by the executioner, he sang with a loud voice, 'Into 
Thy hands. Lord, I commend my spirit.' He was drawn from the 
Huettli by the executioner and drowned," but the verdict was not 
carried out in full, for he was taken to St. James and buried there. 

One may well imagine the excitement caused in Zurich by the 
murder of this faithful man of God, especially when we remember 
that on the very day that Mantz was executed, Blaurock was taken 
from prison and led through the streets, his body stripped to the 
waist, and beaten until the flesh on his back quivered and the 
blood ran down over his feet coloring the very dust upon which 
he walked. Then simply because he refused to take an oath that 



IN THE SUCCESSION. 75 

he would never return to Switzerland if released, he was sent back 
to prison. Tlie inquisitors were not so anxious for the oath, as 
they were to have Blaurock do something which he claimed was 
contrary to the scriptures. The effect of the whole affair was 
niagical. The brethren became more bold, converts to their faith 
sprang up everywhere, and even the council which condemned 
Mantz. showed a troubled conscience by the many efforts made at 
self justification, even writing to other countries that it was neces- 
sary "as a warning to others." 

Some one has said, that "the blodd of the martyrs is the seed 
of the church." Switzerland was not an exception to the rule. 
This faith had spread throughout the whole country and the fire 
of persecution seemed only to bring renewed numbers into its fold. 
The good news must soon be carried into other countries. Tyrol, 

an Austrian country, lying east of Swit- 
Anabaptists in rerland, was a fruitful field as early as 1525 

Tyrol, Austria. but persecution followed closely and in 

1 53 1, only four years after the government 
instituted the inquisition, one thousand persons had sealed their 
faith by giving their liie ra:ther than forsake their Savior. Blau- 
rock, who was terrtied as "the second Paul," did noble work here, 
and gave many encouraging words to those who daily expected the 
headman's axe, or some form of cruel torture which would cost 
life itself. 

In 1524 Ludwig Hetzer gathered together the first companj 
of Anabaptists in Augsburg, Germany, and according to Dr. Os- 
good, the church at that place numbered eight hundred in 1527, 

This place and Strasburg became promi- 
New Centers. nent centers for these workers. Here, as 

elsewhere, they were hunted like wild 
beasts or the worst of criminals. One of the decrees against them 
ended with the following explanation: "Although the obstinate 
Anabaptists are thrown into prison and treated with severity, nev- 
ertheless they persist in their damnable doctrine, from which they 
cannot be turned by any amount of instruction." Wigandus said, 
"Do you patiently protect such terrible enemies of holy baptism? 
Where is your zeal for the house of God ? Where such people as 



76 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

Jews and Anabaptists are tolerated, there is neither grace nor 
blessing." 

Four hundred years before the Reformation, the Waldenses 
in great numbers existed in Holland. They seem to have been 
sound in faith and when the wave of Reformation began to roll 
over Europe, they gave it a hearty welcome ; but in the course of 
time they saw that according to their views 
Anabaptists in the Reformation would prove but half a 

Netherlands. reform. The Anabaptists of Switzerland 

and Southern Germany were spreading 
northward into Holland with great rapidity. With these two stal- 
wart classes came also the Munsterites. Just how much the former 
received from the latter may never be known, but from Ypeig, 
Dermont, Aramitage, Brown, Menno Simon, and odiers, we may 
infer that the influence was not very great. 

The Swiss, German and French Anabaptists suffered much 
from persecution but those of the Netherlands suffered more. The 
rack was the favorite instrument of punishment among the in- 
quisitors. Motley says : "The rack was the 
Their Persecutions. court of justice ; the criminal's only advo- 
cate was his fortitude The victim, 

whether man, matron or tender virgin, was stripped naked and 
stretched upon a wooden bench. Water, weights, pulleys, screws, 
all the apparattis by wihich the sinews could be strained without 
cracking, the bones crushed without breaking, the body racked 
exquisitely without giving up the ghost, was now put in operation. 
The executioner, enveloped in a black robe from head to foot, with 
his eyes glaring at his victim through holes cut in the hood whidi 
mufHed his face, practiced successively all the forms of torture 
which the devilish ingenuity of the monks had invented. The 
imagination sickens when striving to keep pace with these dread- 
ful realities." 

Thus by means of the rack, the stake, the sea, and the lash, 
many thousands gave up their lives for the cause of Christ. 
Through the flames and smoke or while under the lash, strong men 
as well as tender maidens were hearid praying for themselves and 
their persecutors until the last sound was gone but the lips still 



IN THE SUCCESSION. 77 

moved and the upturned eyes told that the last breath was going 
out in prayer for their enemies. Great shall be their reward in 
heaven. But space will not permit to dwell longer on the scene 
of carnage. May God have mercy on those servants of "the 
powers that be," who had no mercy upon themselves nor upon 
others. 

Limbroch in speaking of the Anabaptists, Waldenses and 
numerous other bodies with practically the same faith, says, that 
they "were men of simple life and judgment. ... If their dogmas 
and institutions are examined without prejudice, it must be said 

that of all Christian sects which exist to- 
Views of day, no one more nearly agrees with them 

Other Authors. than that called Mennonites. Ypeig and 

Dermont say : "The Waldenses scattered in 
the Netherlands might be called their salt, so correct were their 
views and so devout their lives. The Mennonites sprang from them 
Whitsitt says, "Influenced, perhaps by the powerful example of 
Prof. Cornelius, German authorities 'have now adopted a custom 
which allows the correctness of the Anabaptist connection. Instead 
of writing them down as "Wiedertaufer," it has become com- 
mon to designate them simply as 'taufer' and their church as 'die 
tauferische Kirdie.' That custom lias introduced an amount of 
confusion among the English authorities. The word 'Taufer' is 
frequently interpreted Baptist and 'tauferische Kirche' as Baptist 
Church. The twQ. things are distinct and should be held apart." 
This shows the inconsistency of many of the Baptist historians in 
trying to make it appear that the Anabaptists of the sixteenth cen- 
tury were identical with, and the direct ancestors of the Baptists 
of todav. 




CHAPTER VII. 

MENNO SIMON. 

In the early part of the sixteenth century Christianity was in 
a sad plight. Mary leaders had arisen who might have led great 
numbers through the darkness of that period, but the hand of 
Roman Catholicism laid heavily iipon them. One after another, 
such leaders as John Huss, Jerome of Prague, Peter de Bruis and 
Felix Manz, were hurried to the stake or to a watery grave. But 
it seemed that the martyrdom of one leader was only a means of 
awakening several others who proved to be equal to, or greater 
than their predecessors. When Luther read of the belief, trial and 
death of John Huss, he exclaimed : "My God, we are all Hussites." 
The drowning of Manz seemed to put greater determination into 
-Blaurock, Grebel and others. It was during this period of un- 
certainty that another leader, in the person of Menno Simon be- 
came known. Bom in Witmarsum, Fries- 
Birth and land, probably about the year 1492, he was 
Education. educated for the priesthood in the Catholic 
Church and began to serve in that capacity in 1524, as priest in the 
village of Pinjum and later in his native city. In the first year 
of his ministry, his conscience began to smite him when he taught 
that the bread and wine used in the mass became the literal body 
and blood of the Lord Jesus. He often wished to discuss the sub- 
ject with two of his co-laborers, but they simply scoffed at him 
for trying to discuss such subjects, having never read the scrip- 
tures. His distress grew, for he feared that his convictions were 
simply suggestions of Satan. After a struggle for nearly two 



Mi,NNO SIMON. 79 

years, he resolved to read the New Testa- 

... _ . . ment. Careful readinsr soon made him a 

His Relation to , ^ , ,, j ,- , • 

better preacher and he was accused of being 
the Scriptures and ^ i- i r .1 i i tt- i -i 

. too evangelical for the church. His daily 

search of the scriptures soon convinced him 

that the view of the church on the subject 
of the communion was not the only doctrine that was wrong. 

He heard of a man named Sicke Snyder, (so named because 

he was a tailor by trade) having been mart}Ted at Leeuwarden 

^ because he had been baptized. He says : "I 

Martyrdom of examined the scriptures assiduously and 

Cicke Snyder. meditated on them earnestly but could find 

nothing in them concerning infant baptism. 
He began to seek information from other sources. He first dis- 
cussed the matter with his co-laborers, but they were made to 
confess that they could not substantiate it. He dared not trust 
his own judgment nor that of his fellowmen. He turned his at- 
tention to ancient authors, but these seemed to contradict the 
scriptures. He in turn asked the great reformers, Luther, Bucer, 
and Bullinger, — ^but each had his own views and consequently 
disagreed very much on the one subject now uppermost in Men- 
no's mind, that of the validity of infarit baptism. 

While at Leeuwarden he came in contact with some of the 
Munsterites. He says : "Afterwards the sect of Munsterites made 
inroads, by whom many pious hearts in our quarter were led into 
error. My soul was much troubled, for I perceived that, though 

they were zealous, they erred in doctrine. 
Effect of I exerted by feeble efforts as far as I was 

■the Munsterites. able, in opposing them by preaching and 

exhortation. I conferred twice with one of 
their leaders, once in private and again in public, but my admoni- 
tions availed nothing, because I did that myself w'hich I well 
knew was not right. The report went far abroad .that I could 
silence these persons. All looked to me. I saw that I was the 
leader and defender of the impenitent, who all depended on me. 
This pained my heart. I sig'hed and prayed, Lor'd help me, lest 
I make myself a partaker of other men's sins." 



fel 



8o MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

Two things are especially noticeable thus far : First, Menno 
Simon was not a Munsterite. If he had been, he would not have 
held these discussions showing their defects, neither would he 
have been troubled when he heard of their success in converting 
people to their faith. Keller says: "No one who impartially 
studies the historyof Menno Simon and of John of Leyden (the 
originator of the Munsterites) can deny 
Keller's View. that the doctrines and the spirit of the two 

men were infinitely unlike, and much more 
unlike than, for example, the doctrines and spirit of the Lutheran 
and Catholic churches." ' 

Second, Menno Simon knew much of what the scripture 
taught, but as yet was not willing to forsake the ease and pop- 
ularity which he had in his present church relations. He was 
troubled because he was considered a leader of the impenitent, 
and because he saw sin in his own church and knew that he was 
giving the right hand of fellowship to those, whose sins, though of 
a different kind, were as gross as those of the Munsterites. He 
says : "My soul was troubled and I reflected upon the result of my 
doings, namely, that if I should gain the whole world, and live a 
thousand years and at last have to endure the wrath of God, what 
would I have gained." He was an orator, zealous in pointing out 
tlie sins of others, though conscious of his own guilt. He says, 
"The world loved me and T the world." 

The coldblooded murder of many of the Munsterites by the 
authorities sent the arrow of conviction still deeper into this poor 
man's heart. In speaking of the horrible persecution, he says : . 
After this had transpired, the blood of the 
slain, althougb it was shed in error, griev- 
ed me so sorely that I could not endure it. 
Martyrdom of the , u^j ^r irn.j 

i could find no rest for my soul. I reflected 
Munsterites. ,..,,... . 

upon my carnal, smful life, my hypocriti- 
cal doctrine and idolatry in which I con- 
tinued daily under the appearance of godliness. I saw that these 
zealous children willingly gave their lives and estates, though they 
were in error, for their doctrine and faith. And I was one of 
those who had discovered some of their abominations, and yet I 



MENNO SIMON. 8i 

myself remained satisfied with my unrestrained life and known 
defilements. I wished only to live comfortably and without the 
cross of Christ. 

"Thus reflecting upon these things, my soul was so grieved 
that I could no longer endure it. I thought to myself — I, miser- 
able man, what shall I do ? If I continue in this way and live not 
agreeably to the word of the Lord, according to the knowledge 
which I have obtained ; if I do not rebuke to the best of my limited 
ability, the hypocrisy, the impenitent, carnal life, the perverted 
baptism, the Lord's supper and the false worship of God which the 
learned teach ; if I, through bodily fear, do not show them the true 
foundation of the truth, neither use all of my powers to direct the 
wandering flock, who would gladly do their duty if they knew it, 
to the true pastures of Christ — Oh, how shall their shed bloOd, 
though shed in error, rise against me at the judgment of the 
Almighty, and pronounce sentence against my poor, miserable 
soul." 

"My heart trembled in my body. I prayed to God in sighs 
and tears that He woud give me, a troubled sinner, the gift of 
His grace, and create a clean heart within me, that through the 
merits of the crimson blood of Christ, he would graciously forgive 
my unclean walk and improfitable life, and bestow upon me wis- 
dom. Spirit, candor, and fortitude, that I might preadh His exalted 
and adorable name and holy word unperverted and make manifest 
His truth to His praise." 

From this, it is evident that he had lost all confidence in the 
supposed means of grace as presented in the Roman church. He 
saw that he could not depend on the reformers of his day. The 
Bible was his only source of information. Burdened with the 
consciousness of sin and seeking for light, he began to rebuke sin 
publicly and privately. After struggling for about nine months, 
the burden was taken away and sweet peace ruled within. He 
says: "Then I voluntarily renounced all my worldly honor and 
reputation, my unchristian conduct, masses, infant baptism, and 



82 MENNONJTE CHURCH HISTORY. 

my unprofitable life, and at once willingly 
Menno Simon's submitted to distress and poverty, and the 

Conversion and Cross of Christ." This was in 1536. What 

Renunciation of Roman should he do now? He had renounced 
Catholicism, 1636, Roman Catholicism; his former friends 

had forsaken him, and his government de- 
sired his capture. J. Newton Brown says of him: "With the 
yoke of sin he renounced the yoke of human authority in religion; 
and the liberty which he claimed for himself in the name of Christ, 
he freely conceded to others." 

About one year after his complete surrender, he was visited 
by six or eight persons, who came to discuss the religious con- 
ditions of the times. After finding that they agreed with him on 
the evils of the Munsterites and other worldly sects, and. on the 
necessity of separation from the world and through consecration, 
they asked him to aid in gathering together the many who were 
of the same mind with them on the above topics, in order 
that they might be edified by his preaching. Now came another 
struggle. Should he expose himself to still greater dangers? 
Could he do any one any good with his (as he considered them) 
limited talents? His ignorance of God's word seemed to him 
another barrier. After much prayer and meditation he resolved 
that with God's help he would do all he could for those who were 

starving for the Bread of Life. Soon after 
As Pastor, Bishop this he accepted the bishopric of a body of 

and Organizer. the same faith with himself at Gronigen, 

Holland. His great aim now was to gather 
together the scattered believers and organize churches. Luther 
was a preacher, Zwingli was a political and moral leader, Erasmus 
was a scliolar, but Menno Simon was an organizer. So successful 
was he in' this, that in a few years he had organized churches in 
Friesland, Holland, Brabant, Westphalia, and the German provin- 
ces on the Baltic Sea. Whitsitt, in Johnson's Universal Cyclo- 
paedia, says : "In course of time, nearly all the brotherhood in any 
portion of Europe fell under his influence, and most of them were 
called by his name." But this work was done against tremendous 
odds. Menno says : "For this I, my poor, feeble wife and children 



MEN NO SIMON. 83 

have for eighteen years endured extreme 
Persecutions. anxiety, oppression, affliction, miserj', and 

persecution, and, at the peril of my life, 
have been compelled everywhere to live in fear arid seclusion, 

when they (ministers in the state church) at weddings 

and feasts, pipe and beat the tambour, and vaunt loudly, we 
must look out when the dogs bark lest the captors be at hand. 
Whilst they are saluted as doctors, lords and teachers, by every 
one, we have to hear that we are Anabaptists, hedge-preachers, 
deceivers and heretics and must be saluted in the name of the 
devil." 

A decree had been issued that w'hoever would shelter, or in 
any manner conceal Menno Simon or any of his followers, should 
suffer death. A man named Reynerts violated this decree. A few 
days later this hospitable man was taken to Leeuwarden. He was 
asked to tell where the great leader was hidden. He refused and 
was subjected to the most cruel torture until death came to his re- 
lief. In his reply to Gellius Faber, Menno refers to the death of 
this noble friend of his and claims that even his enemies admitted 
that he was a man of blameless character. A decree was issued 

in West Friesland offering general par- 
Decree For don, the favor of the Emperor, freedom of 
His Arrest. country, and one hundred Carl guilders 

- (forty dollars) to any one, even tlie worst 
criminal, if he would arrest Menno and deliver him to the authori- 
ties. To aid in this, a full description of his appearance, clothing, 
etc., was nailed to various church doors. He finally found a safe 
retreat on the estate of a very wicked nobleman, who was touched 
at the cruelty which had been heaped upon these sufferers. The 
king found that several of the Anabaptists had found this place 
of safety, and expected to arrest them, but the strategy of the 

nobleman saved them. Menno did much 
His Safe Retreat writing. There is scarcely a single point of 

and His Writings. doctrine w'hich he does not touch. Possibly 

no writer of his day made more apt appli- 
cation of scripture texts than he. In beginning his treatise on 
why he did not cease teaching and writing, he quotes from Isaiah 



84 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

62 : 1. "For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace and for Jerusa- 
lem's sake will I not rest until the righteousness thereof go forth 
as brightness and the salvation' thereof as a lamp that burneth; 
and the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness and all kings thy 
glory." 

This thought was a source of much inspiration in his work 
and he acted accordingly, and by pen or sermon he devoted his 
time to the one great aim of his life — ^the establishing of the 
kingdom of God more firmly. The long, hard siege of repen- 
tance through which he passed, caused him to be very tender 
toward those in sin, yet boldly to show its results and exhort the 
ungodly to repentance. 

He says : "Alas, beloved Sirs, it will avail us nothing to be 
called Christians, and boast of the Lord's blood, death, merits, 

grace, and Gospel, as long as we are not 
Menno Simon converted from this wicked, impious and 

on Repentance. shameful life. It is in vain that we are 

called Christians ; that Christ died ; that we 
were born in the day of grace, and baptized with water, if we do 
not walk according to the law, counsel, admonition, will and com- 
mand and are obedient to his word. ... O, reader, reader, beloved 
reader, it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. 
The time is fulfilled, now is the accepted time, now is the day of 
salvation. The kingdom of heaven is at hand ; would you inherit ' 
and enter into it, you must repent, not only in appearance, as the 
hypocrites do, but as sincere penitents, with all your hearts, and 
all your powers, and bring forth good fruit. If not, you must be 
cut off and cast into the fire of his fierce wrath." 

By this he shows that repentance is not a mere form, but re- 
sults in a changed life. This is most beautifully shown in the fol- 
lowing words : 

"For a truly believing Christian is one that is born of God 
according to the Spirit, has become a new creature in Christ, 

crucified his flesh with its lusts, and hates 
Marks of the all ungodliness and sin. All his fruits are 

Righteous. righteousness, patience, truth, obedience, 

humility, chastity, love, and peace; he is 



MENNO SIMON. ^ 

influenced by the Spirit of the Lord, and his delight is in his law ; 
be meditates thereon by day and by night, all his words are sea- 
soned by grace, he sincerely strives for the life which is from God, 
and fears Him with all his soul. In short, according to the grace 
received, he is of one mind with Christ." 

From the above quotation, his view of worldliness and sen- 
suaHty are very clearly shown, nor is it usually denied that he 
taught concerning the evils of these things, but his teachings, like 
those of Christ and the apostles, seem to be very lightly regarded 
as soon as they touch points which, the world looks upon with 
disapproval. Then as now, not simply the worldling, but even the 
professed Christian, needed warning on this subject and Menno 
gave it in the following words : 

"This is not a kingdom in which a display is made of gold, 
silver, pearls, silk, velvet and costly finery, as is done by the proud, 

wicked world, and which also your leaders 
His Teachings on teach and give you liberty to do under this 

Worldliness in Dress, deception, viz : that it is harmless if you do 

not desire to serve them from your heart. 
Thus migbt Satan approve his haughtiness, and make pure and 
good the desire of his eyes. In the kingdom of all humility (I say), 
tlie outward adorning of the body is not desired and sought with 
. power, but the inward adorning of the spirit, with zeal, diligence, 
and a broken, contrite heart. 

"Here is no lying, eating, drinking, or hypocrisy; here none 
conforms himself to a drunken, luxurious, idle and ilolatrous 

world, nor lays from him the cross of 
Worldly Conformity Christ All are Upright and godly in heart 
vs. True Service. and deed. They speak the truth from the 

heart. They lead a circumspect, temperate 
life ; shun all idolatry and false doctrines from without and with- 
in; abstain from all appearance of evil: perform the true wor- 
ship of the heart; abide firmly in the word and ordinances of 
Christ ; lead an unblamable life before the whole world and testify 
of Jesus Christ with the mouth, works, possessions and blood> as 
the divine honor requires it." 



86 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

One who has been taught the spirit of the gospel can hardly 
conceive of the dead, formal sin found in those wlio had never 
read the Sacred Volume, much less grasped the deeper truths con- 
tained in it. In that day the common people were forbidden the 
privilege of reading the Bible, and besides this, but few people 
could afford to buy one. Priests' themselves did not know the 
teachings of the scriptures, as many of them had never read them. 
Is it any wonder that baptism was considered a saving ordinance 
and that younger and younger persons would be baptized until 
finally the child was considered old enough to receive that rite as 
soon as it was born? This idea, once established, required plain 
teaching if it was to be corrected. Menno Simon presented it thus : 

"In regard to infant baptism, we hold and confess. First, 

that it is a self-begotten rite and human righteousness ; for in all 

the New Testament there is not a word or 

Infant Baptism. command about baptizing ' infants, by 

Christ nor by the apostles. 

"Secondly, that it is a breaking and tearing to pieces of the 
ordinance of Christ ; for He has commanded that the gospel should 
be preached and those should be baptized who believed, MatL 
28:10; Mark 16:15. But here they baptize without divine com- 
mand, without the preaching of the word, without knowledge, 
faith, repentance, new life, and without all consciousness and 
knowledge, yet it is called by the learned, a holy, glorious work 
-and a Christian baptism and sacrament. 

"Thirdly, that it is a vain consolation and boasting of all the 
unrighteousness ; for, although they do not understand the word of 
God, do not know the truth and lead a licentious, carnal life, yet 
they boast themselves to be baptized Christians. 

"Since infant baptism is such a pernicious superstition that it 
entirely destroys the Lord's baptism, and as the poor, blind world 
suffer themselves to be misled and consoled therewith, and as, 
besides, there is connected with it sudi fearful blasphemy, hypoc- 
risy, adjuration, witchcraft and abuse of the glorious name of God 
that a God-fearing heart may be well astounded thereat ; therefore 
it is that we so strenuously oppose infant baptism, and openly 



MENNO SIMON. 87 

confess that it is not of God or' of His word, but of anti-(ihrist and 
of the bottomless pit."' 

His view of baptism is beautifully set forth in the following: 
"The believing receive remission of sins, not through baptism, but 
in baptism, in this manner: as they now, 
True Import sincerely believe the lovely gospel of Jesus 

of Baptism. Christ which has been preached and taught 

to them, wbich is the glad tidings of grace, 
namely the remission of sin, of grace, of peace, of favor, of mercy 
and of eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord, so they become 
of a new mind, deny themselves, bitterly lament their old, cor- 
rupted life, and look diligently to the word of the Lord who has 
shown them such great love; to fulfil all that which He has taught 
and commanded them in His holy gospel, trusting firmly in the 
word of grace, in the remission of their sins through the precious 
blood and through the merits of our beloved Lord Jesus Christ. 

They therefore receive the holy baptism as a token of obedi- 
ence which proceeds from faith, as proof, before God and His 
diurdh, that they firnily believe in the remission of their sins 
through Jesus Christ." 

Many writers have tried to prove that this noted man was an 
immersionist. In writing to those who opposed baptism on con- 
fession of their faith because they had been 
Menno Simon Not baptized infants, he presents the teachings 

an Immersionist, of the scriptures on suffering for Jesus' 

sake, then says : "We think that these, and 
the like commands are more painful and difficult to perverse flesh, 
which is- naturally so prone to follow its own way, than to have a 
handfull of water applied ; and a sincere Christian must at all times 
be ready to do all this : if not, he is not born of God ; for all the 
regenerated are of one mind with Christ Jesus." 

It would be difficult to harmonize the words, "Handful of 
water applied," with the idea of immersion. First, because more 
water would be needed for an immersion, and second, because 
in immersion the individual is applied to the water and not the 
;; "water applied" to the individual. It will liarmonize perfectly 
W]th the idea of eflfusion. 



88 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

On the subject of non-resistance, he says : "We teach and con- 
fess that we know of no sVvord, nor commotion in the kingdom of 
the church of Christ, other than the sharp 
Non-resistance. sword of the Spirit." "Neither the King 

nor his servants bear any sword but the 
sword of the Spirit." "I am well aware, that these tyrants, who 
boast themselves Christians, justify their abominable warring, up- 
roar and shedding of blood, by referring us to Moses, Joshua, etc., 
but do not reflect that Moses and his successors, with their iron 
swords, have served their day, and that Christ has now given us 
a new command and another sword. I do not speak of the sword 
of the judge, for that is quite different; but I speak respecting 
war and sedition. They do not reflect that they bear the sword of 
war, contrary to the gospel." 

?Jis teachings on the Trinity, Lord's Supper, Justification, 
Antichrist, Social Companions, and on many other subjects are of 
equal interest and importance, but space will not permit further 
discussion. His labors are over, but, like those of every other de- 
voted worker, his "works do follow" him. 

After about thirty years of active service, this noble character 
passed over to his reward. Possibly no one 
His Death. from his time to the present has done more 

for the cause of Christ under such trying 
circumstances, yet how little is known of him. It is to be hoped 
that the future will reveal many truths of this great man that are 
now unknown to the world. Brown says : "Posterity will marvel 
to perceive how slowly the church recognized the noblest reformer 
of the sixteenth century.'' "To pass like the other great re- 
formers, from the bosom of Rome to the 
Brown on banners of reform, even though men of let- 

Menno Simon. ters, magistrates, and princes were gather- 

ing there, cost much ; but to be compelled 
by conviction, clear and irresistable, founded on the word of God, 
to go still further and beyond them — ^beyond Luther, beyond 
Zwingli, beyond Calvin, himself ; to stand alone as none of them 
ever did ; or worse still, to be identified with the "Plebeian sect," 
scattered and peeled and calumniated as no other ever was, the 



menNo STMON. 89 

scorn and horror of all living Christendom, condemned and perse- 
cuted unto death by both Papist and Protestant without excep- 
tion; to wear out a whole life in labors and perils and privations 
of all sorts, with the absolute certainty of no earthly recompense ,; 
to thrist for sympathy with the whole evangelical body of the 
reformed, and to be repelled from all approach of consolation — ^be- 
cause 'in this century,' says Mosheim, the denial of infant baptism 
and consequent baptism of all on believing, 'were looked upon as 
flagitious and intolerable heresies ;' this was the case with Menno 
Simon — this was his sore agon}' — his severe, but sublime pro- 
bation. Yet for Christ's sake he bore it, and bore it meekly. He 
was faithful unto death." 

Over his grave, in what was once his own garden, mighty 
well be, placed a monument bearing the following inscription: 
"Here lies the remains of a man who had a conscience. He re- 
ceived much information from other men but he feared everything 
that he had not examined through the microscope of God's word. 
He felt that he owed much to the world, but eternity alone will 
reveal how much the Christians after his time owe to his un- 
tiring zeal, faithful service, and spotless life." 




CHAPTER VI. 

THE MENNONITES IN EUROPE. 

RY C. H. SMITH. 

As has 'been seen in the last chapter, the Mennonites, so far 
as the name is concerned, had their begfinning with Menno Simon, 
But so far as faith and practice in matters of religion are con- 
• cerned, they are very closely related to the 
Menno and the Anabaptists. Tlie exact relation between 

Earlier Sects. Menno and the earlier sects is a question 

much disputed among church historians. 
The enemies of the church confound them with the Mtinsterites. 
The friends go to another extreme and trace them exclusively to 
the Waldenses. The truth is, that the "brethren " as they called 
themselves, many of whom were descendants of the ancient Wal- 
denses, and having largely the faith of that body of people, were 
reorganized by Menno, whose personality was stamped upon the 
church to a sufficient extent to leave his name as a heritage. It 
is true Menno in his writings condemns the excess of 
the Muiisterites, yet calls them brothers.* It is likely that many 
of the former fanatics of Munster were to be found among his 
followers after the enthusiasm stirred up by Mathieson and other 
leaders had cooled down. 

It may be equally true that later many Waldenses were ab- 
sorbed by the Mennonite churches, }''et it is not fair to trace the 
Mennonites exclusively to the Waldenses, Munsterites or any 
other sect, of Anabaptists. 

• It is a question whether the term brothers or brethren as used by 
Menno in this connection has any reference to affiliation or relation in 
the Christian lite. 



THE MRNNONITES IN EUROPE. 91 

Ey about 1535, the socalled radical elements of the Refor- 
mation, including Anabaptists and other sects of Northwestern 
Germany and the Netherlands, through the loss of sane and ef- 
ficient-leaders, were adrift and at the mercy of a number of re- 
ligious fanatics, always to be found in such a time of anarchy. 

It was under 'these conditions that Menno Simon was asked 
to take the leadership of the scattered Anabaptists. After a 
very careful consideration, he consented to do so and gradually 

but surely he secured such a hold on the 
Menno's Leadership. people that the name Anabaptist (Wieder- 

taufer) became in many places Menonist, 
Menist and Mennonite. Later the name was adopted also in 
Southern Germany and Switzerland, although Menno had never 
visited that part of Europe. His followei-s in Holland, at that 

time, and even now, are called Doops- 
The Name. gezinde. The term Baptist was retained 

by some of the Anabaptists, who, a little 
later, went to England and there established a church, which was 
practically die same as the continental Mermonite or "Taufer" 
church. This very briefly told, seems to be the truth regarding 
the origin of the Mennonites. 

MENNONITF.S IN Till: NETI-IERLANDS. 

Menno, it will be seen, was not the founder of a new church, 
but was simply an organizer of a church already exisiting, but 
cemposed of many scattered and discordant elements. ^ 

The story of his life has been told in a previous chapter and 
will not be repeated here. The task he undertook to perform 
was not an easy one. In fact, dissension and division seems to 
have been the^ bane of the successors of Anabaptism from that day 
to this. Anabaptism may not have been, like the later Puritan- 
ism, the "'digsidence of dissent," but it certainly was the "es- 
sence of Protestantism." The spirit of the whole movement favor- 
ed the change from blind adherence to priestcraft to a reliance 
upon" individual faith in matters of religion. 



92 MEN N ON IT E CHURCH HISTORY. 

And so Menno Simon, with all his force and character of 
strength of personality, was unable to bring complete harmony 
out of this chaos. Some of the Anabaptists seem still to have 
been tinged with the fatal teaching of the Munsterites, namely 
that Christ's kingdom w^as to be an earthly kingdom. The leader 
of this party was Battenburg. He taught 
that there was to be an earthly kingdom 
Battenburg and Joris. ^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ righteous must de- 
stroy all the wicked with the sword. In 
about the year 1538, the followers of Menno and Battenburg 
met in conference at Bockholt to attempt a compromise. David 
Joris tried to act the part of peacemaker. He attempted to satisfy 
both parties, and of course, pleased neither. He agreed with the 
Battenburgers that a kingdom of the elect would finally be es- 
tablished, but that the time had not yet come for that end, and in 
the meantime the present magistrates and all the wicked would 
have to be retained in their power, and were not to be destroyed 
by the elect. He himself was a man of quiet disposition and ad- 
vised peaceful measures. Both parties condemned him, however, 
and instead of reconciling the two rival sects, the conference re- 
sulted only in the formation of another, called the "Joristen." 

A little later, but still in Memio's lifetime, another source of 
division arose among the Anabaptists or Mennonites, as we may 
now call them, in Holland and Northwestern Germany. I refer 
to the question of the Ban. There seems 
The Ban. to have been some difference in opinion 

from the very beginning with reference to 
the strict enforcing of this practice. About 1555. the division 
became more marked, and seemed to have a tendency toward 
sectionalism. The Flemish and West Tu-ieslanders believed in a 
very strict observance of the Ban, including its application even to 
the domestic relations, where necessary. The Germans, on the 
other hand, and those from Eastern Friesland, in the main, be- 
lieved in a milder application of the practice. To add to complica- 
tions, a third party called Waterlanders, arose and held that no 



THE MENNONITES IN EUROPE. 91 

one should be excommunicated until every 
The Waterlanders. attempt to convert the erring one from his 

wrongdoing had failed. All these parties 
appealed to Menno Simon for advice, who, as was usual in such 
cases,, advocated a moderate course. 

These divisions for the most part, later on, again united and 
forgot their slight differences. As early as 1560, many of the 
Waterland churches Vi?ere united. In 1649, thirty-two Flemish 
and German churches were represented in a conference. At 
later conferences were to be found many delegates from each of 
the three divisions. There still remained isolated churches or 
groups of churches that refused to join the main bcydy. The ex- 
treme conservative Flemish resembled very much in dress and 
custom, the later Araish of Switzerland. They believed in a 
strict observance of the Ban, wore beards, used hooks and eyes 
instead of buttons on their clothes. 

Tn the meantime, while these dissensions were going on 
within, persecutions v/ere raging without. Duke Alba was at this 
time harassing the country and trying to put down the Dutch 

revolt. The Anabaptists were especially 
Duke Alba's Work. hated by him, possibly because of the 

wealth which they had piled up tlirough 
their industry, and which Alba was desirous to secure. In the 
Province of Friesland from 1571 to 1574, eighteen Mennonites 
were beheaded, strangled, drowned or burned at the stake, be- 
cause they would not recant. During Alba's rule, in Holland and 
Zealand alone one hundred eleven Mennonites Avere killed, be- 
cause of their faith. 

Beginning with 1573, the church enjoyed freedom of wor- 
ship for a time. At that time William of Orange openty left the 
Catholic church and joined the Calvinists, and, although he could 

not entirely sympathize w*ith a sect that re- 
William of Orange. fused to bear arms at a time when there 

was still great danger of Spanish oppres- 
sion, he nevertheless granted religious freedom to the Mennonites 
as well as to others in forms of worship. Although the Men- 
nonites refused to perform military service, they were loyal to 



94 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

the Fatherland and to the Prince, who was waging an almost 
hopeless fight against the t3'ranny of Spain. 

In 1584 William was assassinated, and with his death perse- 
cutions in the Netherlands again set in. In 1626 they were 
granted military exemption. Oppression and limitations on wor- 
ship did not cease until far into the eigh- 
Religious Liberty. teenth century, but from this time on the 

Mennonites were not seriously persecuted 
in the Netherlands. In fact, this country may well be termed the 
cradle of religious liberty. It was here that the Pilgrim 
Fathers came in 1620 to establish freedom of worship on the wild 
and stormy shores of New England. It was from here also that the 
first protests were sent forth by the government against the per- 
secution of the Mennonites in other Countries. For fifty years the 
Mennonites of Amsterdam maintained a society, the purpose of 
wliich was to help the persecuted of the upper Rhine, Switzerland 
and other less tolerant countries to escape to America. Many of 
the early settlers of Pennsylvania were helped to this country 
through the a;ssistance of this society. 

Greater freedom in matters of faith did not always prove a 
blessing to the c!hurch. As persecutions ceased and as the Men- 
nonites mingled more freely with the outside world from which 
they had hitherto been largely excluded, 
Effects of Such Lib- they had to contend no longer with op- 
erty. pression from without, but with worldli- 

ness from within. Through industry many 
. of them had become fairly wealthy- and did not always hesitate 
under the influence of the more liberal spirit of the times, to use 
their money on fine dress, better houses and more showy equipages 
than some of their less wealthy neighbors may have been able to 
enjoy. Marriage, hitherto confined to members of the church, 
was now freely contracted with members of the Reformed faith. 
Civil offices, 'hitherto forbidden to Mennonites, were now often 
held by them. Under these various influences, many of them left 
their own faith and became members of the Reformed churches. 
It is said that not less than four-fifths of the membership was lost 
during the eighteenth century. 



. iri t 



THE MENNONITES JN EUROPE. 95 

Not least among the causes that were responsible for this 
state of affairs was the great lack of preachers and trained teach- 
ers. During the latter part of the sixteenth and the whole of 

the seventeenth century, the church had 
Early Mennonites and kittle opportunity or little desire for educa- 
Education. tion, especially an educated ministry. The 

earlier Anabaptists, including Menno 
Simon himself, were men of liberal training. Even the leaders 
of the earlier days taught that theological training was not neces- 
sary for the preaching of the Gospel. While they did not despise 
learning, yet they did not encourage it. As a result of this ideal, 
education was neglected and consequently the really efficient 
leaders were very few. It was not until the eighteenth century 
that such men as Schyn, the historian, and Deknatel, the learned 
writer, and others, began to see that a church without educated 
leaders could not long hold its own in a progressive age. Today 
the Mennonites of Holland include some of the best scholars 
of that country.* They have a Theological Seminary at Amsterdam 
which is affiliated with the University of Amsterdam. Some of 
its professors are also members of the University faculty. 

We have already seen that in the sixteenth century the Ban 
was the cause of several divisions. About the middle of the 
seventeenth century the mode of baptism became the burning issue 

in ,some of the churches. The discussion 
Baptism. began in the church at Altona. In the early 

days of the church the question as to how 
baptism should be administered did not seem to arouse very 
serious discussion. In 1648, seventeen applicants for baptism 
at Altona, demanded that the rite be performed by immersion, 
thus anticipating the position taken later by the Dunkards and 
Baptists. This seems to have been a departure from the usual 
practice among the churches of that locality, for it led to a 
heated discussion and finally a complete separation. Those farvor- 

*While BtjengthenitiK themselves in their ability to cope with other churches, they wi- 
fortunately let many of those distinctive features which marked their forefathers as "a 
seperate people" and made them a power for God among men. Education as an adjunct to 
spirituality is a help; as a substitute for it, it is a failure.— D. K. 



96 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

ing the new mode were called in the langiiage of the Dutch, 
"Dompelaars," and held separate meetings. The "Dompelaar" 
faith spread beyond Altona church and found many adherents 
in the Nerherlands. It does not seem to have found its way very 
far to the south. One of their most influential leaders in later 
times, was a preacher by the name of 
Jacob Denner. Jacob Denner, whose written sermons 

were widely read and are still found in 
many Mennonite libraries. Denner died about 1746. By that 
time the had feeling between the two parties had already died out, 
although they still differed in their modes of baptizing. The Al- 
tona church was one of the most influential of the lower Rhine 
congregations. 

The system of church discipline among the Mennonites was 
congjregational. Conferences were often held at which they united 
more or less on certain fundamental elements of their faith. 
Matters of government, and many times, 
Church Discipline. of practice, were left to the individual con- 

gregations. Consequently, the history of 
the church is almost entirely a history of separate congregations. 
In addition to the one at Altona may be mentioned the churches 
at Friedrichstadt, Emden, Norden, Emmerich, Amsterdam, Cleve, 
Crefeld and many others. It was largely from Crefeld that the 
early Mennonite settlements in Pennsylvania were made. 

The Quakers, near the close of the eighteenth century, es- 
tablished congregations near some of the Mennonite churches. 
In some cases they drew many Mennonites to their faith. Having 
mucli in common in belief and practice, 
QuSlters and and sufli'ering the same limitations on re- 

iMennonites. Hgous freedom, there was free communi- 

cation among the various congregations. 
About 1679 William Penn visited the lower Rhine country in the 
interests of his new venture in the wilds of America. He visited 
and preached in many Mennonite congregations and influenced 
large numbers of them to emigrate with him to Pennsvlvania. 

The story of the Dutch Mennonites is also closely inter- 
woven with that of tlie later Baptists of England. The origin of 



THE MENNONITES IN EUROPE. 97 

the Baptists may be traced to the Browhists, who as Mennonites 
in .'tloUand, had been driven by persecu- 
The Baptists. tions to England about 1580. In 1608 

John Smyth, one of their number, left them 
because of difference of opinion on baptism and other minor de- 
tails. He went to Amsterdam and there came into contact with 
the Metmonites. Although he had more in common with them 
than with any other religious society at that time, he refused to 
cast his lot with them. He agreed that only adults should be 
baptized and that church and state must be entirely independent 
of each other ; but disagreed in the mode of administering the rite, 
and in their interpretation of the proper relation to government. 
He returned to England in ifixi and established an Independent 
congregation, differing from the Dutch Mennonites principally in 
this, that they baptized by immersion and discarded the doctrine 
of non-resistance. After this Smyth's followers were soon called 
Baptists. The .Separatists who fled from England in 1594 to Hol- 
land, were no doubt, a part of the same Erownist movement. In 
Holland it is likely that they came into contact with the Mennon- 
ites who were a stem from the same root. In 1620. as every 
school boy knows, these people, who for want of any other name, 
are. called Pilgrim Fathers, came to America, thus transplanting 
the spirit of S'lennonite Independentism, into the new world more 
than half a century before the Mennonites themselves came over. 

THE MENNO.N'TTES IN SWI rZP;RI.ANa 

I have already said that the name Mennonite found its way 
finally into Switzerland and was applied to the Anabaptists of 
that country. The term, does not seem to have been used as 
freely as in the Netherlands, where Men- 
"Taufer" and "Tauf- no's influence was more direct and potent, 
gesinte." The Swiss Anabaptists were generally 

termed "Taufer" or "Taufgesinte." They 
had the same faith,, however, as the Mennonites of the Nether- 
lands, sent delegates to their conferences, and received much help 
from them, in times of persecution. They were practically one 



98 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

and the same people as far as their religious faith was concerned, 
and although they may not have been known very generally by 
the name, we are justified in claiming them as Mennonites. At any 
rate, they must be included in any complete Mennonite history. 
Among themselves they were known simply as "Brethren," and 
that is probably the best term to use in referring to them here. 

The story of their life, like that of their brethren of the 
North, is largely a recital of cruel persecution on the one hand 
and patient suffering on the other. The persecutions in Switzer- 
land were even more severe and lasted 
Protestant Persecu- longer than those of Holland. In the 
tions. iS'etherlands the oppressors, for the first 

half century, were the Spanish Catholics. 
In the upper Rhine country and Switzerland, from the very be- 
ginning of the Reformation, persecutions came from the 
Protestants, the Zwinglians and the Lutherans. During the 
early history of these people, their only friends were the Cath- 
olic Moravians, to whose country they fled in great numbers 
from Switzerland and Germany. Later they were also driven 
from Moravia. Even the Peace of West- 
phalia in 1640, which is spoken of as the 
Treaty of Westphalia, ^^^j ^^ ^j^^ religious quarrels of Europe, 

failed to bring peace to the Mennonites. 
The cause of this hostility on the part of the state church, was 
largely the non-resistant attitude that the congregations took 
toward the subject of government. The Brethren refused to bear 
arms, to take the oath and to hold office. They stood for an en- 
tire separation of church and state. Misunderstood on these 
questions, they were considered dangerous to the state by the 
authorities and were consequently persecuted for their faith. 
Their most inveterate enemy in Switzerland had been Zwingli. 

After his death in 1531, there was a short 
Effect of the Death period of rest ; but persecutions and op- 
of Zwingli. pression set in again and continued until far 

into the eighteenth century. At first they 
were hunted like wild beasts, burned at the stake, drowned in the 
rivers, or starved in prison. As the spirit of the times became 



THE MENNONITES IN EUROPE. 99 

more humane, they were exiled from the country and sent upon 
the seas to serve as galley slaves, and their property confiscated. In 
the eighteenth century, they were punished with a money fine and 
denied many of the rights of citizenship. 

At times persecutions were more severe that at others. The 
same was true of otl-\er countries. During severe oppression in 
Switzerland there may have been a time of comparative freedom 
in Moravia, or on the lower Rhine and vice versa. 

Thus, like hunted deer seeking for shelter, they fled from one 
country to another seeking religious freedom. The masses were 
often in sympathy with the persecuted, and gave them food and 
shelter and often hiding places. Very often the same decree that 
pronounced death or banishment upon the Brethren provided also 
for a money fine against those who gave them aid. A decree of 
1580 declared that any aid given to them would result in a fine 
or exile from the country for one year. 1043 was another year 
of seveie oppression. Many were exiled. The fines amounted to 
about $80,000. From this time to 1700, large numbers emigrated 
to other lands, principally to Holland, the Palatinate and Elsasz. 
In 1671 seven hundred came to the Palatinate from Bern. In 
1709 many were sold as galley slaves. In 171 1 one hundred 
families came to Holland and established churches there in which 
their own language only was spoken. Through these measures, 
most of them were banished from the 
in 1800. ' country, sold as slaves, forced to join the 

state church, or had, voluntarily emigrated 
to other and more tolerant lands. By the nineteenth century the 
:j congregations were small and few. 

The Mennonites of Holland had always shown a helpful in- 
terest in their brethern of the South during their persecutions. 
Havmg gained comparative freedom earlier than. the Swiss, the 
Dutch, as early as the middle of the seven- 
States General's Pro- teenth century, helped many of them to 
test. Holland. At the time of the severe perse- 

cutions of 1710, the Dutch Mennonites, 
especially those at Amsterdam, influenced the States General to 
send an official protest to the authorities at Bern against their 



loo MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY 

treataent of the Swiss Brethren. The protest, probably the first 
to come from any government, petitioned the Swiss to use milder 
measures. 

How effective the protest was, cannot be estimated in exact 
terms. The Bern authorities deTcided, however, to rid themselves 
of a people whom they could not crush by persecution, by sending 

them to America by way of the Rhine un- 
Banished Under Mil- der military escort. When they arrived in 
itary Escort. Holland, the Dutch government forbade 

the Swiss soldiers to cross their territory 
and the Brethren were given their liberty. 

It was about this time that the Amish branch of the church 
had its origin in Switjrerland. The division was caused by a dif- 
ference of opinion on the observance of the Ban. The founder of 

the new party was Jacob Ammon. In 1693 
Jacob Ammon and the this man, in company wath several other 
Amish iVlennonites. members of the church, undertook to visit 

the various congregations among the 
Swiss, evidently for the purpose of urging upon them a stricter 
church discipline. He attempted especially to enforce a strict 
observance of the "Avoidance," a practice not generally ob- 
served. Those who had been excommunicated from the mem- 
bership by means of the Ban, were now to be avoided by their 
former fellow church brethren, not only in church fellowship, but 
even in eating and all domestic relations. Even, man and wife 
must cease living together if one or the other is placed under the 
Ban. We have here a dispute virtually similar to the one in Hol- 
land between the strict and loose schools of interpretation regard- 
ing the Ban. 

The leader of the conservative party in Switzerland was 
Hans Reist. The two divisions were for a time khown by the 
name of their leaders. The Amish have remained a distinct party 
down to the present time. Feet-washing also came in for a share 
of the controversy, Ammon and his followers being strong be- 
lievers in the ordinance. They also insisted on greater 
simplicity, or, at any rate, on greater peculiarity of dress. They 
wore hooks and eyes on their clothes instead of buttons. For that 



THE MENNONITES IN EUROPE. lot 

reason thej' were sometimes called "Haftler" (Hookers). There 
seems to have been some dispute also regarding the use of tobacco. 
To all of these things the Reist party was opposed. Ammon re- 
ceived a number of followers in Switzerland. In 171 1, when the 
Swiss were invited to settle in the Netherlands, both parties 
claimed the privilege of forming new colonies. They excommuni- 
cated one another and both claimed the exclusive right of settle- 
ment. The quarrel was thus imported into the Netherlands. 

As early as 1700, the leaders of the Amish, seeing their error, 
wrote to the Reist party, acknowledged their mistake in causing 
the division and begged for forgiveness. The conservative party, 
however, too much embittered by the strife to be peaceably dis- 
posed, rejected all proposals for reunion. In this way their dif- 
ferences continued and spread to other countries. Many of them 
went to the Palatinate, others to Elsasz and from both places 
many of them came to America — Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, 
and Illinois. It is difficult to place the blame for this quarrel, 
neither is it especially profitable. As in all quarrels, however, 
neither participant is altogether innocent. 

THE HUTTERITES IN MORAVIA.. 

In Moravia the Anabaptists at first from 1527 to 1531 en- 
joyed comparative freedom, and many came to that place from 
from Switzerland and other persecuted quarters. These scattered 
bands were gathered together under the 
1527-1531. leadership of Jacob Hutter and were called 

Hutterites.. They held their property in 
common and were a very industrious people. Persecutions soon 
followed. Many of them were driven out of the country only to 
return many times, because they were not able to find greater 
freedom anywhere else. The year 1547 marks the beginning of 
their troubles. From this time, with short 
Persecutions. intervals of comparative peace, the Hutter- 

ites were subject to the oppressions of the 
government until 1781, w'hen Joseph II of Austria, granted them 
a certain degree of tolerance. Entire exemption from military 



loa MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY 

service, and other civil obligation's, however, does not seem to 
have been permitted to them. As a result, many of them emigrated 
to other parts, principally in the later times to Russia and South 
Dakota, where they now have several cliurches with several hun- 
dred members. 

MENNONITES IN THE PALATINATE. 

'I 

During the early persecutions of the Swiss Anabaptists,| 
many of them came to the Palatinate, where for fifty years their 
lot was practically the same as that of their brethren in otlier , 
parts of Europe. One authority says that 
Debates. about three hundred and fifty were killed, 

but since they fared no better in other ' 
lands, many of them remained, and by 1571 the Count Palatine 
himself attended a public debate held with the Mennonites for the 
■ purpose of turning theni from their erroneous ways. Disputa- 
tions of this nature were often lield, not only in the Palatinate, ' 
but in other lands where persecutions were common. The 
authorities in the Reformed church were interested, not in killing 
dissenters, but in rooiting out heresies. This particular debate 
lasted nineteen days and was held at Frankenthal. A list of the 
questions under discussion will help us to understand more clearly ^^ 
v/hy the Mennonites were suppressed : ''■ 

First. Did tlie flesh of Christ receive its substance from the 
flesh of the Virgin Mary? 

Second. Are children born in sin? 

Third. Does faith in Jesus Christ suffice for salvation or are 
the cross and good works essential? 

Fourth. Will the body be resurrected at the Judgment Day.' 

Fifth. Can the individual Christian own property? 

Sixth. Can the Christian be a magistrate and can he use the 
sword ? 

Seventh. Is the Christian allowed to take the oath? 

Eighfh. Must children be baptized? 

Ninth. Is the communion only a symbol and a token of re- 
membrance ? 



THE MENNONITES IN EUROPE. 103 

• 

It will be seen that these questions deal both with mat- 
ters of doctrine and with social and civil relations. The Mennou- 
ites were persecuted, not only for their religious faith, but be- 
cause their attitude toward government. 
Persecutions; cause. property and other economic and social 
institutions were considered a menace to 
the welfare of the State. In 1660 many of the Brethren came 
to Switzerland, being invited by the Count Palatine to settle in the 
districts that had been laid waste by the Thirty Year's War. 
Througb their industry and sober and steady habits of life they 
soon transformed what had been a desolate wilderness to a garden 
of plenty. The liberty they enjoyed was only of short duration. 
During the many wars that were fought between France and Ger- 
many in the time of the great French King, Louis XIV, the Pal-, 
atinate was made the battlefield of the struggle.' About two hundred 
and forty fajTiilies were driven out of the country. Many of 
them fled to the lowlands of the Rhine and there would hardly 
have been able to eke out an existence had not their brethren of 
the Netherlands again come to their rescue with money, food 
and clothing. 

Their service in the development of the land was also soon 
forgotten and only their stubborn faith and' refusal to bear anns- 
remembered. Many of them came to America by way of Hol- 
land. The churches in Amsterdam and in other cities of Holland 
supported an organization, the purpose of which was to help the 
persecuted Mennonites of Europe, and especially of the Palatinate) 
to escape to America. Py 1732 over three thousand had arrived 
at Rotterdam from this region. 

The oppressions during the middle of the eighteenth century 
continued, not in loss of life, to be sure, but in special head tax, 
inheritance tax, banishment, confiscation of property, and denial 
of freedom of worship. _F,ven the States General of Holland ad- 
vised the authorities to exercise moderation in their treatment of 
the Mennonites. As a result of continued oppression, thousands 
of them left the Palatinate for Pennsylvania or for homes in the 
Netherlands. During the nineteenth century, the Mennonites of 
Germany, as well as their brethren in the rest of Europe, found 



I04 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY 

their greatest source of difficulty in the fact that they refused to 
bear arms at a time when national animosities were strong and the 
war spirit ran high; 

BRETHREN IN PRUSSIA. 

Before the time of Menno Simon the Anabaptists were found 

in Prussia, and after his time there were Mennonite churches in 

many of the large cities. Menno Simon himself visited some of 

the churches in this region. His friend, 

Dirk Philipps,* became the first elder of the 
Excused from Oath. .. ^ -n. • t'l nyr -j. 

congregation at Danzig, ihe Mennonites 

here were in close touch with those of the 
Netherlands and enjoyed a greater degree of freedom than those 
of the same faith in the South. In 1585 some of them were 
granted the rights of citizenship. Instead of the oath, they were 
permitted to say "y^s^" ^^^ "nay." The Eastern part of modem 
Prussia was then a part of the Polish kingdom. The Mennonites 
were invited by both Prussia, which was then a Duchy, and Poland. 
They secured some favors by building up the desolate marshes of 
the low countries and reclaiming some of the land that had hith- 
erto lain idle. The fact also that Poland was Catholic and Prus- 
sia Lutheran, worked out to their advantage. 

During the seventeenth century they were granted some free- 
dom. In 1660 they were allowed to erect a building for worship in 
Danzig. Absolute freedom, of course, was never allowed them. 
In times of war they were obliged to serve or find substitutes and 
their attitude toward civil government was always regarded with 
suspicion by the Lutherans. In 1710 during the time of severe 
persecutions in Switzerland, Frederick of Prussia, influenced by 
Plolland, invited the Mennonites to settle on his lands. Many 

* The PhiUips brothers, Dirk and Ubho, were among the prominent^' 
leaders of the Anabaptists in the Netherlands in Menno Simon's time. 
When Menno decided to leave the Catholic church he was baptized by 
Ubbo, who soon after recanted and left the Anabaptists for the Cath- 
olic faith again. Dirk continued true to the new organizatipn and re- 
mained a faithful friend of Menno's through all his trials. He was 
born in 1504 at Leenwarden. He was tJie first BiSihop of the church at'i 
Danzig. He wrote many books during his" lifetime, the most widely 
known of which Is the "Buchlndlon." an exposition of the doctrines of 
the church, that was at one time widely read by the AJennonites. He 
died at Emden, 1570, 



THE MENMONITES IN EUROPE. 105 

came. Others, as we have already seen, went to Holland and 
America. In 1724 the Mennonites were again ordered to leave 
Prussian soil. This was the result of Frederick's dislike of them 
for refusing to give up some of their large men for his famous 
Potsdam regiment of Giants. In 1740, under Frederick II, they 
were granted freedom of worship. By 1772 there were about 

fourteen thousand Mennonites in Prussia. 
Privileges Gained. In 1773 they gained from the King the 

following privileges : 

First. Full freedom of worship in accordance with the Men- 
nonite confession of faith. 

Second. The\privilege of building suitable structures for 
worship. 

Third. To teach their children in their own schools. 

Fourth. Freedom from military service. 

Fifth. The privilege of discarding the oath and using the 
"yea" and "nay" instead. 

Sixth. The privilege of engaging in any industry open to 
their countrymen and the right of buying and selling and holding 
property. 

Such absolute freedom, however, could not last. Under dif- 
ferent kings and in times of war it was very difficult to maintain 
the non-resistant faith. As early as 1788 a number of them left 
for Russia, where they were allowed greater freedom from mili- 
tary service. Others followed until finally Russia became an 
asylum for thousands of oppressed Mennonites. During the great 
Napoleonic wars, the Mennonites, as well as their fellow-country- 
men in Germany, sufifered many hardships. At times they were 
pressed into .military sen'ice. Then again they were allowed to pay 
a money substitute. Sometimes they voluntarily presented large 
sums of money to the authorities to show their appreciation for 
their privileges and to help support the fatherland. 

Finally many went to other countries. Of those who re- 
mained, many continued their struggle for release from military 
service : others gave up the faith of their fathers and joined the 



io6 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY 

army. Today the tendency all over Europe 
Interpretation of the seems to be toward a very liberal interpre- 
Non-resistant Doc- tation of the non-resistant doctrine. Under 

trine. the influence of the military spirit, the 

young men have gradually been turned 
away from the old faith and today many 
of them, especially in Holland and Germany, can be found in the 
armies. 

MENNONITES IN RUSSIA. 

In 1786 Catherine of Russia, invited the Mennonites of 

Prussia and others of the less tolerant countries, to emigrate to 

some of the unsettled lands of southern Russia. She promised 

them freedom of worship,, freedom from 

military service, traveling expenses to Rus- 

van ages in ussi . ^.^^ ^^^ ^ certain amount of land, exempt 

from taxation, for a number of years. 
Many accepted the invitation. The Prussian government, although 
not in favor of granting the Mennonites religious freedom, yet 
was loath to see such an industrious and well-to-do people leave 
the countiy. Consequently passes Were denied them. In spite 
of this obstacle to their free passage, many of them left for tlie 
new land of promise. Two hundred and twenty-eight families 
arrived in the Province of Taurien on the banks of the Dnieper , 
on July 20, 1788. These first colonists, although they suffered 
many of the hardships common to the pioneers of a new country, 
yet through industry, soon found a ready market for their products 
in the nearest towns and enjoyed both material prosperity arid 
religious liberty. 

It seems that the colony neglected to take with them either a 
preacher or elder, without whom it was impossible for them to 
carry on their religious worship. As soon as they were settled i 

in their new 'home, they wrote back to the , 
Care for Religious church at Danzig for an elder, in order 

Services. that they might observe the communion 

service. Elder or Bishop Peter Epp vol- 
unteered to go, but soon fell sick and had to postpone the journey, 



THE MENNONITES IN EUROPE. 107 

whereupon the brethren at Danzig advised the Russians to select 
sixteen candidates and send their names to Danzig from which 
four preachers and two deacons would be chosen by lot. This 
was done, but since only a bishop could administer the com- 
munion service, the Russians demanded that one be sent to them 
from Prussia. They promised to send one hundred and eighty 
dukats for the necessary traveling expenses. 

Two hundred of the brethren from the A'^arious churches of 
Prussia, assembled in conference to consider the matter. It was 
finally decided that Epp, the former volunteer, and who now seems 
to have recovered from his sickness, was 
First Elders or to be sent to Russia. Tiis own dhurch, at 

Bishops. Danzig, however, would not consent to the 

arrangement. He decided to make the 
journey, but was relieved from breaking with his congregation by 
another attack of sickness, this time fatal. Under these conditions, 
the Russians finally decided to follow the advice of their brethren 
in Prussia, and elected, or rather appointed, on the authority of 
one of the Prussian elders, one of their own preachers, Penner 
by name, to the office of Elder. Penner soon after died. During 
his sickness he suggested that Jacob Wiebe, one of his co-laborers, 
be elected to the office. Wiebe pleaded unfitness. He was ap- 
' pointed to the position -by the Prussian churches but refused to 
serve. Thereupon the church elected another of their own num- 
ber, David Epp, who was ordained by Wiebe, whose right to per- 
form the service was rather questionable. Since according to old 
mstom, one elder could be ordained only by another elder actu- 
ally present this whole proceeding was regarded with disfavor 
by many, and resulted in a division of opinion in the Russian 
church. Finally the Prussians, in 1793, decided to send two elders 
to investigate and adjust the dispute. These two men began their 
journey on February 23, 1794, and arrived at the Dneiper on April 
i8th. They were received with great rejoicing by all parties, and 
finally adjusted all difficulties, and appointed an elder according 
to the established custom. 

In 1796 Catherine died, and her son, Paul I, ascended the 



io8 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY 

throne. He continued the liberal policy of his mother. In 1800, 
the Mennonites secured from him a charter of privileges grant- 
ing them freedom of worship ; freedom 
New Charter; Results, from military, judicial and civil obliga- 
tions ; liberal trading privileges ; a monop- 
oly in their colonies of certain industries, as weaving, brewing, 
etc. : free land and exemption from taxes for ten years. 

As a; result of these liberal concessions, many of the Prussian 
Mennonites, even those who had accumulated considerable wealth, 
emigrated to Russia. During 1803-1804, about three hundred 
families came. In 1808 ninety-nine fam- 
ilies came. In 1818 two hundred and fif- 
Seek New Homes. , jj j c ^i 

teen more were added. Soon other set- 
tlements were opened up. By 1836 there 
were ten thousand inihabitants on the Molotschna, one of the later 
and most prosperous colonies. About the middle of the century,, 
settlements were made along the Volga. Emigration continued 
more or less until about 1870. In 1874 they lost their exemption 
from military service. Many of them made preparation to leave 
the country. The Czar, unwilling to lose the service of a people 
that had done much to reclaim the waste places of .Southern Rus- 
sia, compromised with them and instead of direct military service 
allowed them to enter the hospital service, the government rail-\ 
way employ or to serve their allc^tted time on the government for- 
estries. Even these conditions were too hard and as a result many 
of them found other homes. One colony sought an asylum in 
Siberia but after many hardships from cold, hunger, and bar- 
barian Turks most of them returned to Russia, or came to 
America; the final refuge of these, as well as of earlier Men- 
nonites, is America, the home of the oppressed and the land of the 
free. Large numbers came to the western and northwestern 
states where they have shown themselves an industrious, generous 
and God-fearing people. 

MENNONITE PRINCIPLES. 

This very briefly told, is the story of the growth of the Euro- 
pean Mennonites. It remains now to say a few words regarding! 



THE MENNONITES IN EUROPE. 109 

■flieir faith and significance in 'history. In faith and practice they 
have probably changed less during the four hundred years of their 
history than any other Christian religious organization in the 
world. This may be accounted for, probably, by the fact that 
they have made a rather literal interpretation of the . Bible, their 
guide for conduct and practice, and furthermore by the fact that 
through their views on military sei-vice and civil government, 
they have suffered oppression and have thus developed a more in- 
tense and exclusive denominational individuality. This, however, 
is beginning to be less true in Europe than in America. Cut off 
from the rest of the world and regarding themselves as a peculiar 
people, they have been able to propagate with very little change, 
the faith of the fathers in doctrine, principles, practice and cus- 
toms. 

The earliest formal declaration of faith of the Anabaptists is 
the Schleitheim Brotherly Union of 1527. It contains practically 
the same statement of the non-resistant faith as the later Men- 

nonite confessions, of which there were 
Confession of Faith. many. The most important of the many 

declarations of Mennonite faith, is the one 
drawn up by the churches of Holland and Northern Germany at 
Dortrecht, 1632. This has remained the authorized confession of 
faith for most of the churches 'to the present time. 

By sifting through the eighteen articles contained in this 
confession, we can reduce them all to two or three fundamental 
propositions, namely — First. The church of God must be made up 
of persons truly converted. They can, therefore, be baptized only 
after they have a knowledge of rigiit and wrong. Church and state 
must also be entirely separated. Second. The 'Christian can take no 
part in the temporal government. The government must punish the 
wicked. This is not the function of the Christian. On this point 
there was some difference of opinion among the Anabaptists and 
early Mennonites, but most of them held this view. Neither can 
the Christian take the sword to slay his brother. That is the 
business of the temporal government. The Christian must keep 
entirely aloof from all civil government. He cannot take the' 
sword, neither can he take the oath. And, Third. The Chris- 



no MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY 

tian must withdraw himself from the rest of the world. The 
Christian church must remain pure. It must act as a leaven on 
the rest of the world. In order to remain pure the Christian must 
not enter into close connection with the world in business, wor- 
ship, marriage or social relations. 

This principle of exclusiveness was variously interpreted by 
different men at different times. We have already seen how the 
Ban (the means used for keeping the church pure) led to heated 
discussions and divisions in Holland and Switzerland. 

In matters of doctrine, on the significance of the Lord's Sup- 
per, the nature of Christ and other matters of faith, as well as 
practice, the Mennonites liiffered greatly, not only from the Cath- 
olics, but also from the other state 
Summary of Faith. churches. These are the three differe'nti- 

ating principles, then — thorough regener- 
ation as a condition to church membership, implying separation 
of diurch and state, non-resistance as applied to government, ex- 
clusion from the rest of the world in matters of religion and as 
much as possible in business and social relations. Whether or not 
the church is changing its attitude on these matters may be in 
dispute. It remains, however, that in the past and especially in 
the early years of the church, this has been the essence of Men- 
nonitism. 

The Mennonites did not come in contact with the outside 
world to any great extent ahd in their later history may not have 
exerted much influence upon .the world's thought. They were 
the pioneers, however, in two great move- 
Pioneers in Two ments, Avhich others have since taken up 
Movements. and which have done much to transform 
the character and ideals of human life. 
These two movements may be called Tndependentism and World 
Peace. The Mennonites, or rather their predecessors, the Ana- 
baptists, who were Mennonites in every respect, except in name, 
were the first organized religious society that demanded entire 
toleration in matters of religion. Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and all 
other great reformers of the sixteenth century, demanded a imion, 
to a greater or less degree, of church and state. 



THE MRNNONITES IN E UR OPE. 1 1 1 

Conrad Grebel, Hans Denck and Menno Simon insisted that 
the regenerated of heart only should compose the visible church. 
The state, therefore, could not interfere with matters of religion. 
We have said that the Anabaptists were the first organized so- 
ciety to maintain this principle. It is true, as noted in a previous 
chapter, that other sects in various places, from the early primitive 
church, down to the opening of the sixteenth century, held the 
same view. We have already seen that the Pilgrim Fathers, 
who transplanted the principles into the New World, came 
from practically the same stock as the Mennonites and 
were closely associated with them at Amsterdam during 
their short exile in Holland. Since that day America has be- 
come almost the only countr}' where religious Independentism 
prevails. Under her example and influence the movement is 
spreading and will ultimately include the 
Influence on World entire civili'zed world. The Mennonites in 

Thought. these later years, may not have done more 

than their share in fostering this sentiment 
because they no longer differ from other American religions in 
this respect. They must be credited, however, with being the 
earliest effective advocates of the principle in Europe, and with 
exerting no mean influence upon those who sowed the seed in 
this country. 

In their protest against war, the Mennonites were preceded 
by the Waldenses, some of the Anabaptists, the Wyclifites and 
others, but few stood so consistently for the Bible doctrine of 
non-resistance as did the Mennonites. M any of these earlier sects 
died out. Others outgrew their principles. The Mennonites con- 
sistently held that war was wrong and refused to take up arms. 
It is only within recent times that a tendency toward a looser in- 
terpretation of the old faith has appealed to Europe. 

Next to the Mennonites in point of time and very closely re- 
lated to them come ihe Quakers as advocates of the Peace doc- 
trine. The Mennonites were first in reference to time ; but in the 
influence which they extended, especially in the later years, upon 
the thought of the world at large with reference to the world-peace, 
it is probably true that the Quakers have played a more important 



112 



MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY 



role. This may be due to various reasons, probably not the least of 
which is the fact that the Mennonites have been more exclusive 
and have paid less attention to the education of their people. 
Whatever their influence upon the world may have been, it re- 
mains true that the Mennonites, on this principle as on all others, 
have been an illustrious example through the centuries of consis- 
tency, patience, endurance and earnest devotion to their God and 
their convictions. 




CHAPTER VII. 

A VISIT AMONG THE MENNONITES OF EUROPE. 

BY A. D. WENGER. 

Most of our infoiTiiation is hear-say. Seeing for yourself 
is far more satisfactory. I had often heard that there are still 
some Mennbnites in the old countries whence our forefathers 
came, but my knowledge of them was exceedingly limited until 
a fe\v yeai-s ago-, when I visited among them. How are they? 
Where are they? How many are they? are questions that natur- 
klly rise in the minds of many. 

A great and stormy sea lies between us and them and conse- 
quently visits are not frequently exchanged. We seldom^ see 
anything in print concerning them. But many a thrilling story is 
still related around the family fireside showing how our an- 
cestors a few generations ago fled from persecutions and under- 
tbok the long and perilous voyage in sail-boats across the deep, to 
settle among the savage Indians in the forests of America. Pos- 
sibly this, more than anything dse, arouses within us a desire 
to know something of our brethren and distant relatives in 
Europe. That they are our distant relatives there can be no 
doubt, for the names Landis, Funk, Herr, KaufStnan, Lehman^ 
Musselman, Horsch, Hege, Wenger, Brubaker, Yoder, Eby, and 
many other names common among the Mennonites in America, 
are very common among the Mennonites of Europe. 

In midwinter, January 21, 1899, my ship left New York, and 
after a rough voyage of nearly nine days, reached Liverpool, 
England. About two weeks were spent in England and about 
five days in France on my way to Switzerland where I visited 
the first Mennonites. 



114 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY 

At the Chrischona school on top of a mountain, not far from 
Easel, where young men are being instructed for missionary 
work, I met two young brethren from Russia, and one from 
France. The French brother's name was Pierre Sommer. He 
was from Canton Meurthe et Moselle, that 
French Mennonites. part of France bordering on Lorraine, 
Germany. He appeared to be a fine, spir- 
itual young man. However, his report of the few Mennonite 
congregations in France was that they had grown quite formal 
and were much in need of spiritual revival. The membership 
ill France is nearly six hundred. 

In .addition to the two Russian brethren already mentioned, 
there were five others from Russia attending a school at Basel. 
John Thiessen and John Klassen from the province of Ekaterin- 
oslaf informed me of the large membership in Russia and assisted 
me in planning my travels, although I did not find it conven- 
ient at aijy time to get into Russia. 

On Saturday, February i8, I walked a few miles north to 
the home of Michael Widmer, an humble minister of the Gospel. 
He entertained me very kindly and the next morning took me 
along to church near Basel. The congregation was small and the 
service was similar to ours at home. Three ministers took part, 
each speaking at some length on the truths of the Word. The wor- 
shippers had the appearance of sincerity and humility. There 
was nothing flashy about their attire. However the devotional 
head-covering had been almost discarded — only one present wear- 
ing it. They did not stand around and simply look at me because 
I was a stranger. Several invited me to go along, but time per- 
mitted me to make only a few short visits. 

At Langnau, Switzerland, I visited another congregation. It 
is of good size and has at its head Matthew Pole. In addition to 
being a pastor, he also does considerable evangelistic work and 
edits a religious paper called "Zion's 
Swiss Mennonites; Pilger." He and his family were poor, 

IMatthew Poie. hard-working people, but they appeared to 

be rich in faith and in the Holy Spirit 
There was no place in Europe that T felt I could more easily make 



THE MENNONITES IN EUROPE. 115 

myself at home than right here with this spirit-filled minister and 
his congregation. 

While traveling among the Swiss Alps, I chanced to meet 
Brother Fast, a missionary of ten years' experience on the island 
of Java. He was brought up in Southern Russia. I had met him 
and heard him preach in Heilbronn, Ger- 
Missionary Fast. many, a few weeks before. We talked to- 

gether on the train for about two hours 
and he appeared surprised at the information that I was able to 
get ajaout the Mennonites of Europe with my limited knowledge 
of high German. I was sorry to part from him when he left the 
train at Jura to fill some appointments. I followed him to the 
door and saw some brethren that had come to the station to meet 
him. As he mentioned his traveling companion to them, we barely 
had time to look into each other's faces until the train moved 
off. Life is too short to meet and associate with all who love the 
Lord. In the ages to come, while God is showing us the exceeding 
riches of His grace, (Eph. 2 :y) we will have time for that. 

For centuries the Mennonites in Switzerland were sorely 
persecuted and many thousands went to other countries of Europe 
and to America. What few remain at present are not prospering 
to any great extent. They have very few visiting ministers 
other than an occasional evangelistic visit from the ministers of . 
southern Germany. They seldom travel and know very little 
of the Mennonites in other parts of Europe. Apparently they 
are bound down to hard work and strict economy. 

One day while sitting. at a large dining table at my lodging 
place, in Basel, I learned that near by me sat a Mennonite from 
Russia, John Klassen, whom I teive previously mentioned. After 
our acquaintance, we had pleasant associ- 
John Klassen- His ations and a number of talks on scripture 

Statistics. and about the Mennonites of southern 

Russia. From one of his books, I got the 
following statistics of Mennonites in Europe for the year of 1895 : 



ii6 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY 

Austria, Galicia, 4 congregations, - 45° members 

France— eastern part, - - 59 1 members 

Germany, Baden and Wurttenburg, 14 congregations, 667 members 



East add West Russia, 


19 


6794 members 


Pfalz and Rheinhesse, 


H 


i960 members 


" cities, northern 


part, 


II 


1406 members 


" scattered. 


- 


13 


1 18 1 members 


Holland, 


- 


- 


25232 members 


Russia, Poland, 




- 


5iomembfers 


' ' southern part 




- 


41 57 1 members 


Switzerland, 




9 congregations 85Q members 



Total - .81221 

In Russia and possibly in all the other places, the unbap- 

tized children of Mennonite families have 

been included in the above figures. It is 

Mennonites in Russia , j . u. n .1 1. 1. /■ j 

hard to tell exactly how many baptized 

members of the church there are- in 

Europe, probably about sixty thousands. 

Those in Russia live principally in the rich agricultural re- 
gions north of the Black Sea, along the Dnieper river. This set- 
tlement began in 1789. Empress Catherine of Russia, seeing that 
these people were good tillers of the soil (something they have 
always been in every land) induced many of them to migrate 
from Prussia to South Russia. Here, for more than one hundred 
years, the}- have lived and prospered on their farms in one of 
the greatest wheat belts of the world. The government has, at 
times, employed them to teach the Jews the art of farming. 

-Religiously, they are possibly just as spiritual as any others 
.in Europe. They endeavor to adhere closely to the non-resistant 
.doctrines of the Gospel. In times of war they have been permitted 
to have government employment in forestry instead of direct ser- 
vice in the army. How hard military pressure has been brought 
-to bear upon them during the present war with Japan I have not 
y^ learned. They have had some trouble, however, in the past 
-in respect to military service and- thousands. of them have emi- 



THE MENNONITES IN EUROPE.. iiy 

grated to America, where they have full liberty of conscience in 
worship. It is a sad fact that under the military pressure of the 
European governments the Mennonites in places are gradually 
losing their non-resistant principles. 

In Soutli Russia, conference meets a,nnually. They are be- 
coming better organized and with their great numbers, they are 
capable of becoming a great power for good; Surrounded by 

religious sects so different from their own, 
Russian Mennonite very few have strayed from their congre- 
Conference. gations to other religious societies, but they 

have lost heavily by emigration. Most of 
the ministers are farmers and not more than one-tenth of them 
have more than an ordinary education. 

- Starting at Basel, Switzerland, and following down the his- 
toric Rhine we stopped at Freiburg, Germany, crossed the river 
into Alsace and visited the Amish settlement at New Preisach 

and Colmar. , There are also some congre- 
Amish Mennonites. gations of them in Lorraine. If there are 

more than a few hundred orthodox Amish 
in all Europe, I have not been able to find them. Nearly all have 
come to America. In these two German provinces they have a 
small conference district consisting of nine ministers and about 
one hundred and twenty members. Five of the ministers have 
the name Peterschmitt. Minister John Peterschmitt ga.ve me a 
very cordial reception. They travel very little, know very little 
of the Mennonije people in other parts of Europe and are de- 
creasing in numbers. They wear "hooks and eyes," observe feet 
washing and the devotional head-covering, have the "Confession 
of Faith" in their homes, and sho^v about all the other signs of 
orthodoxy except that they are "given to much wine," which is a 
common weakness in Europe. , 

, Continuing northward to Worms, where Luther championed 
the cause of the Reform.ation in the face of great opposition, I 
i^gain turn westward and visit in the Pfalz or Rhenish Bavaria. 



ii8 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY 

There are nearly two thousand Mennonites 
German Mennonites; west of the Rhine in this part of Germany. 
School at Weierhof. There is a school at Weierhof, near Mam- 

heim, largely under Mennonite influence. 
One hundred and forty-six students were in attendance at the 
time of my visit. Minister Christian NefT took me through the 
school and kindly entertained me at his home. Six of their min- 
isters were salaried, receiving respectively, one thousand, one 
thousand, twelve hundred, fifteen hundred, twelve hunderd, eigh- 
teen hundred marks each, yearly. They are rather indiflferent as 
to doctrine. They keep the Lord's Supper, but some of them at- 
tach more than merely a symbolical significance to die bread and 
the wine. 

Turning eastward into the provinces of Baden and Wurtem- 
burg, I visited several small congregations. At a Sunday after- 
noon service in Heilbronn, where Missionary Fast preached to a 

large congregation, I met about twenty 
Mission Spirit. ministers. Those in attendance had come 

from about all the congregations in that 
part of Germany. The long distances many had come and the 
large collection that was taken for foreign work, showed a 
marked zeal for the mission cause, yet so new to them. Bishop 
Christian Hege, who presided at the meeting, said: "It is the 
first time we have ever had the privilege of hearing one of our 
brethren who has been a missionary to the heathen." 

When we remember that the membership in this part of 
Germany numbers only six hundred and sixty^seven, we knovi{ 
that the congregations must be small. On Sunday morning, 
February 26111, Evangelist Jacob Hege, of near Heidelburg, and 
I attended a divine service at Hasselbach. The sisters wore black 
coverings. This is their largest congregation, and yet there were 
only seventy persons present, all of whom, T think, were members 
of the church and their children. The ministers are not salaried. 
There is not the mingling of the denominations there that there 
is here. Denominational lines appear to be more closely drawn. 
Brother Hege invited me along into the pulpit, but he had all the 
work to do, as the Gospel message had to be delivered in high 



THE MENNONITES IN EUROPE. 119 

German. Attending pastoral duties at home, evangelizing in 
Switzerland and in other parts of Germany and editing a paper 
called "Gemeindeblatt der Mennoniten," Minister Hege is kept a 
busy and wide-awake man. 

The homes of a number of ministers and members were vis- 
ited and they used me very kindly. German hospitality is pos- 
sibly unsurpassed anywhere. They live in villages principally and 
farm the outlying lands, tlie women work- 
German Hospitality. ing on the farm as well as the men. These 
farms are usually owned by landlords who 
live away in some large town. To be a landlord of a large estate 
is the highest ambition cf the farmer. The manager of a good- 
sized farm is considered well-to-do on account of the position he 
holds, even if he does not own an acre of land. He works but little 
himself, but his servants have a hard life with low wages, strict 
economy, slavish toil and poor food. The rule is, once poor, 
always poof and the rule is seldom broken. 

Traveling northeast about three hundred miles, we come to 
Berlin, the capital of Germany. In this great city there is a con- 
gregation of possibly a hundred members, who are more aristo- 
cratic and worldly than those pre\io"usly visited. They are served 
by ministers from the cities of Danzig, Hamburg and Crefefd. 
The city Mennonites of Northern Germany form a special class 
by themselves and number fourteen hundred and six. One of the 
congregations is in Danzig, three hundred miles farther northeast 
on the shores of the Baltic. I called at the home of the parsonage 
by the diurch but Minister Manhardt was not at home. 

In East and West Prussia there is an interesting settlement 
of Mennonites. Crossing the Vistula river from Danzig, we 
came to Marienburg and visited Bishop Herrn W. Fast and other 
families and attended their Sabbath ser- 
Mennonites in Prus- vices at Heubuden. Bishop Fast read the 
sia. sermon and a thousand dollar organ furn- 

ished the instrumental music. Only a few 
traces of nonconformity to the world were noticeable. The min- 
isters were smooth shaven and greeted each other with a kiss of 
charity. The married sisters wore small white coverings on their 



120 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY 

iieads, the widows black ones, but the single sisters, none at all. 
J, In this locality they have seventy-eight ministers of the Gos- 
pel "and a membership of six thousand, seven hundred ninety- 
four. This is by far the largest community of Mennonites in 
Europe, with the exceptions of HoiUand and Southern Russia, 
They have no Sunday-school or night services and yet the young 
people are about all gathered into the church. There are, ap- 
parently, two reasons for the strong membership at this place. 
First, the young people do not readily assimilate with the Roman 
Catholics and other religious elements around them. Second, 
they have a rule for the children to go to catechism at a certain 
age and then to be baptized at about the age of fifteen. Possibly 
this accounts for much of their formality. Althoug'h they are 
seven or eight hundred miles from their brethren in Southern 
Russia yet they are in closer touch with them than they are with 
those in other parts of Europe. Do you wonder why? First, 
those w^ho made the settlement in Russia moved from here to that 
jplace, consequently they are related. Second, when those in Russia 
start for America, they often stop with their brethren here, on 
their fertile farms near the shores of the Baltic. The settlement 
was formed by Mennonites from Holland, who began to locate at 
this place in 1562. 

We now take the reader four or five hundred miles to the 
west and find in Hamburg a congregation belonging to the city 
class. I visited the church-house and the homes of two of; the 
ministers, B. C. Roosen and Heinrich van 
der Smissen. The latter is the editor of a 
Heinrich van der church paper called "Mennonitische Blaet- 

Smissen; Mennonit- ter." This paper circulates among the city 
isclie Blaetter. congregations in Danzig, Berlin, Ham- 

burg, Altoona, Crefeld, Emden, etc. They 
do not uphold non-resistance or non-conformity to the world a|i4 
have taken up somewhat with "higher criticism" so prevalent in 
Etjrope. 

Minister van der Smissen told me about a small vise that wais 
used to torture the early Mennonites and said that I could see it 



THE MENNONlfES IN EUROPE. 



121 



in Amsterdam, Holland. Upon reaching that place, I foimd it 
in the home of Mrs. J. G. de Hoop Schef- 
fer, 615 Keisergracht Street. The ibox in 
which it had been kept and the original 
document giving its history, are with it. 
The lady and her son, who are both Men- 
nonites, would not sell me the relic at any 
price. It has been handed down from generation to generation 
for several hundred years. It is a small vise, rude and rusty, con- 



A Relic of the Days 
of Persecution. 





SMALL VISE USED TO TORTURE THE EARLY MENNONITES. 



sisting of two iron plates about three inches in length and a half 
an inch wide, with a screw nearly tv/o inches long. The plates 
are fastened together, hinge fashion. Through the free ends the 
screw works to draw them together. Between these iron bars 
the tongue of the martyr was placed and the ends of the irons 
were then drawn nearly together in order to prevent speech 
>vh>le being tortured and .burned. This one was taken out of the 
ashes by a friend of one who was burned for his faith in Christ 



122 ' MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY 

Thousands of our brethren suffered death for their faith a few 
centuries ago. 

In Amsterdam Ihere are about four thousand Mennonites, 
the largest number in any city in the world. They worship in 
several di liferent houses. In the home of Minister C. P. van 

Eghen, 794 Keisergracht Street, I saw sev- 
Mennonites in Hoi- ^^^^ hundred volumes of Mennonite litera- 
land. ture, possibly the largest collection of this 

kind in existence. Most of the books are 
printed in the Dutch language and many of them are quite old. It 
would be an excellent thing if some one from America, who can 

read the Holland Dutch and translate it into 
Mennonite Library. English or German, would gain access to 

this library and glean from it, much valu- 
able information concerning the history of the church. I also vis- 
ited with Prof. S. Cramer, a minister widely known and a teacher 
in one of the chief institutions of learning in the city. 

Of all the Mennonites in Europe, none are more worldly than 
those of Plolland. Many of them do not belike all of the Bible. 
Some reject the divinity of Christ. One said to me, "We are 
Unitarians. The Holy Ghost was never called God. We believe 
that Jesus Christ was only an eminent child of God." Only a 
small per cent, of the twenty-five thousand members are termed^ 
"orthodox." Because of their unbelief, very few of the Men- 
nonites in, other countries have much fellowship with them. If 
we are not going to accept and obey the humble teachings of 
Christ, we should give up the name of Mennonite, for we then 
have no right to claim it. , 

Other places in Holland were visited, among them, Dord- 
recht, where there are now about fifty Mennonites and where 
fifty-one ministers held a conference in 1632 and drew up the 
articles of the "Confession of Faith," to which they all signed 
their names. 

Witmarsum was interesting on account of it having been 
the birthplace and home of Menno Simon. I visited the church in 
town where about one hundred members worship. The sexton 



THE MENNONITES IN EUROPE. 123 

took pleasure in showing me througli the 
Menno Simon's Old church. We also saw- an old house in 
Home. which, it is said, that Menno Simon lived 

and wrote. It is a very old one-storied 
brick structure, about fifteen by thirty feet, and is now occupied 
by a family. One mile out from the town, across the meadows,, 
I found the place where the church stood in which he preached. 
Only a few of the old bricks yet remain among the trees that 
surround the beautiful plot of ground. Beyond the trees a deep 
ditch with considerable water in it, encircled for drainage. The 
brick walk that led from the road to the church was covered with 
earth and sod most all the way.' As you approach the old site 
you cross a brick bridge and then enter an iron gate. Nicely 
kept walks, lined with sea shells, invite you on to explore the re- 
motest corners of the church ground. The old building was re- 
moved in 1876. About where the pulpit stood a granite monu- 
ment about seventeen feet high has been erected to prevent the 
last traces of this place from being forgotten. Touching re- 
flections take possession of you as you linger about these old 
places. Often, must Brother Menno have dropped his pen and 
family cares and come up the meadows and in over the brick walk, 
with his heart burdened for perishing souls, and entered the 
church-house, to perform the duties of earth's highest calling. 
Yet a brief summary and we close our chapter. 
Scattered as they are, in different sections of Europe, one 
community of Mennonites knows but little of the other com- 
munities. They are no travelers and very seldom are visits ex- 
changed by widely separated districts. 
General Reflections. Surrounding influences, lack of communi- 
cation on accoimt of distance and the drift 
of three centuries, have caused them to differ in many respects, 
and consequently, they are divided into several different confer- 
ences and exist almost as different denominations, with the excep- 
tion that all labor together in the support of foreign missions. 

There are only a few thousand that observe the ordinance of 
feet-washing, while a greater number observe the devotional head- 
covering. Baptism by pouring is almost universally pradticed. 



124 MENNONn'E-CH.URCH HISTORY 

All partake of the Lord's Supper of hread and wine, but some 
differ as to its significance. Nearly all traces of "inadest apparel," 
or plain garb have disappeared. Sure!)' but slowly they are losing 
their grip on the non-resistant principles of the Gospel of peace. ( 
One hundred years ago the Mennonites most all over Europe, 
were much more faithful and spiritual in living otit the self-deny- 
jng principles of God's Word. Shall we have strayed as far' as 
they in a hundred' years from now ? With God's help, united ei* 
fort and better organization, we may stem the tide of worldliness 
that ig threatening the life of the church in America. ■ If there 
are not some radical changes and much faithful work, their present 
condition will be our condition in a few generations to come. 




CHAPTER VIII. 

EUROPEAN SETTLEMENTS IN AMERICA. 

Who the first Mennonite was to come to America will prob- 
ab!y_never be known. 'Ilie settlement at Germantown, in 1683, 
was the first permanent settlement of Mennonites in America, but 
it. is known that there were Mennonites here prior to that time. 
* About the year 1662, a small settlement of Dutch Mennonites 
was made on Delaware Bay. The colony, about twenty-five in 
number, was led by Cornelisz Plockhoy. Being men of peace, 

they got along well with the Indians, but 
Settlement in Dela- in an evil hour there came an English 
ware Bay, 1662. ' squadron (1664), and destroyed the settle-;^ 

ment. The fate of this colony is a mystery,, 
but some writers think that they were sent south and sold aS; 
slaves. The leader finally made his way to the Germantown 
settlement.* ^ 

GERMANTOWN SETTLEMENT. 

Some time between 1678 and 1681, Jacob Telner, of Crefeld, 
Germany, made a voyage to America. This v/as one of the inci- 
dents which led to the first permanent Mennonite settlement m 
America. Returning to Crefeld, he organized a company, and 
purchased a tract of land near Philadelphia. About this time* 
another company was organized at Frankford, Germany, and 

* "In the year 1694, there came an old blind man and his ■wife to 
Germantown.. His miserable condition awakened the tender sympathies 
of. the Mennonites there. They got him a citizenship free of charge. = 
T?hey set apart for him on Ent street, by Peter Klever's corner, a lot, 
twelve rods long and one rod broad, whereon to build a little house 
and make a garden which should be his as long as he and his wife 
should Jive. In front of it they planted a tree. , Joe Doede and William 
Rittjnhuwsen were appointed to take up a free-will offering, and to 
have the little house built. This is all we know, but it is surely a sat- 
isfaction to see a ray of sunlight thrown upon the brow of the helpless 
old man, as he neared his grave. After thirty years of untracked wan- 
derings on these wild shOBe^, friends had come across the sea to give , 
him a home at last His name was Cornelius Plookhoy."_ 

— Cassel in "History of Mennonites, P 88." 



126 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY 

Francis Daniel Pastorius* chosen as the representative of the 
comiiany in America. For the time being he also represented the 
interests of the Crefeld company. 

We need not dwell upon the causes which moved our fore- 
fathers to leave their homes and friends and brave the dangers 
and hardships and uncertainties of the western wilderness. Their 
terriblepersecutions havebeen noticed in preceding chapters. When 
die peace-loving Penn came through Holland and Germany, on 
his preaching tours, the Mennonites were his warmest friends; 
and w'hen he kindly offered them a home in the extensive tract of 
land in America, (Pennsylvania), which the King of England 
had just granted to him, many of them eagerly accepted the in- 
vitation. What were fear of starvation, danger from Indian 
treachery, and hardships in conquenng the forests, compaied with 
the harrowing trials and horrible persecutions which they had suf- 
fered for centuries. 

The first settlers (thirteen families in all) readied Am.erica 
Oct. 6, 1683. A few days after their arrival, fourteen divisions 
of land were measured off, and they proceeded to the cave of Pas- 
torius to draw lots for their homes. Work was begun immedi- 
ately, digging cellars and erecting huts. Within a year after their 
landing, a small village, Germantown, was securely established, 
and new settlers were coming constantly. Up to 1706, most of 
the settlers came from Holland and Germany. Here were the 
Opden Graffs, Van Bebbers, Hendricks, Kassels, and Rittenhuy- 
sens, followed later on by the Kolbs, Funks, Kusters, JansenS, 
Gaetschalks — some of them having ever since tliat time been 
am.ong the leading families of the church. 

The colony suffered great hardships and privations during 

the first year of its existence. So poor were the settlers that the 

* Francis Daniel Pastorius arrived In America about six week 
earlier than the colony from Crefeld. He was an acoompllshed scholar, 
having been a student In the high .school at Basle, the University of 
Strasburg-, and afterwards studied law at JeHa. "His sreat learning' and 
social position at home, made him the most conspicuous person at Ger- 
mantown. In all the affairs of the colony, he was looked to as the 
leader. He alloted the lands to the first settlers, erected the first tomb- 
stone in the colony over the grave of Cornelius Tysen, (1716), a mem- 
ber of the house of burge.'sses on several occasions, the first ballWl of 
the town, and the first school teacher in the colony (1701) In religion 
he has been claimed by the Quaicors, iHinkards amd Mennonites- but the 
most accurate researches point to his being a pietist. He wrote ex- 
tensively In prosp and poetry, and in several languaees. 



EUROPEAN SETTLEMENTS IN AMERICA 127 

town was nicknamed "Armentown" CPooitown). There were 
houses to build, fields, tdiqlear, lands to cultivate, children to feed 
,and clothe, and other expenses to be met. The settlers were poor 
to start with, and crops not abundant. But industry and per- 
severance, contentment and faith in God, finally triumphed over 
every difficulty, and it was not many years before a flourishing 
colony was found in and about Germantown. 

The first religious meeting held in Germantown was at the 

home of Dennis Kunders. What the form of the service was, we 

do not know, as there was no resident minister among tihem at 

' that time. The first minister was William 

Religion. Ruddinghuysen (Rittenhouse),* who came 

I. First ivieeting, 1683. from New Amsterdam in 1688. The re- 

II. First Minister, Wm ligious services were conducted in private 
Rittenhuysen, 1688. houses or in the Open air, until 1708, when 

a log house v/as erected for public wor- 
ship. This house was also used as a school house in which 
Christopher Dock, the noted Mennonite teacher, taught for a 
number of years. It was rebuilt in 1770, and is today the oldest 
meeting house in America. It is at present undei control of the 
General Conference Mennonites, with N. B. Giubb as pastor. 

The enterprising character of these early settlers is evident 
from a number of events which are worthy of notice. We give a 
few of them as follows : 

Land was allotted and work begun on houses and cellars within 
a few day.s, after they arri^'ed in America. 

Tn 1688, the Mennonites sent their protest against slavery to 
the Friends' Quarterly Meeting. This was the first known public 
protest ag'ainst this iniquitous traffic. 

In 169Q, William Rittenhouse built the first paper mill in 
America. 

• William Rittenhouse, first Mennonite minister and bishop In 
America, was born in Holland, A. D. 1644; died In Pennsylvania, 1708; 
age, 64 years. Moved to New Amsterdam some time after 1678, and 
thence to Germantown ii liiSS. ITe became the first minister at Ger- 
mantown, and ordained bishop In 1701, being: chosen by lot according 
to directions sent out by bishops from Altoona. In 1690 he built the 
first paper mill in America in Hoxborough township, near Germantown, 
Some of his descendants a^e still numbered among the active workers 
of the church. 



EUROPEAN SETTLEMENTS IN AMERICA 129 

In 1 70 1, a school was started at Germantown withPastorius 
as teacher. Within twenty years after that date, Christopher 
Dock had commenced his celebrated school on the Skippack. 

In 1738, Christopher Saur started the first printing press in 
the colony. 

In 17^3, there came from this press a quarto edition of the 
Bible — the oldest edition printed in America. 

The same enterprising spirit which made their fathers thrive 
in business, whenever they were unmolested in their vocation, put 
these people in the front rank of thought and enterprise, and made 
their descendants noted for their success in agricultural pursuits. 

In 1702, a settlement was begun on the Skippack. It was 
simply an extension of the Germantown settlement. It was lo- 
cated in -what is now Perkiomen township, Montgomery county. 
Through grant and by purchase, Matthias 
Settlement on Van Bebber came into possession of a 

the Skippack. tract of more than 6,000 acres of land, and 

he immedialtely began to colonize it, most 
of the settlers being Mennonites. Among the family names here 
we find Kolbs, Zimmermans, Pannebeckers, Jansens, Zieglers and 
other names prominent in church history. During the early part 
of the eighteenth century, other settlements were made in what 
are now' Bucks and Montgomery counties, but as these will be 
consideied in a succeeding chapter, we shall leave off the present 
narrative and consider briefly, 

THE LANCASTER COUNTY SETTLEMENT. 

When the news of Penn's liberal offer to the persecuted Men- 
nonites of Europe, to seek a refuge in bis American colony, reached 
the ears of the brethren in Switzerland, many of thtm set their 
faces toward the land where they were told "the Mennonites 
would be prosperous and happy." 

In 1709, Hans Meylin, Hans Herr, and others, emigrated 
from Europe, and settled north of Pequea Creek. In this colony 
we find the names of Miller, Funk, Oberfioltzer, Bowman, and 
others. So favorably were tliese people impressed with the new 
location that they sent back one of their number (Martin Ken- 



130 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY 

dig) to bring to America the part of their families whom they had 
left behind. Kendig brought not only the ones he went for, but also 
a number of other Swiss and German brethren, making the total 
number of families about thirty. For a tune this colony grew 
very rapidly. "It is said that between 1 709 and 1735, over 500 
families emigrated from Switzerland and the Palatinate and set- 
tled in Lancaster county." 

Some of the Mennon^tcs in Holland had by this time become 
rich and powerful; and these now lent a helping hand to their 
more unfortunate brethren in Switzerland and other countries. 
The English Quakers also did much to provide means by which 
these poor brethren were enabled to cross the ocean and gain the 
land of freedom.t The Mennonites of Holland, through their 
"committee on foreign needs," and the Friends, through their 
"Yearly Meeting," of London, made contributions from time to 
time which enabled many ^ unfortunate brethren to come to 
America, who would otherwise have been compelled to remain 
in the land of oppression. 

After the settlement in Lancaster county, there was no new 
permanent Mennonite settlement of Europeans in America for 
m.orc than a century. After the first outflow of emigration, which 
extended over nearly half a centun^ the tide somewhat* abated, 
and those who did come, as a rule, made their home with some 
established settlement. Thus it was that the Mennonite settle- 

+ The attachment betwoon the Friends and the Mennonites leads the 
student of history to Inquire into the causes. In faith they were prac- 
tically the same. There was this differenne, however: The Quakers, 
like the Mennonites, abhorred the de.<id formalism of the Catholio and 
some of the Protestant churches, but, unlike the Mennonites, went to 
the other extreme and discarded all outward ordinances. Fox, Penn, and 
other Quaker preachers who went from 3!n?land on preaching tours 
through Germany and the Netherlands, found their warmest friends 
among the Mennonites anfl frequently preached in their churches. Be- 
cause of their oneness in faith, Mennonites became Quakers, and Quak- . ; 
ers became Mennonites, as circumstances warranted. Tlie name "English ii 
Mennonites," sometimes given to the Quakers of that day, was qultet? 
appropriate, as they preached the same doctrines as the stricter set of'l 
Mennonites, save in outward forms. "' 

Now as to the coneoting link between them. It was from the 
Mennonites of Plolland that the seeds of Oospel truths were sown in 
England, and the English Baptist church is a result. From the English ,. 
Baptist; George Fox conceived the Ideas and doctrines which made him i 
famous as the founder of a noted religious society. Thus It w^as that - 
the seed sown by Menno and Denck and Grebel and Swenckfeld and . : 
Philips and others, sprang up and brought forth fruit, and through the 
medium of the Baptists and Friends, an asylum was opened up as a 
refuge for them several centuries later. It was as bread past upon the 
waters, returning after many days. 



EUROPEAN SETTLEMENTS IN AMERICA 131 

nients in Western Pennsylvania, in Canada, in Maryland, in 
Ohio, in Virginia, were begun, not by immigrants from Europe, 
but by members of some established American settlement. 

SWISS MENNONITE SETTLEMENTS IN OHIO AND INDIANA. 

It was from about iSig to 1830 tliat a considerable number 
of Mennouites left Switzerland for America. Despairing of get- 
ting religious freedom in their native co<jintry, they bade a sad 
farewell to home and friends, and set their faces tov.'ard America. 
They were a quiet. God-fearing people, conscientious, sober, de- 
vout, simple in manner, plain in dress, entirely non-resistant, and 
devoted to the cause of God and the cluirdh. Rugged in mind and 
body, industrious and economic in their habits, they soon had a 
flourishing congregation in Wayne county, Ohio. JK.mong the 
earliest settlers were Benedict Schrag, Peter Lehman, Isaac Som- 
mer, Ulrich I-ehman, and DaA'id Kilchhofer. These settled in 
Wayne county from about 1818 to 1821. A few years later a 
number of other families cast their lot with them, among them 
the Bischels, Mosers, Zirchers, and others. The immigration was 
now very rapid, and soon other congregations were started. The 
Chippewa congregation, a few miles north of Orrville, Ohio, was 
organized in 1825, and another congregation in Putnam and Allen 
cotmties was organized in 1835. A fev/ years later another con- 
gregation was organized at Berne, Indiana. In Missouri, Iowa, 
Kansas, Oklahoma, and a number of the westeni states are con- 
gregations composed, in whole or in part, of the descendants of 
these people. Some of the congregations, notably those at Bluff- 
ton, Ohio, and Berne, Indiana, have grown to immense size. 

In conference relations the two oldest congregations — ^the 
Sonnenburg congregation, under dharge of Bishop Jacob Nus- 
baum, and the Chippewa congregation under charge of D. C. 
Amstutz — ■are independent of any conference, although they are 
endeavoring to maintain the faith and practice of' their fathers, - 
and work more or less in sympathy with the original Mennonite 
Church of America. The other congregations have about all cast 
their lot with the General Conference (New School) Mennonites. 



1*32 - •' MmNONiTE Church history. • 

RirSSlAN ME>TN0N1TES.* 

About the year 1872, began the immigration of Russian Men- 
nonites into America. 

Their ancestors had emigrated from Holland to Prussia, 
about 1530 to 1548, on account of religious persecution. Being 
in limited circumstances, and not enjoying the religious freedom, 
they wished, they accepted an invitation from Catharine II, Em- 
press of Russia, and emigrated thither in 1788, numbering at that 
time about 228 families. The invitation of the Empress Cath-. 
arine embraced the following promises : 

1. Each family was to receive 65 Dessetine (190 acres) of 
land, for which they were to pay a rental of 15 Hopecks (about 
15 cents) per acre. 

2. A moderate loan to the poorer families for building 
houses, etc. 

3. Religious freedom, and entire exemption from military 
service. 

These terms were gladly accepted by the brethren, and they 
started in with bright hopes for the future. By i860, these 228 
families had increased to about 30,000 souls. 

In 1871, Alexander II, Czar of Russia, and great-grandson of 
Catherine II, issued a decree, requiring all able-bodied men to , 
serve in the army, thus setting aside the most cherished promise 
which induced the brethren to emigrate to Russia. 

Although the Mennonites were required to do military ser-;_ 
vice only indirectly, such as serving "in the hospitals, in the; 
military stations, and in other establishments,'' many of the breth- 
ren considered such a service to be in direct violation of the letter 
and spirit of the Gospel, and resolved to secure entire religions 
freedom by moving to America. 

• These brethren are usually called "Uussian Mennonites," though 
they themselves' do not own the name. They have nothing in common • 
with the Russians In principles or habits, and (since the promise of ex- 
emption from military service has been revoked) not in sympathy. Many ■ 
of them, in theii wandering;s through several countries, have retained 
their original language which they a;iways spoke in Holland, and they 
still speak the "Low Putoh" language. Some use the German language, and , 
many, since coming to Am.erica, have learned our native tongue; but 
few of them can speak the Russian language. 



EUROPEAN SETTLEMENTS IN AMERICA ijj 

■About the year 1870 or "71, a delegation of twelve brethren! 
were sent from Russia to America to investigate the advisability 
or emigrating thither. Among them were Leonard Suderniar;,' 
William JEwert, Jacob Buller, Heinrich Wiebe, and eight others* 
Bringing a satisfactory report, the movement began. The breth- 
ren in America did much to assist them in the undertaking. ' Nd 
sooner had the conditions and desires of the brethren in Russia 
been knoiwn in Atnerica, than relief measures were taken to en- 
able them to make the voyage. The church in Lancaster county, 
Pennsylvania, appointed a committee to see to the raising of means 
and give such other assistance as opportunity afforded. A similar 
course was taken in the West. In Canada, the government loatied 
them about $96,500, taking security from the brethren there. As 
a tribute to these people, it may be said that within 20 or 30 years! 
they had honestly paid the debts incurred during this time. 

In the United States, J. F. Funk, Christian Krdibiel and; 
David Goerz were especially active in seeing to the wants of 
these people and assisting them in securing suitable locations. In 
Canada. Jacob Schantz, of Berlin, Ontario, deserved much credit 
for the faithful m'anner in which he labored for them. 

The immigration was very rapid. It is estimated that be- 
tween 1873 and 1880, about 1,200 families came from Russia 
and Prussia to America, numbering about 10,000 souls. Of these, 
about 500 families settled in Kansas, 100 in Nebraska, 100 in 
Minnesota, 200 in the Dakotas, and 23b in Manitoba.* 

Industrially, they have been very successful. Settling upon 
the raw prairies of the West, most of them without money, and in 
debt for their passage across the ocean, they have paid off their 
debts, established flourishing communities, live in comfortable 
homes, and are, as a class, considered well-to-do people, lliey 
are rapidly becoming Americanized in their customs, some of 
them unfortunately learning certain American ways that had bet- 
ter be left unlearned. 

In religious faith, they seem to have been divided in Russia, 
and since they are in America these divisions have become even 
more marked. One conference — the Nebraska-Minnesota, under 

* Wedel. 



134 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

the leadership of Isaac Peters, of Henderson, Nebraska, works 
with the Mennonites. Most of them now act in bamiony with the 
General Conference Mennonites. A few of them have united with 
Jdhn Holdeman's Church. Many of them have united in a con- 
ference which they call the "Brueder Gemeinda." These prac- 
tice immersion as their mode of baptism. 

In 1877 a number of Mennonite families emigrated from 
Prussia and settled at Beatrice, Nebraska. This congregation 
now numbers about 200 members, and is in charge of Bishop Ger- 
hard Pentier. For a number of years they have acted with the 
General Conference Mennonites. They are noted for their thrift 
and hospitality. 

The history of these various settlements is a history of the 
beginning of the work of the Mennonites in America. In suc- 
ceeding chapters we shall notice at greater length the work thus 
bepfun. 



CHAPTER IX. 
THE AMISH MENNONITES.* 

The history of this branch of the church begins with 1693, 
at v/hich time Jacdb Amnion was separated from liis Brethren. 
To distinguish his followers from the other Mennonites, they have 
since then borne the name which heads the chapter. 

Passing by the European history of these people, we find 
some of them in the early days of Pennsylvania history, enjoying 
the liberties secured by the beloved William Penn. Like many 
other peace-loving people in Europe, they severed their connection 
with home and friends and country, dared to cross the briny deep, 
and face the rugged wilderness, ravenous beasts, and wily sav- 
ages of America, that they might escape the terrible persecutions 
inflicted upon non-resistant people in Europe. The picturesque 
mountains of Switzei^land, the beautiful valley o.f the Rhine, and 
other parts of Europe equally dear to these brethern of the 
seventeenth century, were left behind and the wilderness beyond 
the sea was to be their future home. To them it was God first, 
and country afterwards — a tenet of their faith for which they are 
still distinguished. 

It is not known who the first mem'bers in America were, but 

in 1718 there were enough of them here to address a petition to 

?sWilliam Penn, stating their views with reference to attending 

courts, taking part in elections, and holding office — ^they having 

* Most of the information found In this chapter -was furnished by J. 
K. Hartzler, MoVeytown. Pa.; S. D. Guen^erich, Wellman, Iowa, and 
John Smith, Metaraora, 111. The' two former have sent us carefully pre- 
pared manuscripts, which if printed in a book to themselves, would 
make interesting reading. 



136 ' MENNONfTE CHURCH HISTORY. 

consdentions scruples against these things. , 
First Members Penn was sick at the time, but the council 

in America. took up the petition and granted their 

requests. It is stated that in 1709 the 
London Yearly Meeting- contributed 50 £ to the Mennonites 
(mostly Ami.sh) who had fk^d from .Switzerland, and were on 
their way to America. 

As nearly as can be learned, the first Amish Mennonites who 
settled in America came from Ffalz (Palatinate), Switzerland, 
Alsace, and other provinces sometime between 1709 and 1720. 

In 1749, Bishop Jacob Hertzler,* a pioys ancestor of a now 
numerous family in America, and minister of some note, came 
with a company of brethren from France and settled in Berks 
county, Pennsylvania. 

As the first settlers landed in Philadelphia, they traveled up 
the Schuylkill valley, and settled in Berks (then Philadelphia) 
county. Later on there were settlements made in LaivCF.ster, 
Union, Mifflin, Somerset, and Lawrence counties. 

The character of these sturdy pioneers was well suited to 
their surroundings. Their rugged constitutions fitted them for the 
hardships of frontier life. '.Pheir non-resistant faith, perfect 
honesty, and disinclination to meddle with the affairs of others, 

*The above is a true tracing of the name as written on the original Immigrant List; 
Ship, Saint Andrew; Master, James Abercrombie. Dale, Septembei,9th, 1749. 

Bi.'shop Herfzler was born in Switzerland, in th<» year 1703. In 
early life he moved to the Palatinate in France, where he lived until 
1719, when he emigrated to America, arriving in Philadelphia, Septem- 
ber 9, 1749. From here he went to ]3«rk.s County, Pennsylvania, where 
he bought a tract of 404 acres of land, and continued his former occu- 
pation, farming. He was twice married. His first wife died in Europe. 
His second Tylfe (Catharine Ruegy) was his faithful companion during; 
his labors in America. By the first wife, he had one son; by the sec-', 
dnd, two sons and one daughter. 

In early life he united with the Amish Mennonites, -and was after- 
ward called to serve the rhurch as minister and bishop. He was strictly, 
plain in his appearance, rigid as a- disciplinarian, strong in defense ot 
the faith, and tireless as a worker, both temporally and spiritually. He 
became a shepherd of the first Amish Mennonite congregation in Amer- 
ica, and ranks as one of the leading men in the church at that time. He 
lived the length of two ordinary lives — from 1703 to 1749 in Europe, and 
from 1749, to 1786 In, America. , • : 



138 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

Character and saved them from many difficulties; al- 

Description of though some of them did not escape the 

Early Settlers. Indian's torch and tomahawk. Their simple 

manner of living fitted them for a laijd 
where poverty was the rule and riches the exception. Their de- 
votion to the cause of Christ brought them together frequently in 
worship, and enabled them successfully to bring up their cniidren 
"in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." They were noted 
for plainness in dress, simplicity in life, rigid honesty in business, 
economy, soberness and hospitality. They were hard-working 
people (mostly farmers) and while none were very rich, none were 
extremely poor. 

The church in Pennsylvania has been blessed with many 
brethren noted for their faithfulness and ability. They are not 
world-renowned, for they avoid seeking notoriety. Yet in their 

respective fields of labor, they exerted a 
Noted Characters in marked influence. Among these we may 
the Early Church. mention David Beiler, (1786-1871) for 

years a bishop in the Pequea' Valley, Lan- 
caster county ; Johannes Zug, ( 1804) the first Amish bishop 

in the Kishacoquillus Valley, Mifflin county; David Zook,* 
(1788-1870) publisher of a book of sermons and psalms in meter, 
a man of strong convictions who had the courage to refuse to fol- 
low the custom of setting out whiskey to harvest hands : and Shem 
Zook (1798-1880, youngest son of Johannes Zug) scholar and 
church historian. Had we the space, we might tell of fhe work 
of the Yoders, Beachys, Millers, Hostetlers, Kauffmans, Hooleys, 
Masts, and other influential ministers and members. 

When the Revolutionary war broke out, the non-resistant 
people were severely tried. During the war many of the able- 
bodied Amish brethren of Berks county, were drafted into ser- 

*Son of Johannes Zug. The spelling of the name was changed from 
"Zug" to "Zook" In Mifflin County, about the year 1880. 



AMISH MENNONITES. 139 

vice. Refusing to sen^e, they were im- 
Peace Princlplee Tried prisoned in Readingf. So niai;y of tiiese 
During Revoiutionary bretliren were thrown into prison that the 
Times. women were compelled to work m the 

fields to support their families. Accord- 
ing to tradition, those who were imprisoned 
for refusing military ser\dce were sentenced to be shot, and a day 
set for their execution. A meeting was held in Reading prison to 
administer the Lord's Supper to the condemned brethren. But tiie 
execution was never carried into effect. Through the leading of 
a kind Providence, friends interfered (particularly Henry Hert- 
zell, pastor in the German Reformed chuich), who appealed to 
the authorities in behalf of those who fted frcni Europe to escape 
military service and who could not now he expecLcd to do what 
their conscience forbade them do in Europe. The appeal was 
heard, and the peace-loving prisoners were set free. Among those 
released from prison were John Hertzler, Jacob and Stephen 
Kauffman, John and Christian Zttg, and Jacob Mast. To show 
the price of their exemption, we quote a few items from the or- 
iginal records in Reading, by John Hertzler, Sr. 

John Hertzler, tax 104 £. 2 S. ; fine 104 ^2. ; Collection i £. 6 S. 
Stephen Kauffman, tax 224*. 18 S. 

While the brethren were severely tried during the days of 
the Revolution, it made them cling the more closely to the im- 
perishable Rock. New settlements were opened up, and in the 
midst of encouragements and discouragements, they kept on in 
their work. The present location and strength of the Pennsyl- 
vania congregations will be found elsewhere in this volume. 

For nearly a century the Amish Mennonite settlements in 
America were confined to the province, and later the state, of 
■Pennsylvania, but by the beginning of the nineteenth century the 
tide of emigration had crossed the western 
boundary of the state, and a small settle- 
Settlement In Ohio. ^^^^ ^^g made in Holmes county, Ohio. 

It was composed of brethren from the 
Glades and Conemaugh congregations of Somerset county, Penri- 
sylvania, who left their homes and started for Ohio during the 



,i4o MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

years 1809 and 18 10. The settlement was broken up during the 
War of 1812, and the brethren started back to Pennsylvania. But 
General Harrison appeared upon the scene, defeated the Indians in 
a number of battles and put an end to Indian depredations. Hear- 
ing that order had been restored, the brethren returned to their 
homes. Their first bishop, Moses Beachy, was a minister of great 
organizing ability, and under his leadership the church prospered. 
,Not only were his services required at home, but as the church 
spread to Wayne and other counties, he made frequent trips to 
those places. At present there are congregations in Holmes, 
Wayne, Stark, Fulton, Logan and Champaign counties. 

In 1830 the first Amish Mennonitcs in New York settled in 
Lewis county. This congregation prospered for about 15 years. 
Then several ministers came from Switzerland, calling themselves 
the "froelichen" (happy ones) and a 
Settlement in New happy ( ?) set they were. The church was 
York. torn to pieces several times, and the faith- 

ful ones reorganized by Elder John 
Oesch, and several other ministers from Canada. Finally order 
was restored, new ministers were ordained, and the congregation 
again, enjoyed peace. In 1904 there /were about 50 families and 
150 members. 

•, , The tide of emigration being checked by the hostilities of the 
Indians, especially during the War of 1812, we hear of no Amish 
Mennonite settlements west of Ohio until near the middle of the 
last century. But as land in the East became more high-priced 
and harder to get hold of, the cheap lands in the West tempted 
some of our people to brave , the hardships and dangers of 
frontier life. One of the parties whose travels deserve especial 
mention, started from Somerset county, Peiuisylvania, during the 
summer of 1840. There were in this company, Joseph Miller, who 
3,f terward became the first Amish Mennonite Bishop in Indiana ; 
Daniel Miller, John Smyly, Joseph Schrock, and others. They em- 
barked in a vessel at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania/ sailed by way of 
,the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, and landed at Burlington, Iowa. 
From here they started on a prospective tour through the eastern 
,pe>rtion of the state, and were finally impressed with the rolling 



AMISH MENNONITES. 141 

.prairies lying to the south and west of Iowa City. Having satisfied 
.themselves as to the prospects for homes in Iowa, they turned their 
•faces homeward. Returning by way of Elkhart county, Indiana, 
they became land hungry once more, and decided upon a location 
near Goshen. 

In the following spring, Joseph and Daniel Miller and Joseph 
and Christian BonTrag^er moved with their families, to Indiana, 
and settled in Clinton township, just east of Goshen. So far as 

known this was the first settlenjent of 
Settlement in Amish Mennonites in Indiana. As was 

Indiana 1841. the custom among the Amish everywhere 

church services were held regularly from 
the beginning.* Since that time the church has progressed with 
varying success, and congregations are now found in Elkhart, La- 
grange, Marshall, Newton, Jasper, Howard, Miami, , Davies, 
Brown, Adams and Allen counties. 

The prospecting tour which led to the settlements in Indiana 
did not fail to have its effect upon Iowa, as it turned the eyes of 
many of the brethren in that direction. Before the close of 1840 

a small settlement had been effected at West 
Settlement in Point, in Lee county. In this congrega-: 

Iowa 1840. tion we find the names of Christian Hon- 

derich, John Lyman, Jacob Swartzeridru- 
ber, Christian Raber and others. By 1847, a small congregation 
had been organized under the ministry of Joseph Goldschmidt.t 

• "The first Amish Meeting held in Indiana was on Easter Sunday, 
March 27, 1842, in the house of Joseph Miller. Clinton township, Elk- 
hart county. The church was organized by Joseph Miller, grandfather 
of Pre. L. J. Miller, of Cass Co., Mo., assisted by Pre. Isaac Sohmucker, 
and Deacon Joseph Bontrager. The members were all present — about 
14 in number." — J. P. Schmucker. . , 

S. D. Guengerioh informs us that J<)seph_Bontrager, the first deacon 
of the congregation, is still living, a faithful old brother, over 80 years 
of age. 

t Joseph fjoldschmldt, the pioneer Amish Mennonite minister of 
Canada and Iowa, was born In Alsace, France, March 19, 1796, and emi- 
grated to America in 1819. ^ , „ ^ . 

He united with the church about the year 1812. and was called to 
the ministry in 1824 — the first Amish Mennonite minister ordained in 
Canada. From there he moved to Butler County, Ohio, where he was 
ordained bishop In 1838. In 1S47 he moved to Lee County, Iowa, where 
he organized the first Amish Mennonite congregation in the state. In 
1SE5 he organized congregations in Johnson and Henry counties, moving 
to the latter place In 1857. , . . 

He was a tireless worker, influential in chUrch counsels, and trav- 
eled extensively in his ministerial labors. His self-sacrificing spirit and 
aggressive work, made him a power that was felt wherever he went. 

He died April 26, 1S76. : . , 



142 MENNONiTE CHURCH HISTORY. 

and Christian Schwartzendruber. In 1846 another colony was be- 
gun in Johnson county, under the leadership of Daniel P. Gueng- 
ericht' Wm. Wertz, Jos. J. Schwartzendruber, and otliers. In 1850 
this congregation was reinforced by Jacob Schwartzendruber, 
the first bishop in the district. The church here has had a con- 
tinued growth, and is today the most populous Amish Mennonite 
settlement ih Iowa. The brethren in "Lee county, finding the title 
to their lands faulty, soon moved to other parts, and in less than 
20 years the last member had left. The greater portion, am^ong 
them the bishop, moved to Henry county, where there is at present 
a prosperous congregation imder the leadership of Sebastian 
Gerig. Congregations are now found in Johnson, Iowa, Washing- 
ton, Henry, Davis, Wright, Calhoun and Pocahontas counties. 

Meanwhile, a number of settlements had been made in Illi- 
nois. The first organized congregation in the state was in Wood- 
ford county, near Metamora. As the settlement was made near 

Partridge Creek, it was called the Part- 
First Illinois Congre- ridge congregation; but the name of the 
gation, Organized 1833. congregation has since been Changed to 

Metamora. This was in 1833, when Bish. 
Christian Engel, with seven or eight families, fonned a settlement 
which has since grown to large proportions. Ero. Engel, together 
with most of the early settlers, came direct from Europe. Among 
the early immigrants who were prominently identified with the 
church were John Nafziger, Andrew Bachman, John Guengerich, 
Joseph Engel, Andrew Ropp, Christian Ropp, Christian Schlegel, 
John Buerkey, Jacob Zehr, and others. The church, while it has 
had its troubles, has been fairly prosperous from the beginning. 
The Egli schism in Indiana had its effect upon Illinois. Among 
those who forsook the church to cast their lot with the Egli 
people," or "Defenseless Mennonites," as they call themselves, 
were Michael Moseman, the elder in charge of the Timberland 
congregation, and several other ministers, with quite a following 

t It was at Daniel P. Guengerloh's house that the first services were 
held In Johnston county. This was a small log house one, mile northeast 
of Kalona. There were present' three families, among whom were six 
members, besides the elders from Lee county, Christian Schwartzen- 
druber and Josepih Goldachmldt. 



AMISH MENNONITES. 143 

of memibers. Joseph Stucky, of Danvers, headed another schism 
which we shall notice later on. These defections were more than 
offset by the immigration from Europe, and the ingathering of 
young people, and there are now congregations in Woodford, 
Tazewell, Livingston, Bureau, Moultrie, and Champaign counties. 

About the middle of tlie last century a small settlement was 
made in Hickory county, Missouri. The pioneer in this settle- 
ment was Jos^h Nafziger, but he was soon followed by the 
Rabers, Klopensteins, Yoders, and others. 

This congregation is still in existence, 
The Work in Missouri. ^, , 01 ^.i 

though never very prosperous. Shortly 

after the Civil War, the work was begun 
in Cass county. The first service conducted there was in a private 
house near East Lynne, by Jacob Kenagy, a man of more than 
ordinary ability. This congregation has passed through many 
fiery trials, and is now one of the strongest congregations in the 
cfhurch. More than half the members in the state belong to this 
congregation. Other congregations are found in Johnson, Vernon 
and Boone counties. 

In Kansas the largest congregations belong to the "Old 
Order" brethren. They have a prosperous congregation in Reno 
county, and smaller bodies in McPherson and Harper counties. 

The congregations in Harvey and Pawnee 
The Brethren counties have now united with the Kansas- 

\n Kansas. Nebraska (Mennonite) conference. There 

are small congregations in Lyons and De- 
catur counties which hold to the Western District (A. M.) con- 
ference. 

Nebraska received a goodly share of the westward emigra- 
tion. A large percentage of the membership there springs from 
tlie Illinois congregations. Seward county is the home of one of 

the strongholds of the church. Other con- 
Nebrasl<a Settlement, gregations are found in Fillmore, Cum- 

mings. Holt, andSnell counties. Most of 
these have been founded in recent years, and the future outlook is 
promising. 



144 MEN NO NIT E CHURCH HISTORY. 

The history of the church in Oregon dates from 1878. Since 
then settlements have been made from time to time. As the breth- 
ren came from various fields of labor, and brought with them con- 
flicting views and customs, the church here 
The Church has seen its days of trial. As in other 

in Oregon. states, so in Oregon, some are too conser- 

vative and others too progressive to work 
in harmony with the brethren who. hold to the Western District 
conference. . Notwithstanding differences in faith and practice, 
the church has prospered fairly well. 

A brief story of the settlement and growth of the church in 
Canada will be of interest. The first member to select a place for 
settlement on Canadian soil was Christian Nafziger, who reached 
Waterloo county, Ontario, about the year 1822. He had left his 
home in Munich, Bavaria, and landed at New Orleans. Traveling 
northward, he reached the settlements in Lancaster county, Penn- 
sylvania. Failing to find what he wanted there, he continued his 
horthward journey until he reached Canada. Going back to Ger- 
many, he organized a colony and led his peqple to Canada, arriv- 
ing there in 1826. 

Meanwhile another colony had been started in Wilmot town-- 

ship, Waterloo county. A congregation was organized in 1824 

with Joseph Goldsmith and John Brenneman as ministers. From 

this humble beginning, the church has 

_. _. , . _ . expanded until at this writing there is one 
The Church m Canada. . . „.., ° , . 

congregation m Wilmot township, one m 

East Zorra township, one in Wellesley 

township, and two in ]\^[onington township. There is also a 

small congregation in Hay township, near Lake Huron.* The 

brethren in Canada belong to the conservative class, not being 

connected with any of the conferences, yet not so extremely rigid 

in their views as some of the brethren in other places. 

Briefly we have sketched the career of the church in America. 
In this account we made no mention of the scattered congrega- 

• C. M. Bender. 

Since the above was written, a number of the brethren In Canada 
have commenced to work with the conference people. 



AMISH MENNONITES 145 

tions and members in Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, Colorado, 
North Dakota, Minnesota, and other states (the members are 
now found in about twenty states) and lack of space has kept us 
from going into details. We now present to the reader a glimpse 
of the personal life of these people. 

In dress, our fathers practiced great simplicity. Buttons were 
rigidly excluded from their coats and vests, and hooks and eyes 
worn in their place. Among the brethren there was no shingled hair 
and every one that could do so was required to wear a beard. 
The sisters were required to dress according to the uniform of 
the church, and that was severely plain. Superfluities were not 
allowed in dress, and the houses and furniture gave evidence of 
the^general idea of simplicity. In doctrine, the church adhered 
strictly to the eighteen articles of faith adopted at Dort in 1632, 
and was extremely literal on the doctrine of shunning expelled 
members. They were a hard-working class of people and, as a 
rule, rigidly honest. Wherever a new settlement was made, re- 
hgious services were a necessar}' part of their work. They op- 
posed higher education, but were careful that tiieir children 
learned to read and write. '.I'hey frowned down upon worldly 
amusements, and stoutly opposed the introduction of anything 

new into their , methods or worship. Ne- 
Description of cessity at first compelled them to worship 

Amish Mennonites. in private houses, and this custom was so 

deeply rooted in them that many of them 
still oppose church buildings. They kept aloof from politics and 
worldly things generally, and stood for complete separation from 
the world, and practical piety in daily life. They were very strict 
in enforcing discipline upon their children, and usually succeeded 
in bringing them into the church. 

The church suffered much from abuses. On the one. hand, too 
many were inclined to put salvation into form, and thus lost the 
spirit. Others felt that the rules of the church were a galling 
bondage, and yearned "to be like other people." The charge 

against one side was "formaUsm ;" against 
Schisms. the other sidCi "pride." Whatever may be 

the truth of these (Charges, it is certain that 



146 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY 

if those who were inclined to drift into formalism had maintained 
the spiritual life of their fathers ; and those who drifted into world- 
liness had been willing to forsake the world for God, the Amish 
church would have a different history. As it is, the extremes herein 
mentioned became more pronounced, the abuses spoken of became 
more glaring, the spirit of love and unity slowly but surely ebbed 
away ; one very rigid in its discipline, one very worldly in its ten- 
dencies, and one occupying middle ground. The first and second 
classes are subdivided into smaller bodies. 

To bring about a better understanding among all the brother- 
hood, and to get the church again united, a General Conference 
was organized in 1862. This conference was commonly known as 
"Die Diener Versammlung" (Ministers Meeting), from the fact 
that only ministers were to take part in it. "The first meeting 
was held in Wayne county, Ohio, June 10-12, 1862, with an at- 
tendance of seventy-two ministers and dea- 
A General Conference cons, besides a multitude of brethren and 
1862-1878. sisters. Its last annual meeting was held at 

Eureka, 111., June 9-12, 1878, with an at- 
tendance of forty-three ministers and deacons and many other 
brethren and sisters."* Much good was accomplished througli 
these annual meetings, but they were finally abandoned. The prin- 
cipal reason for abandoning, this conference was a lack of unity 
among the brotherhood. 

Those who favored united action have since organized the 
district conferences, viz. The Ohio-Pennsylvania, The Indiana, 
(Spring), and The Western District. These conferences will be 
further considered in subsequent chapters. 

The conservative branch, also known as "Old Amish," "Old 
Order," etc., have, since the General Cdnference, had nothing to 
do with any conference. They have scrupulously maintained the 
forms of worship and life, practiced by the church of our fathers. 
Formalism and lack of consistent living on the part of some of 
their members constitutes their greatest handicap. Their un- 
yielding attitude toward some modern helps which are both scrip- 
tural and helpful, is costing them some of their diildren and bar- 

• J. K. Hartzler. 



AMISH MENNONITES. 147 

ring some of their members from higher spiritual life. Their rigid 
discipline has been the cause of numerous schisms among them. 
Yet, while we may disapprove; we must not condemn. If they 
err in methods of enforcing discipline, they are not far wrong 
on scripture doctrine. Their simple faith, their devotion to what 
they believe to be right, and their self-denying life, make them the 
spiritual superiors of many of their critics. As between them 
and churches which know no distinction from the world, we pre- 
fer them every tim.e. Their strongest congregations are in Penn- 
sylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Ontario, Iowa, and Kansas. 

While there were many who accused the main body of the 
church of being too slack in its discipline, there were some who 
refused to be bound by its restrictions. The dhurch at Danvers, 
Illinois, under Joseph Stucky, the church in Washington county, 
Iowa, under Benjamin Eicher, and later, the "Silver Street" dhurch 
in Indiana, under John Mehl, were among those who drifted toward 
liberalism. The last two congregations, together with several 
smaller ones, have since united with the General Conference Men- 
nonites, while the congregations loyal to Jos. Stucky, remained in- 
dependent, and m 18S9 organized under the name of "The Illinois 
Conference of Mennonites." 

In concluding this chapter we will notice the two most noted 
schisms which have occurred in the church during the last forty 
years. The first of these was headed by Joseph Egli, of Adams 
county, Indiana. His followers have assumed the name of 

DEFENSELESS MENNONITES. 

About the year 1864, Henry Egli, an Amish Mennonite minis- 
ter in Adams county, Indiana, began to agitate the importance of 
an experimental knowledge of conversion and regeneration. He 

complained tliat the church was not careful 
Organized in enough in receiving applicants for mem- 

Indiana, 1866. bership, and accused the members of being 

too formal, not strict enough in dress, and 
too careless as to spiritual life. Pressing his views with great 
vigor, an estrangement arose between him and some of his breth- 



148 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

ren, and he finally withdrew and organized a church of his own 
in 1866. 

At first they were very strict. Their members were not to 
attend the services of other denominations, they rebaptized* mem- 
bers from the churches who wished to imite with them, exercised ' 
the strictest discipline, and laid great stress upon experimental 
religion. As time rolled on they have relaxed on some of these 
points, especially in the strictness of their discipline. 

The movement spread into Illinois. There the cause was 
espoused by such church leaders as Joseph Rediger, Michael 
Moseman, Nicholas Roth, and others, who left their church and 
cast their lot with the ".Egli People." They soon formed several 
flourishing congregations, and still have congregations at Grove- 
land and Flanagan. 

In Ohio, Henrj' Egli found some adherertts among a dis- 
satisfied element in the Fulton county congregation, and also re- 
received a faction headed by Abe Steiner, which 'had withdrawn 
from the Bluffton congregation. 

A division took place among them in 1890, caused by some 
of the members adopting immersion as the Bible mode of baptism, 
and uniting with tlie "CEristian Alliance." They call themselves 
the "Mission Church," and exercise the same tactics which the 
original founders of this church did, in telling of their "new 
light," rebaptizing their new "converts," and proselyting wherever 
opportunity affords. It is no uncommon thing to find members 
of this new faction who have been baptized three or four times. 
"The Christian Catholic Church" (Dowieites) has also made in- 
roads upon the church, which has been sorely tried during the past 
fifteen years. 

The original church is collecting its forces again, and en- 
deavoring to build up along first principles. It is to be hoped 
that those who are loyal to the principles taught and practiced by 
Henry Eg^li may save the remnant by bringing it back to the 
mother church. 

• Provided they had been baptized since EgrU ti-lthdrew from the 
church. 



AMISH MENNONITES. 149 

The church supports an orphanage near Flanagan, Illinois, 
under charge of' Benjamin Rupp. Edna Daering, missionary to 
China, is also supported by them. 

In 1904 they had about seventeen congregations, twenty-six 
ministers, and 930 members. 

THE ILLINOIS CONFERENCE OF MENNONITES 

is the name given the church organized under the direction of 

Joseph Stuckey.* 

Joseph Stuckey. was for a time, one of the most prominent 

workers in the General Conference mentioned elsewhere in this 

chapter. The members of his congregation being of a progressive 

tendency, he allowed himself to be carried 

with the current. As he became more pro- 
Origin of This Church. j ■ j r ^ ui ,.,.• -l- 
nounced in defense of worldly attire, his 

fellow workers began to withdraw fellow- 
ship from him.* When the Western District Conference was or- 
ganized, his congregation was not a part of it. The exact date of 
the separation cannot be given, as he never withdrew from the 
church, and was never expelled from the church. During the 
interval between the abandonment of the General Conference and 
the organization of the Western District Conference, his congre- 
gation became independent of the church, and has since remained 
so. 

For many years they were without conference relations. At 
one time they appointed delegates to the "General Conference of 

Mennonites of North America," but no 
Conference Relations, official recognition was ever given them. 

At the time of the organization of the 
"Mennonite General Conference," Eld. Stuckey warmly indorsed 

• Josoph Stuckey was born at Alsaoe, France, A. D. 1825. Moved 
with his parents to Butler County, Ohio, in 1829, and to McLean County, 
Illinois, in 1851, settling near North Eanvers. He united with the 
Amish Mennonite church In early manhood, and was called to the min- 
istry in 1860. Three years later he was ordained bishop. 

Durine his ministry he performed over 200 marriage ceremonies 
and baptized over 1,300 people. He traveled extensively and impressed 
his personality wherever he went. He died in 1902, at a ripe old age. 

His followers were devotedly attached to him, among whom he was 
known as "Father Stuckey." Outside his following, it is generally re- 
gretted that he did not use his splendid organizing abilities in further- 
ing the interests of the church which commissioned him to preach the 
Gospel. 



ISO MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY 

the movement, but never made any attempt to get recognition from 
that body. In 1899 a conference of these people was held, and 
annual meetings have been held ever since. A Sunday school 
conference is also held in connection with the church conference. 

In numbers, the church has progressed since its beginning, 
getting most of its addition from dissatisfied members in the moth- 
er church. Wherever there were members or congregations to be 
found with liberal tendencies, they were sure to find encourage- 
ment by going to Joseph Stuckey. As a result, the church multi- 
plied in congregations and members. 

In doctrine and life, this church stands about mid-way be- 
tween the original Mennonite church, and progressive branches 
which have become independent bodies. There still exists a warm 
love for the mother chvirch, and many are the prayers that they 
may again become united. 

There are now about twelve congregations in Illinois, with 
scattered members and congregations in Iowa, Kansas, Indiana, 
and other states. The total membership is not far from 2,000. 






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CHAPTER X. 

FRANCONIA CONFERENCE. 

This, the oldest among Mennonite conferences in America, 
has its origin in the settlement at Germantown in 1683. 

As most of the Mennonites in Europe lived in cities, towns, 
and villages, it was but natural that they should desire that kind 
of life in America. Hence the first settlers did not move upon 
separate farms, as has been the custom in later Mennonite colonies, 
but a town — Germantown — marks their first effort at colonization. 
But conditions in America were different from those in Europe. 
Here they breathed the air of freedoin, and felt as secure in an 
isolated home, as they did in a crowded village. Necessity com- 
pelled most of them to become tillers of the soil, and their old 
occupations in Europe were exchanged for agricultural pursuits. 
Two other causes contributed to making the Mennonites of Amer- 
ica an agricultural people. First, as town property advanced in 
value many of our fathers disposed of their homes in the city and 
purchased dheaper homes in the country. Secondly, it was not long 
before they found that country life was much more congenial to 
d plain, unassuming, self-denying faith and practice, than city 
life; and therefore furnished a place where children can be the 
more easily brought up " in the nurture and admonition of the 
Lord." 

At first there were some Mennonites who served in various 
official capacities, but as the government of the colony became 
more complex, and the authorities thought it necessary to use 
courts and iails and stocks, the Mennonites, true to their non-resis- 
tant faith, for which sake they had been compelled to suffer so 
much persecution, gradually withdrew from participating in gov- 
ernmental affairs. 



CONFERENCES. i6i 

The Mennonites showed at an early date that the prime 
object for coming to America was not financial gain. Though 
without a resident minister, their first public service, in the house 

of Thomas Kunders, was held within a 
Early Schools. month or two after they came to America. 

Five years thereafter they had a minister 
in William Rittenhuysen, and in 1701 steps were taken to or- 
ganize a school. Arent Klinken, Paul Wolff, and Peter Schu- 
macher, Jr., were appointed overseers to collect subscriptions, etc., 
and Francis Daniel Pastorius was the first teacher. Not many 
years thereafter, Christopher Dock appeared on the scene, and 
devoted the energies of his life to the cause. 

Literature was by no means discouraged. The first paper 
mill in America, built by William Rittenhuysen in 1688, furnished 
the paper used by William Bradford, the earliest printer in the 

middle colonies. It is said that Ritten- 
Literature. huysen also made an effort to have the 

Mennonite Confession of Faith translated 
into English, and printed by Bradford. Requests were also sent 
to Europe for a supply of Testaments, Catechisms, Confession of 
Faith, etc., that the church and rising generation might be prop- 
erly indoctrinated. 

The greatest work in furnishing literature to our people in 
America was the translation of the "Martyr's Mirror" from the 
Dutch into the German language. This is an extensive work writ- 
ten by Theilman J. Van Bracht of Dort, South Holland, and pub- 
lished in 1659. It gives a graphic description of the terrible per- 
secutions and sufferings of Christian martyrs together with their 
faith and practice, in every century since the advent of Christ, and 
has made a profound impression wherever 
aryrs irror a s- ^.^^^^ -pj^g brethren in America appealed 
lated frcm Dutch to ^^ ^^^ brethren in Europe for aid in trans- 
*'''"^"' lating this volume, but their appeal was in 

vain. But the brethren in America were not to be discouraged. 




Q< ffl' 

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Ha 



CONFERENCES. 163 

They appointed Heinrich Funck* and Dielman Kolb,t two of 
the foremost men in the dhurch at that time, as a committee to ar- 
range and supervise the work. 

The work was done at Ephrata, Pennsylvania, by a number of 
"seclusionists" under Conrad Biesel. Of this work J. F. Funk says : 
"Fifteen brethren were engaged to do the work. One translated 
and read proofs ; four set the type, and four did the press work. 
This left six men to work in the paper mill and make the paper. 
In this way the work was translated, printed and completed in 
1749, and left to our Mennonite people as a precious heirloom 
of the blood-bought faith of our fathers. " J. F. Funk is a descend- 
ant of Bishop Heinrich Funck, and afterwards performed a similar 
service in translating this work into the English language. 

The work has since been republished several times, and is 
still reckoned among the most valuable books in Mennonite litera- 
ture. 

Though Germantown has the distinction of being the oldest 
Mennonite settlement in America, the congregation at that place 
was never very large. In 1708, when the first M. H. was built, 
the records show the membership to have 
Germantown been 44; while in 1 770, when the present 

Congregation. house was erected, there seem to have be^i 

but 25 members. At present the house is 
in charge of the "New School" Mennonites. 

• Heinrich Punch moved (either from Holland or the Palatinate) to 
America in 1619 He settled on Indian Creek, TYanconia Township, 
Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, where he built a large mill — the 
first in that locality. He was prominent, both in business and as a 
Mennonite minister and bishop. A man of good native talent, liberal 
education, and strong will, ho made his mark wherever he went. He 
was owner of a number of farms and other property, but used his 
wealth as a help to the cause. He was called to the ministry at Fran- 
coni&— the first to serve at this place. He was afterward ordaiued 
bishop, and is noted in history as Bishop Heinrich Funck." At Salford, 
Skippaok, the Plain, and other places, his voice was frequently heard. 
His most noted books are "The Mirror of Baptism," and "Bino Restitu- 
tion, Oder Bine Erklearung Binloher Hauptpunkte des Gesetzes." Both 
of these works have passed through several editions. He died in J 760. 

t Dielman Kolb, an intimate friend and co-laborer with Bishop 
Heinrich Funck, was a minister of some note at Manheim before he 
came to America. His brother, Martin Kolb. was a minister at Salford 
as early as 1707. Dielman came a few years later. He was married 
to a daughter of Peter Schumacher, one of the pioneer Mennonites in 
America. His most noted work was his connection with the translation 
of "Martyr's Mirror." It was through his Influence that Christonher 
Dock was persuaded to consent to have his work on the methoS of 
school keeping published. He was active In the ministry, and exerted 
a wide Influence. He died about 1757. 



i64 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

Two reasons may be assigned for the fact that this congre- 
gation went into eclipse. First, some Mennonites moved to the 
coimtry, while others forsook the faith; secondly, stronger men 
arose in other congregations. 

We have already referred to the tide of immigration into the 
rural district. The settlement was extended to the Skippack in 
1702. As early as 1719 Heinrich Funck had commenced his work at 
Franconia. The church at Salford was also 
other Congregations organized and was active ift the early part 
Organized. of the eighteenth century. By the middle 

of the century, there were organized con- 
gregations at Skippack, Salford, Towamencin, Franconia, Hill- 
town, Line Lexington, Deep Run, the Swamp, Hereford and Boy- 
ertown, while the, congregations at Lansdale, Bartolet, Rockhill, 
Springfield, Saucon and Upper Milford are known to have been 
organized before the Revolution. In Chester county there were sev- 
eral congregations spid to have been organized half a century 
after the settlement at German town. 

The growth of the church in eastern Pennsylvania may be 
attributed largely to two causes: First emigration from Europe 
attracted by fertile lands and religious freedom; secondly, the fer- 
vent piety and religious enterprise of many of the church leaders. 
We have already mentioned the translation of the Martyr's Mirror 
after the church in Europe had pronounced the undertaking too 
great. This was one among a number of remarkable enterprises 
of the early church in America to keep the members and children 
supplied with proper literature. The writings of Funck, Gaetschall 
and others are still extant. Letters written in those days impress 
us with the fervent piety, simple faith, and intense interest and zeal 
manifested by the brethren at that time. As an example of what 
was done at times to accomplish their desires, we will mention 
Rudolph Landis, great-grandfather of Isaac L. Kulp, of Danbora, 
and first deacon at Deep Run, wlio made five trips to Europe 
before he had all his brethren and their families in America. 
Times of great interest produce men of strong personalities. 
During the first century of the history of the church in America, 
we find many strong men noted for their zeal and ability. In this 



CONFERENCES. 165 

list we notice the names of Funk, Kolb, Moyer, Kassel, ,Gehman, 
Landes, Haldeman, Oberhoitzer, Gaetschalk, Clemmer, Bechtel, 
Latshaw, Wismer, Hunsicker, and others. Records are on hand 
showing the existence of Mennonite congregations now extinct, 
and by most people forgotten. What the church might have been, 
had this same aggressive power and deep fervent piety been in 
evidence generally throughout the Mennonite Church of America, 
all through the nineteenth century, is a theme valuable only for 
the moral it contains. 

The Revolutionay War tried the faith of American Men- 
nonites in more ways than one. Many of them were strongly at- 
tached {» the King of England because of the religious freedom 
which they enjoyed under his dominion. When the question 
came up as to whether Pennsylvania should oppose Great Britain, 
a meeting was called to consider the advisability of sending three 
delegates to the convention which was to decide the question. 
There was mudh discussion. Christian Funk, a bishop from Fran- 
conia, took the position that since Mennonites took no part in 
war, they had nothing to do with this question. The meeting ad- 
journed without taking action. Later on another question came 
up. Shall the Mennonites pay the war 
Christian Funk taxes imposed by the colony. Again the 

Schism, 1777. opinion of the brethren was divided. 

Christian Funk maintained the position that as we are to "render 
unto Caesar the things that be Cjesars," the tax should be paid 
without questioning what it was used for. Others maintained 
that all who paid this special war tax supported the war to that 
extent, and all non-resistant people should refuse to pay it. We 
are not able to tell what other questions entered into the contro- 
versy, nor what the exact charges were upon which Christian 
Funk was expelled; but about 1777, the schism occurred which 
made two churches out of one. Those who remained loyal to 
Christian Funk were usually called "Funkites." Several houses 
of worship were built by this faction, but the membership was 
never very large. Numerous efforts were made at reconciliation, 
but a breach is more easily made than healed. It is said that after 
the "Funkites" permitted John Herr, founder of the "Herrites," to 



i66 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

preach among them, the organization rapidly went to pieces.* 
After this there was no event of special importance in the his- 
tory of the church in this conference district until the Oberholtzer 
schism in 1847. The stirring events of former times had given 
way to an era of comparative peace. The church had become es- 
tablished, the literature needed by the church had been secured, 
the question of religious liberty was settled, and gradually the 
minds of the people were turned to other channels. 

Among .the men who lived during this period and who left 
the marks of their personaUty upon the history of the church, we 
may mention Henry Hunsicker (1752-1836), a bishop in the 
.Skippack congregation, whose powers as a preacher and a dis- 
ciplinarian were generally recognized, and whose kindly interest 
in the welfare of his people did much to extend the walls of Zion. 
Another minister who deserves more than ordinary notice, was 
John Geil (1778-1866), of Line Lexington congregation. As an 
orator, he was most impressive, and attracted wide attention. He 
was firm in his adherence to the principles of his fathers, and 
died at a ripe old age, being in the ministry about fifty-five years. 

In 1847 occurred the Oberholtzer schism. J. H. Oberholtzer, 
a minister in the Swamp congregation, was the most outspoken 
among a number of ministers who thought that the church had 

fallen away from the former aggressive 
Oberholtzer Schism spirit, and had become tied to forms which 
1847. stood in the way of spiritual progress. In 

his attempts at reform, he showed weakness 
along two lines : First, in refusing to submit to his brethren, and 
to comply with the rules and discipline of his conference, he gave 
evidence of an insubor*dinate spirit, which unfits a man for true 
leadership. Great leaders are invariably submissive to the powers 
that be. Secondly, his self-will and lack of patience committed him 
to a "rule or ruin" policy, which tears down more than it builds 
up. A history of this schism is given in another chapter. 

Oberholtzer did not only fail to accomplish Jiis reforms, but 
did the cause much damage. Some of his co-workers whose in- 
fluence might in time have committed the church to an aggressive 
♦ See Funk Family History. 



CONFERENCES. 167 

policy, cast tlieir lot with him, and the church was deprived of 
their help. Many of the congregations were divided, and some 
of them have passed out of existence. For example, the Saucon 
congregation near Coopersburg. The hand of affliction was laid 
upon her when the division came. A few years. later, there was 
a division among Oberboltzer's followers,* and a church built 
across the road, a few hundred yards away. They took the name 
"Evangelical Mennonites" and are now a part of the "Mennonite 
Brethren in Christ." Thus there have been three organizations 
where there ought, to be but one. One of them is already buried, 
and none of the others come near approaching the original organ- 
ization in strength. 

A number of correspondents from the different congre- 
gations saw fit to insert this note: "In 1848 occurred the 

division, and " It is not necessary to relate the rest of the 

story. The reader is forced to soliloquize thus : "What if Ober- 
holtzer could have remained submissive to the church ; would have 
exercised patience in working out the reforms the church needed ; 
would have been willing to listen to the voice of some of his more 
experienced brethren, who found some of his views entirely too 
radical. What if some of his more slow-going brethren would 
have seen that by taking a more aggressive course the church 
would gain much that would otherwise be lost. What if 
the moie conservative wing could have become quickened by the 
aggressiveness of Oberholtzer,and the radical wing indoctrinated 
by tiie orthodoxy of the brethren who had thus far directed the 
course of the church — ihow bright might be the history of the 
Mennonite Ohurch in Eastern Pennsylvania compared with what 
it is." As it was, the radical wing, deprived of the conservatism 
so very much needed in a well-balanced church, drifted into sev- 
eral forms of worldliness, while the original church lost an ele- 
ment whidh was -very much needed in advancing the cause of 
Christ. 

The church in this conference district, as well as the Ameri- 
can Mennonite Church in general, has lost much by reason of 

* The leader of this movement was William Gehman, who withdrew 
from Oberholtzer and started a new organization. 



i68 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

failure to adopt new means of work in order to meet changed con- 
ditions which time invariably brings. Her people kept up with 
the latest improvements in farming, and in some lines of thought 
were in advance of the times. Before the government provided 
for proper facilities for acquiring an education, the Mennonites 
erected school houses by the side of their churches, and had their 
children instructed in the common branches. During these times 
the church had methods of work suited to her environments, and 
as a rule, prospered. But times changed. By means of innova- 
tions in both natural and spiritual lines, the customs of the people 
were very materially changed in many respects, and it became 
necessary for the church to change her methods of work to meet 
the changed conditions. This our people were slow to do. While 
the church was engaged in opposing Sunday schools, her children 
were being instructed by other denominations in neighboring, 
school houses. While many of the church leaders were pointing 
out what they thought to be the evils of higher education, 
some of her brightest sons were taking courses in colleges and 
universities. WTiile the church steadily refused to listen to the 
idea of holding continued meetings for the ingathering of the lost, 
other churches were making great efforts along this line. As tiie 
fam.ily devotions becime less frequent and fervent than formerly, 
and there were no fiery trials to move the brethren to "exhort one 
another daily," the children became more impressed with worldly 
and less with religious influences. The result may easily be im- 
agined. Old members died off, many of their children either 
united with other churches, or lived and died without a profession 
of Christianity. In many old Mennonite communities there are 
now large cemeterie-j by the side of closed meeting houses. There 
are large communities composed largely of children and grand- 
children of Mennonites, with scarcely a Mennonite to be found. 

Whatever may be said of the policy which refuses to tolerate 
a helpful method of work because it is different from the way the 
fathers had it, it mus'; not be said that those who hold to such pol- 
icy are indifferent to the cause. There are many who, would 
gladly see the cause of Christ prosper, but who would look upon 



CONFERENCES. 169 

a specail series of meetings as wrong, because for their church it is 
"something new." 

The last decade or two have seen some changes in the method 
of work within tlie congregations of the Franconia Conference. 
Sunday schools are slowly gaining admittance. In several places 
Bible Readings have been conducted with profit. The Philadel- 
phia Mission has been recognized, and ministers from this district 
regularly fill appointments there. While as yet the old conference 
resolution against holding series of meetings is still in force, there 
are many within the district who advocate all the helpful means 
of work resorted to by the church in other fields for the further- 
ance of the cause. 

There are two things which this conference allows which 
none of the other conferences have seen fit to tolerate. The cus- 
tom of the church is to observe the ordinance of feet-was'hing in 
connection with tlie communion ; btit there are several congrega- 
tions in this district which do not observe the ordinance. In a 
few of the congregations here the sisters wear hats instead of 
bonnets, as is the rule in the church at large. But the conference 
has taken action against tlie latter, and a healthy public sentiment 
and conviction promises to right the fonner. 

It IS not known when this conference was organized. The 
records give an account of a conference held in 1727, which is 
supposed to be the first Mennonite conference ever held in 
America. From time to time we have glimpses of subsequent 
meetings of this conference. It meets semi-annually on the first 
Thursdays in May and October. 

On the whole, the membership in the district is growing. 
Many of the larger congregations are yearly adding to their 
membership, some of the smaller congregations have been revived 
through the active work of the Sunday school and ministers, 
while in other places the church is on the decline. The names of 
those who are entrusted with the care of the congregations in this 
district, are given in the following outline of congregations. 



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CHAPTER XL 
LANCASTER COUNTY CONFERENCE. 

This conference district comprises the congregations in Penn- 
sylvania west of the Franconia District, and east of the Southwest- 
ern Pennsylvania District. Franklin county also belongs to another 
district. The strongest congregations are in Lancaster, Cumber- 
land, York and Juniata counties. 

The history of the church in this district begins with 1709, 
at which time a number of families came from the Palatinate and 
settled in Pequea Valley, then Chester, now Lancaster county. 
"They were the descendants of the distressed and persecuted Swiss 
Mennonites, who fled from their native country during the days 
when the earth was daily drenched witli the blood of llie right- 
eous.'" Here were the Herrs, Meylins, Kendigs, Millers, Ober- 
holtzers. Funks, Bowraans and others. They were soon joined by 
others, who came in 171 1, 1717, 1727, and at later periods. It 
is estimated that by 1735 there were over five hundred families in 
Lancaster county. 

At an early day the religious views of the Mennonites in 
America were misrepresented, and much prejudice existed against 
them. To set their faith before the world in its true light, the 
Mennonite Confession of Faith was translated into English and 
published in 1727. In a conference held in that year the Con- 
fession of Faith v/as approved by the following ministers pres- 
ent:* 

Shiback — Jacob Gaedtschlack, Henry Kolb, Claes Jansen, 
Michael Zigeler. 

• ChrLstlan Herr, In his chapter on "The Mennonites," printed in 
"History of Denominations," P. 489. The original spelling is retained. 



CONFERENCES. 

Germantown,— John Gorgas, John Conerads, Clas Ritting- 
hausen. 

Conestoga — Hans Burgholtzer, Christian Heer, Benedict 
Hirchi, Martin Baer, Johannes Bowman. -— 

Great Swamp — Velte Clemer. 

Manatant — Daniel I.ongenecker, Jacob Beghtly. 
At the time of this conference, as will be seen from the congre- 
gations represented, there was no division between "Franconia" 
and "Lancaster" conference districts. Later on the church was 
divided into districts. In 1844, Christian Herr writes : "The Men- 
nonite congregations in Pennsylvania are divided into three gen- 
eral circuits, within each of which, semi-annual conferences, con- 
sisting of bishops, elders or ministers, and deacons, are held for 
the purpose of consulting each other, and devising means to ad- 
vance the spiritual prosperity of the members." 

The power of the Mennonite Church in Lancaster county may 
be accounted for by the following reasons : 

1. Lancaster county has always been an inviting fiel'd for in- 
vestment in a financial way, anu our people were not slow to 
recognize the advantages offered by its natural resources. From 
the beginning the colony here flourished in numbers, and has long 
been recognized as the leading stronghold of Mennonitism in 
America. 

2. It has been the center from which went forth families and 
colonies to form new settlements. In Virginia, Canada, Maryland, 
Ohio, and almost every community in America, where Mennon- 
ites are found, we find descendants of Lancaster county Mennon- 
ites. It is but natural for them to be strongly attached to the 
church of their relatives and ancestors. 

3. Here the doctrines of the church have been stoutly main- 
tained. Innovations come slowly, and are admitted only after 
having been tried and proven upbuilding. As with individuals, 
so with churches, the less they waver, the greater their power for 
service. 

4. There never has been a time in the history of the Lan- 
caster church, that it was n6t blessed with strong men who were 
able to make their influence felt beyond the borders of th'e county. 



174 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

Before the close of the eighteenth century, members of the 
Lancaster county church were found in many other places. They 
had crossed the county line, and formed settlements in York, 
Cumberland, Dauphin, Northampton, Juniata, Snyder, Lebanon 
and Adams counties, and a number of counties in the western 
part of the state had also furnished them homes. They had crossed 
the borders of the state, and carried their faith into Maryland, 
Virginia, Ne\v York, Canada, and Ohio. While these members 
were going forth by families and by colonies, the church was 
growing at home, partly by emigration from Europe, and partly 
by gathering in their own children. It was an illustration of the 
fact too seldom recognized that the church which is most active 
in sending forth laborers is most liable to keep alive and grow at 
home. 

One of the remarkable features of the history of the Men- 
nonite Church in Lancaster county is the fact that a few family 
names have been connected with the leadership of the church 
throughout her history. A few examples will suffice : 

, Hans Herr came to America in 1710, and is said to have been 
the first Mennonitc minister in Lancaster county. His son, 
Christian, who came to America' the year before, was later or- 
dained to the ministry. So were John 
Herr Family. Herr, grandson, and D. K. Herr, great 

grandson. Christian Herr, another de- 
scendant, was one of the most prominent bishops in the church in 
Lancaster county a little over half a century ago. He united with 
the church about the year 1816, and was ordained deacon about 
1820, minister about J 835, and bishop about 1840. He was widely 
known as a preacher and writer, and wide-awake in his work. He 
died in 1853. 

Benjamin Herr and Amos Herr, sons of. Christian Herr, ex- 
erted a marked influence in the church, the former as a bishop,, 
and the latter as a minister of extraordinary powers. They are 
still remembered and their influence is still felt by many of the 
members in Lancaster county. At this writing there is, from this 
family, one bfshop, Abram Flerr, and a number of ministers and 



176 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

deacons, besides a number of wide-awake members doing active 
service in the county. 

Among those wlio came to America in the early history of 
the church were tliree brothers — Andrew, Benjamin and Chris- 
tian Hershey. They were all chosen to the 
Hershey Family. ministry, and since that time the name 

Hershey has been connected with the his- 
tory of the church in Lancaster county. Today there are numer- 
ous ministers, deacons and wide- awake workers by that name 
foj.md in many of our congregations. 

In 1715 Theodorus Eby, father of a large family by that name, 
came to America and settled in Lancaster county. His grand- 
son Christian Ebj', was a bishop in the Men- 
Eby Family. nonite Church and faced the trials of Rev- 

olutionary times. Peter , Eby,* son of 
Christian Eby, and first bishop in the Strasburg district, was one 
of the niost conspicuous characters of the church of his day. 
Isaac Eby, of Kinzers, is now filling the office so long and ably 
filled by his worthy grandfather. He is an active bishop, has 
traveled much, and his voice is frequently heard in well known 
counsels ot the church, in and outside his own district. 

Among other well known family names who have been in 
evidence in the ministration of the Word in Lancaster county 
during the past century or over are the Landises, Lehmans, Rohr- . 
ers, Nissleys and Brubakers. 

The Revolutionary War (1775-83) brought on a great many 
trials. The non-resistant faith is always tried when the existence 
of a nation is threatened in stubbornly contested wars. In tliis 
protracted struggle the faith of the brethren was the more 

• Peter Eby was born Oct. 14, 1765. Married to Margarette Hess, 
Oct. 7, 17S8. Ordained minister In ISOO, and advanced to the bishop's 
office not long afterward. 

He was one of the most eloquent ministers ever ordained in the 
Mennonlte Church. He held his congregations speUhound, and pro- 
foundly impressed all who heard him preach. "An acquaintance of his 
who had heard some of the most noted orators of the state and nation, 
in and out of the pulpit, gave it as his opinion, that for none of them, 
it seemed, had nature done so much towards making the orator as for 
this grand old servant of the Lord and his church." 

He was an able writer, sound in doctrine, flrni in discipline, and 
earnest in contending "for the faith once delivered to the saints." He 
died April 6, 1843. 



CONFERENCES. 177 

sevi-erely tried : C i ) becanse the people of the United States were 
themselves divided in their loyalty to governments ; and (2) the 
Continental Anny was so poorly equipped, and the new govern- 
ment so weak in men and money that everything available was 
drafted into service. Numerous questions came up for discussion. 
Will the United States, if successful in her efforts for inde- 
pendence, grant the same liberties to non-resistant people that 
they enjo}'ed under the English crown? To what extent could 
they yield to the dem.ands of the government, and yet not violate 
the teachings of God's word ? Is it right to pay war taxes? While 
the brethren were unanimous in the conviction that it is unscrip- 
tural to shed the blood of our fellow-man on the battlefield, there 
were, after all, questions arising from the war on which they 
could not all agree. The story of the Christian Funk schism is 
given in the chapter on the Franconia Conference. 

About this tinie the church was considerably exercised over 
the apostasy of Martin Boehm. Boehm was a Mennonite minister 
in Lancaster county, who had professed to receive "more light." 
His "light" was of such a nature that it 
Martin Boehm. brought disturbance into the c!hurch. Nu- 

merous efforts were made to secure a 
reconciliation, but all to no avail. Uniting with Otterbein, a min- 
ister in tiie German Reformed Church, they became the joint 
founders of the United Brethren Church. The disturbance was 
considered of great enough importance to move the conference to 
publish an address to the ciiurch setting forth the exact condition 
of afl''airs,^ 

While Boehm and his followers left the church because they 
thought it was not liberal enough, if was only a few decades later 
when tlie church saw another small body of members leave for op- 
posite reasons. Tlie leader of this new move- 
Reformed Mennonite ment was John Herr, son of Francis Herr, 
Church Founded 1811. and great grandson of the first Mennonite 
minister in Lancaster county. Professing 
to believe that the Mennonite Church was hopelessly corrupt, and 

• This address is published in Funlc's "Mennonite Church and Her 
Accusers," Pp. 42-56 



& 



178 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 



that they were called of the Lord to reorganize the church and 
gather together the members who had not yet become so corrupted, 
they organized what they called the "Reformed Mennonite 
Church." A fuller account of this schism is given in another 
chapter. 

Both Boehm and Herr agreed that the Mennonite Church 
needed "reformation," but they proposed to do their "reforming" 
from opposite standpoints. Boehm's charge against the church 
was that it was too strict ; Herr's charge was that it was too loose. 
During all this time the church was blessed, with a number of 
faithful ministers and workers, whose work did much to encourage 
the church in her trials, and might have accomplished more had 
men like Roehm and Herr chosen to use their talents in building 
up the chv:rch of their fatlicrs. 

It was during this time that Peter Eby did his most effective 
work. Jacob Brubaker was another bishop who did much to build 
up the cause. He was ordained to the ministry in 1780, was after- 
ward ordained bishop, and known as a 
Bishops During tlie strict disciplinarian and able minister. 
First of tiie Eighteenth Jacob Hochstetler, a bishop in Manheim, 
Century. entered the active service of the ministry 

near the beginning of the nineteenth cen- 
tury. For a number of years he was at the head of the Lancaster 
Conference. Samuel Nissley, Henry Martin, Christian Nissley 
and Christian Herr were among the list of bishops who faithfully 
upheld the standard, and did much to further the interests of the 
church. 

We have already referred to the settlements in Lancaster 

county, and the subsequent "overflow into other counties and 

states. We shall now notice briefly the work of the church in 
other counties in the district. 



LEB.\NON COtTNTY. 



Lebanon county was settled at an early date. We were un- 
able to gather the data necessary to give the church in this county 
the write-up which her history deserves. Among the former min- 



CONFERENCES. 179 

isters there we notice the names of Gingerich, Dohner, Snavely, 
Brubaker, Witmoyer, Groh, Shaffer, Light, and others. For some 
cause the church in tliis county is much smaller now than it was 
in former generations. Tlie members are mostly old people, and 
there are many children and grandchildren of Mennonites to be 
found who are either members ^f other churches, or make no pre- 
tentions to Christianity. The church here is very conservative in 
its methods of work 

YORK COUNTY. 

The history of this count)' is given by congregations : 

Garber's Mennonite Meeting House in Heidelberg town- 
ship, York county, Pa., is located on the south side of the village 
of Menges Mills, on the York road, on a piece of ground con- 
sisting di one acre, including a cemetery of one-fourth acre. But 
they had no deed for the same, and as the cemetery was located 
in a field, the memliers of the church were in fear it might in the 
future be neglected, and the sacred place forgotten. Therefore, 
in the year 1885 a number of neighbors agreed to buy a strip of 
land, the width of the cemetery (85 feet), to the public road. This 
project was carried out in the fall of the same year, the land being 
bought by George Forry, John Herschy and Andrew Boyer. They 
donated it to the Mennonite Church, or to the Trustees and their 
successors forever. Then a motion was made to build a new 
church on this ground, which project was carried out by the com- 
bined effort of the neighbors and church members in 1887, at a 
cost of $2,000. 

The oldest tombstones in the cemetery are those of Elizabeth 
Herschy, maiden name, Warner. She was married to John 
Herschy. She was born in 1736, died 1790, aged 54 years. John 
Herschy was born 1730, and died 1795, aged 65 years. 

AVhen the Garber's church was organized cannot be told to 
a certainty, as there are no records at hand, but in all probability 
it was in the latter part of the seventeenth century. The first min- 
isters of whom we have any account, were Abraham Roth, bishop, 
and Joseph Herschy, minister. It is yet remembered that they 
served' the church as late as 1835 and 1840. 



i8o MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

Services are held in both German and English languages, and 
Sunday school every Sunday. 

On York Street, about three miles east from Hanover, stands 
the old Mennonite church, known as Bear's Meeting House. The 
land on vifhich it stands was given by John and Thomas Penn to 
Michael Banner, for the benefit of the Mennonite Church at that 
place, on August 8th, 1774, containing 12 acres ; the purchase 
price was set at £6, Pennsylvania currency. Previous to this they 
held their church services in private houses for many years. 

John Shenk, of Manheim township, and Jacob Keagy, of 
Heidelberg township, were their ministers, and John Welty and 
James Miller were deacons at the above mentioned time. Later, 
Martin Meyer, minister, John Hofstetter, bishop and Samuel 
Bechler, deacon. About 1858 or 18&0 Abraham Hofstetter was 
ordained to tlie ministry. Later Isaac Herschy and Samuel 
Moyer. 

In the year 1861 the old meeting house was pulled down and 
a new brick church house erected in its stead. 

The Bear's congregation stands in conjunction with the Han- 
over congregation, Hofstetter congregation in Adams county, 
Zimmerman's congregation in Maryland, and Garbers congrega- 
tion at Menges Mills ; they altogether form a congregation of one 
hundred members. Services are held in the German and English 
languages. 

Among the ton'.bstones in the cemetery are found the names 
of the following persons of a very advanced age, namely : Mary 
M. Ruidesill, died Dec. 17, 1881, aged 98 years; Andrew Ruide- 
sill, died Nov. i, 1880, aged 92 years; Barbara E. Wildasin, wife 
of Andrew Ruidesill, died July 28, 1889, aged iii years, 9 mo., 
22 days. 

The Condorus Meeting House is located about six miles west 
from York. It is quite an old building. 

The Meeting House near Stony Brook Station on the Penn- 
sylvania R. R., about four miles east from York, was erected in 
the year 1816, but since then it 1 was enlarged and remodeled. This 
congregation (Witmer's) is in a thriving condition. 

» Translated from Cassel's "Qeschiohte der Mennoniten," by S. D. Guengerich. 



CONFERENCES. i8i 

Herschy's Meeting House is in Dover township. On May lo, 
1825, John Lettera, Henry Seip and Joseph Herschy, trustees of 
their congregation, bought of John Brubacher eighty rods of 
land on which to erect a meeting house. The consideration of 
the purchase was one dollar. 

This congregation stands in connection with the Condorus 
congregations, one in Washington township, and one in Condorus 
township. Daniel liear and Abraham Roth were among the first 
ministers in this church, which was organized in the year 1753. 
Later ministers were Josiah Herschey, Benjamin Herschy, John 
Frantz, Isaac Kauftrnan, Jacob Herschy and Samuel Roth. 

Kralltown congregation also belongs to the Condorus district, 
and is located in Washington township. In the year 1888 there 
was a new church erected here. It is named the Union Church. 

Near the north end of Abbottstown street, Hanover, stands 
the neat, plain Mennonite Meeting House, which was erected in 
the year 1881 at a cost of $2,500. The first church at Hanover 
was built in 1870 ; but as the membership rapidly increased, it 
was seen that this house was too small ; therefore it was pulled 
down and a larger one erected in its place. 

CUAIBERLAND COUNTY. 

The history of the Alennonite Church in Cumberland -county 
dates frojn about the beginning of the nineteenth century. Our 
informant gives the names of Henry Rupp and Henry Martin as 
the first Mennonite ministers in the county, but Cassel, in his 
"tlistory of the Mennonites," tells of ministers nanied Hauser and 
Westhauser, who were there sooner. From the year 1807 there 
were regular service? held in private houses until about 1816, 
when the first Mennonite meeting house in the county ivas erected 
at Slatehill. This v/as replaced in 1876 by a more substantial build- 
ing. There are now three organized congregations in the county 
having a combined membership of nearly 200. The church in this 
county was the first in the district to take active steps in the way 
of holding continued meetings, Sunday school conferences, etc. 



i82 MEN N ON IT E CHURCH HISTORY. 



Jl'KlATA AND SNYDER COUNTIES. 

The first Mennonite to move into this part of the state was 
John Krebiel (Graybill),* who located in Snyder county about the 
year 1774, about one-half mile north of where the town of Rich- 
field now stands. His son, John, was the first Mennonite minister 
and bishop of this district, and since that time there has never been 
a time when there was not some minister by the name of Graybill 
in the church at this place. In the early history of the church 
there was an unfortunate division into three factions. Besides the 
regular body there was a "Leiter Church" and a "Brubacher 
Church." The first schism lasted about forty years, when the 
ministers in the "Leiter Church'' voluntarily quit preach- 
ing and brought back their flock into the main body. 
This body was further strengthened when Bishop Abraham 
Haldeman moved from Chester county and settled in Juniata 
county. The growth of the church was now rapid. Some 
families moved into the district and large numbers of con- 
verts were baptized from time to time. Other ministers were 
called to the service. Among the most widely known bishops 
and ministers were Jacob Graybill,, Samuel Weiney, William 
Graybill and others. The Brubacher faction was never very 
strong. It remained independent until the Martin schism oc- 
curred m Lancaster county (1893) when tliey united with that 
body. 

In 18S4 another schism occurred in Richfield. The greater 
part of that congregation, becoming dissatisfied Avith the rulings 
of Bishop Jacob Graybill, withdrew from the church and organ- 
ized a separate congregation. Their leaders were Thomas Gray- 
bill, Solomon • Graybill and William Bergey, ministers. Banks 
Weiney has since been ordained to the ministry. A number of 
efforts have been made for reconciliation. Though so far unsuc- 
cessful, there are many who are still working and praying and 
hoping for union. 

• John Krebiel, father of the first Mennonite settler in Snyder 
county, oame from Switzerland about the middle of the eighteenth cen- 
tury. One of his sons moved to Snyder county, one or two of them to 
Virginia, and the rest remained In Lancaster county. He is ancestor of 
a numerous family bearing his name (or "Graybill," as it Is now 
spelled) and many of the Weineys, Shellenbergers, Shelleys, Zlmmer- 
mans, Haldemans and Snyders look to him as their ancestor. 



CONFERENCES. 183 

The church in this field was greatly revived during the last 
ten years through the prayerful efforts of faithful workers at 
home, assisted by devoted evangelists from abroad. 

For many years there was much discussion as to whether it 
was advisable to depart from the regularly established customs of 
the church, and engage in more direct work for the ingathering of 
the lost. The church in Lancaster county. 
The Move in Favop being strong, did not feel the need of direct 
of Aggressive Work. evangelistic work as much as did the weak- 
er congregations in other counties and 
states, What the effects of continued meetings would have been 
in counties like Lebanon, York, or Dauphin can only be conjec- 
tured. In Citmberland and Juniata counties the experiment was 
tried to the satisfaction of the church in those counties, but in 
moving in advance of conference along these lines there was some 
disturbance in the district; The sentiment in favor of this kind of 
work has steadily grown until the conference finally recognized the 
conviction, and decided that continued meetings might be held in 
congregations where the ministers are in favor, and the meetings , 
can be held in peace. It was the last concession from conference 
during the transition in i.vhich the church saw the coming of 
Sunday schools, evening meetings, English preaching, special 
work for the ingathering of the lost, and found them all helpful 
in building up the cause. 

There are those who have been disposed to criticise the 
Lancaster Conference for obstructing religious work which might 
have resulted in the salvation of many who were otherwise lost. 
Whatever may be said of the criticism, there is another fact 
which should not be forgotten. By its rigid conservatism, this 
conference has succeeded in impressing upon the church the im- 
portance of maintaining the faith of our fathers ; and that, while 
some of their methods of work were such that they were not 
adapted to our conditions and surroundings, the principles which 
they held dear, and for which some of them gave their lives — such 
as non-resistance, Christian ordinances, simplicity in daily living, 
separation of church and state — are as true and sacred today as 
they have ever been. We look with sj^dness upon the many 



i84 



MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 



closed doors, the rapid decline in membership from the middle 
until the close of the last century, and the work of those who put 
form above salvation. We are grateful to all, (both East and 
West) who had a part in teaching the important lesson that it is 
possible to change our methods of work to suit the conditions of 
the age, and at the same time hold fast the principles of the Gospel 
which know no change. "Methods may change, but principles, 
never." 




KINZERS CHURCH. 



For a number of years this conference made it a rule to send 
two ministers each year to visit the churches in the West. These 
visits did much to cultivate a friendly feeling between the East 
and the West. In course of time, otlier work claimed the attention 
of the church, and these visits were discontinued. 

In the year 1893 a schism took place in the Weaverland 
church, which for the time being, threatened the whole of Lancas- 



CONFERENCES. 185 

ter county. Although the beginning was a very trifling affair, it 
was enough to result in the withdrawal of Bishop Jonas Martin 
and about one-third of his members. An account of this is given 
in another chapter. 

During the last ten years there has been a decided increase in 
interest in the work of the church. In the chapter on "Missions," 
we shall notice the origin and growth of the movement which 
resulted in^the organization of mission Sunday schools, the In- 
dustrial Mission on "Welsh Mountain and the Philadelphia Mis- 
sion. The Quarterly Meeting which meets in Bishop Isaac Eby's 
district, is a positive force in promoting the various enterprises 
of the church. In Juniata, York, and 'Cumberland counties, the 
brethren found it convenient to hold Sunday school conferences 
which served about the same purpose which the Mission Meeting 
accomplished in Lancaster county. 

It has long been the rule in this conference to recognize one 
of the leading bishops, (usually the oldest active bishop in point of 
service) as the head of the conference. For a number of years 
-Jacob N. Brubacher* of Mt. Joy, I-ancaster county, has filled the 
place. He is noted for his executive force and is one of the most 
widely known men in the church. It has been the custom to lay 
all questions intended for conference before a council of the bish- 
ops in the district, who consider the questions and pass upon them. 
They then present their decision to the ministers and deacons in 
conference, and later to the congregations for ratification. In this, 
their methods vary from those of the Virginia and Western con- 
ferences, w^ho submit all questions to be discussed and decided in 
open conference. 

Following is an outline of congregations in the district : 

* XacoT) N. 'Hrubaclier was born near Mt. Joy, Pa., July 25, 18SS. 
United with the Mennonito Church Oct. 8, 1859. Ordained to the min- 
istry June 6, 1865. and to the office of hishop Dec. 25, 1S67. 

As a minister he Is of pleiisingf address, ana a forcible and impres- 
sive speaker. In his early ministry he did much in the way of intro- 
ducing Sunday schools, evening meetings, and other helpful factors in 

As the head of the Lancaster Conference, he has done more, per- 
haps, than anv one man in impressing; his personality upon its delib- 
erations and decisions. He is outspoken in Ins views, deliberate in 
hi'! iudffment prompt in all his yndertakinss, positive in character, 
and flrm^n his confictions. While his methods have called forth op- 
position, his sterling Christian character and qualities .as a leader ara 
generally recognize'd'. 






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Henry P. Heller 


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Chris. Bbersole 

Frank L. Pierce 


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Abram Slshleman 

D. S. Witmer 
Abe Newcomer 


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John W. Swaar 

John L. Landls 
Sanford B. I^andis 
Dav'id Buckwalter 


John B. Landis 
Levi Bbersole 

Benj. Lehman 
Hiram Bnterline 
John Bbersole 


John B. Harnish 

Jacob Thomas 

-Aaron Harnish 

Benjamin Hertzler 
John H. Moseman 

Daniel Lehman 

A.- X>. Wenger 

Jacob Newcomer 

Abram Witmer 


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River Corner 
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Millersi-ille 

Eohr,erstown 

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Christian G. Weaver 

Joseph Horning 
Noah Bowman 

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BenJ. Hess 
David Lehman 




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John M. Sauder 

Samuel Wltmer 

I. B. Good 

Henry G. Good 

Abraham Gehman 

Noah B. Bowman 

Jos. B. Wenger 

Noah H. Mack 
Isaiah Wltmer 


rhris Rissor 
Jonas Hess 
John B. Bucher 
John M Lefever 




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Former Bishops 
Henry Martin 
George Weaver 
Jonas Martin 


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CHAPTER XII. 

WASHINGTON COUNTY, MARYLAND, AND FRANKLIN COUNTY, 
PENNSYLVANIA CONiFERENCE.* 

When this conference was organized is not known, but from 
the testimony of those best posted in the history of the church in 
this part of the field, it must have been in existence over seventy 
years ago. As records were not kept formerly as carefully as they 
have been in later years, much that might have been valuable and 
interesting concerning the history of the church has been lost. 

About 1790 or 1795, a number of Mennonite families emi- 
giated from Lancaster county and settled near Chambersbui^g, 
Franklin county. Among them was Daniel Lehman,t the first 
minister and bishop in the colony. He purchased a farm about 
one mile north of Chambersburg, and donated the ground upon 
which the Chambersburg Church was built in 1804 — the first 
Mennonite meeting house in the county. 

Meanwhile a settlement had been formed in Washington 
county,. Maryland. Among the early settlers there was Jacob 
Good,t a resident near the little Antietam as early as 1765. 
"Others among the early settlers were Michael Miller, Andrew 
Reifif, John Barr. Jacob Miller and John Strite, all of whom lo- 
cated in the district prior to the year 1800. The most prominent 

* For rauoh of the inforTration nontained In this chapter we are in- 
debted to D. S. Lesher, Shippensburg, Pennsj'lvania; C. R. Strite, Hag- 
erstown, Maryland, and Isaac W. Bby, Maug-ansville, Maryland. 

t Daniel Lehman was born in Lan<!aster County, Pennsylvania, June 
4 1742 He united with the church in early life, was ordained to the 
ministry, and Just before moving to Franklin County was ordained 
bi"hop to take the oversight of the church at that place. 

t Jacob Good was probably a descendant of Hans Guth, who set- 
tled 'south of Conestoga Creek, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. There 
were Guths in Lancaster County as early as 1711, and it was doubtless 
from this locality that Jacob Guth (Good) removed to Western Mary- 
land. He was one of the few adherents of the Mennonite faith among 
the pioneers of Leitersburg District. ._,.,. ^ ^ „ .-. t, „ 

—From History of Leitersburg District, published by H. C. Bell. 



192 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

families represented among the early settlers were the Shanks, 

Newcomers, Hoovers, Baechtels, Hoffmans, and Eshelmans. 

For many years the Mennonites worshiped in private houses, 

some of which were built especially large 

First Mennonite .... t^ j. i-i »o~- 

,, ^. L, . ,. for this purpose. It was not until 1035 

Meeting House in Mar> ■ ^ ^'' 

land. Miller's Church ^^^^ the first meeting house was erected 
1835. in Miller's District. 

For many years there was a steady stream of immigrants into 
Franklin county, and the church there enjoyed a steady growth. 
Bishop Daniel Lehman preached one sermon in the Chambers- 
burg meeting house after it was erected in 1804, and then passed 
to his reward. He was succeeded by another minister of the 
sam.e name. Shortly after this, another colonly was started in 
the county and 'a log church built about two miles south of -what 
is known as Upper Strasburg. This was the beginning of the 
work in the Strasburg District. This was followed by another 
colony which settled in the vicinity of Marion, and a brick meeting 
house built about six miles south of Chambcrsburg, known as 
Brown's Mill Meeting House. Among the earliest ministers who 
served the church in this county, were Christian Shirk, ordained 
in 1S13 for the Strasburg District: Peter Lehman, son of Bishop 
Daniel Lehman, ordained in 1829 for the Chambersburg District; 
Jacob Hege, ordained in 1832 for the Brown's Mill District, and 
John Gsell, ordained for Chambersburg and Strasburg in 1837. 
Bro. Gsell was afterwards ordained to the office of bishop, in which 
capacity he served until his death in 1872. 

About the year 1840 several families located near Ship- 
pensbijrg, Cumberland county, and began holding meetings in a 
school house. Their first minister was Joseph Bombarger. About 
1846 Samuel Cockley moved from I^ancaster county to Hunts- 
viile, a place about ten miles east of Shippensburg. Both these 
districts, generally called "Kow" and "Cockley" districts, were un- 
der the oversight of Joseph Bombarger until his death in 1867. 

About the year 1862 the Brown's Mill meeting house was 
torn down and moved to a graveyard about two miles north of 
Marion, and was afterwards known as Marion meeting house. 
Another house of worship was built in i860 alx)ut two miles south 



CONFERENCES. 193 

west of Williamson and twelve miles west of Chanibersburg. 
These two congregations were included in one. district, and chose 
thdr own ministers and deacons. 

As already stated, the first bishop in Franklin county was 
Daniel Lehman. After his death, the congregations in the county 
were under the oversight of Abraham Roth of Adams county, 
Pennsylvania, and later looked after by Peter Eshelman, of Wash- 
ingtoa county, Maryland. iProm the ordination of John Gsell until 
his death, in 1872, the congregations of the county were under 
the care of a home bishop. He was followed by John Hunsicker, 
who after serving some time, became unable to discharge the 
duties of his office, and the congregation looked to Michael Horst, 
of Washington county, Maryland; Jacob N. Brubaker, of/ Lan- 
caster county, Pennsylvania, and Daniel Shank, of Adams 
county, Pennsylvania, to serve them in the capacity of bishops. 
Since the ordination of George S. Keener as bishop in Washington 
county, Maryland. (Oct. 12, 1899), all the congregations in this 
conference district are under his oversight. 

We now, return to the church in thib conference district on the 
Maryland side of the line. It is said that in 1776-77, they were 
made a subject of consideration by the county committee, because 
they refused to bear amis, or participate in any military exercises. 
"Althoug'h excused from actual service, .they were required to 
furnish transportation and supplies for the county troops, to make 
contributions in money, and to assist the families of those who 
were in the army." Thus it will be seen that the brethren here, 
faithfully reflected the true character of non-resistant people 
everywhere in two particulars : 

First. They absolutely refused to have a part in military ser- 
vice. 

Second. They stibmitted to any burden the government was 
pleased to load upon them, so long as they were not called upon 
to violate any Gospel principle. 

It was wielding the Gospel sword of non-resistance in a 
two-edged fashion. 

'Ill 1832 the church in Washington coimty was divided into 
four corrimunion districts, known as Stauffer''s, Miller's, Reiif's 



194 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

and Clear Spring. Among the earliest leaders in the church in 
these districts we may mention the names of Daniel Smith, first 
minister and bishop in Gear Spring District, who died in 1835 or 
'36 ; John Stauft'er, first minister and bishop in Stauffer's District, 
who died in 1876, and Samuel Baechtel, first minister in Miller's 
District. Michael Horst was ordained to the ministry in 1859, 
in which capacity he served for forty-one years, being a bishop 
since 1868. In 1899, George S. Keener was ordained tc succeed 
him. 

The church here suffered much during die Civil War. For- 
tunately for them, the periods of mtense anxiety lasted only 
during a few raids, so the brethren here fared much better than 
did their brethren in the .Shenandodi Valley, in' Virginia, who 
sufl'ered the horrors of war all through that terrible struggle be- 
tween the North and the South, from 1861 to 1865. In 1862 
the Confederate General. K. E. Lee, made his raid into Maryland, 
but was finally checked and turned back in the battle of Antietam. 
The next year the church in Franklin county got their taste of 
war, when Lee once more invaded the North and received his 
final blow in the bloody battle of Gettysburg. Many harrowing 
tales of cruelty and heartrending scenes of distress and anguish 
might be given, but as such scenes are common to all wars, we will 
draw the veil, thank God that America had but one Civil War, and 
pray to be delivered from all similar experiences. 

Since the Civil war, there have been no special events of far- 
reaching importance, althoug'h during this period the church in 
this district had undergone a number of important changes. While 
the church, here has been conservative and slow to adopt new 
methods of work, conditions changed, and methods had to change 
to meet the circumstances. Forty years ago most of the prcadi- 
ing was in German; noAv it is mostly in English. The intro- 
duction of Sunday schools and evening meetings was at first op- 
posed by manv of the brethren, but slowly gained in favor, and 
are now recognized as helpful factors in 
InnovPtions. church work. Bible readings and con- 

tinued meetings have been held wirhm the 
district for a number of years, but the sentiments of many of the 



CONFERENCES. 195 

brethren who have been loth to part from old customs have been 
respected to an extent that few continued meetings have been held 
in chitrch buildings. 

These new methods of work gained favor more readil} than 
they would have done, had there not been an urgent necessity to 
do something to awaken a greater interest, especially among mem- 
bers' children. It was seen that far too many of them, instead of 
uniting with the church, drifted into worldliness. The same 
story which could be told concerning so many communities was 
applicable to most congregations in this district. Old members 
were dyin^ off and children were drifting ofi. Tliis fact had the 
effect of stirring many of the wide-awake brethren to greater 
action. Adam Baer was among the earliest of the ministers who 
recognized the need of greater efforts, and frequently laised his 
voice in favor of more aggressive work. Michael Korst, for 
m.any years the leading bishop in the district, was a man of great 
earnestness and preached the word with power, but was more 
conservative in his views concerning methods of work. .Some of 
the most earnest church workers outside of the ministry, exercised 
their talents in the way of holding Bible readings, and engaging 
in personal work where opportunity afforded. For a time there 
was some disturbance in places, because members did not see 
alike in all things, but since the\' have learned to umlerstand one 
another better, the friendship for one another has correspondingly 
increased. 

Tije present bishop, George S. Keener, has been earnest in his 
efforts to awaken a greater interest in Christian work, although 
careful to work along lines that would meet the support of the 
whole brotherhood. His co-laborer in the ministry, C. R. Strite, 
has been an earnest advoqate of work to awaken a greater interest 
in neglected districts. It was largely through the efforts of 
these brethren that a sufficient interest has been awakened in 
the neighborhood of the Shank school house, about two miles 
south of Greencastle, Pennsylvania, to erect a house of worship 
in the community. 

Other ministers and workers aix at work ;n various parts of 
the district, doing what tlie\- can for the ad\ancement of the 



196 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

cause. It would be difficult to describe the cburch in the dis- 
trict as a whole ; for it would be hard to make a statement with 
reference to the general condition of the church without finding 
an exception in some part of the district. In some of the larger 
congregations the membership is increasing : while in some of the 
smaller districts the number of members is gradually growing 
less. That the labors of the brethren in this field may be blessed 
of the Lord to the end that the church may continue steadfast in 
t]:e faith, and grow in numbers and spirittial grace, is the wish 
and prayer of many. 

Following is an outline of congregations in the district: 




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CHAPTER XIII. 
THE VIRGINIA CONFERENCE. 

BY L. J. HEATWOLE. 



PIONEER LIFE OF VIRGINIA MENNONITES. 

From the most reliaible accounts now available, it is found 
that the first' Mennonite families who settled within the present 
limits of the State of Virginia, came principally frorn Pennsylr 
vania in the year 1754. Most of these pioneer families came from 
Lancaster and Franklin counties in that state and located' in what 
are now Shenandoah and Page counties. The family names of 
these early settlers were that of Allebaugh, Blosser, Branneman, 
Fauber, Funk, Graybill, Kauffman, Stauiifer, Schenk, Swartz, 
Rhodes, and Wenger. 

At a later period, families of other names joined these two 
colonies, one of which became established along the North Fork, 
and the other on the South Fork of the Shenandoah river — the 
first being not far from what is now the town of Woodstock in 
Shenandoah county and the second near Luray in Page county. 

Minlisters bearing the names of StautTer, Graybill and Rhodes 
are mentioned as being the first to preach the Gospel among them. 
Their hearers, being principally of German parentage, their ser- 
mons were delivered in the mother tongue. They held their 
meetings at regular intervals in private houses. As a people, they 
were particularly strict and careful in the preservation of their 
language, religion, family customs and social habits in general. 

The Indians, who previously resided in the Shenandoah Val- 
ley, appear to have removed to points west of the Allegheny 



CONFERENCES. 199 

mountains in the spring of 1754, but during the period of the 
French and Indian war (1755 to 1763) 
Murder of Minister frequent marauding parties of Indians re- 
Rhodes and Family. turned to the sections occupied by the Men- 
nonites for the purpose of plunder and 
murder, when unfortunately in the latter part of August of the 
year 1766 the afore mentioned minister Rhodes togetlaer with 
nearly his whole family, were murdered in cold blood and their 
home near the bank of the beautiful Shenandoah reduced to ashes. 
An aged member of one of these Mennonite families, who was 
yet living in the year 1837, related the harrowing details of this 
awful tragedy to Samuel Kercheval, the historian of the Shenan- 
doah Valley, in the following language : 

"A party of eight Indians and one white man, approached 
the house and shot Mr. Rhodes dead, while he was, standing in 
the door-way. His wife and one of the sons were killed in the 
yard. Another son was at the distance of one hundred fifty yards 
from the house in a corn-field. Hearing the reports of the guns, 
he climbed a peach tree to see what it meant, when he was dis- 
covered by the Indians and instantly killed. A third poor young 
lad tried to save himself by running to cross the river, but was 
overtaken and killed in the river." The place where he attempted 
to cross is still known as the bloody ford. The eldest daughter 
Elizabeth at first remained within the house, but later caught up 
her little sixteen or eighteen-months'-old sister and ran into the 
barn. An Indian followed her and tried to force open the door 
that she had secured behind her. Not succeeding, he with oaths 
and threats ordered her to open it, and as she, of course, refused, 
he ran back to the house to gel fire. While he was gone Elizabeth 
crept out at an opening at the opposite side of the barn, and with 
her little sister in her arms, ran through a field of tall hemp, 
crossed the river, reached a neighbor's house and thus saved her- - 
self and little sister. The Indians, after setting fire to all the 
buildings, started off on their trip across the mountains, taking 
with them two sons and two daughters that remained alive, as 
captives. The youngest of the sons, being sickly and not able to 
travel fast enough, they killed him. The two daughters then re- 



200 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

fused to g-o any farther, upon which both were killed. After three 
years of captivity with the Indians, the remaining son made his 
escape and came back to his friends." 

During the first fifty years that these Mennonite colonies 
resided in the state, it appears that no records were kept of titles 
to their lands, of their families, or of their church. Lord Fairfax, 
one of the largest landholders in the state, 
Encroachments of having about this time established his claim 

Lord Fairfax. to the "Northern Neck," the boundaries of 

■which on the south crossed the Shenandoah 
Valley at or near the line which now divides the county of Shen- 
andoah from Rockingham — our pioneer Mennonites suddenly 
found themselves occupying the tinwelcojne and uncertain position 
of squatters upon an English lord's estate, and at once had to face 
the issues of choosing bet\veen paying an annual rental for 
the t:se of the lands they occupied or abandoning them altogether. 
Many of them chose the latter course — as it required but about a 
day's journey to the northward for them to get off the Fair- 
fax possessions. The time came ultimately when the major portion 
of them located at diflerent points in what are now Rocking- 
ham and Augusta counties. 

Aside from these few scraps of information, little more is 
known to the present generation of the now extinct congregations 
in Shenandoah and Page counties — than that the older ones all 
died and their bodies now lie in unnamed graves in the sections 
in which they first settled, while the generation that succeeded 
them removed some twenty-five miles- farther up the North Fork 
of the Shenandoah river and formed prosperous settlements in 
Rocking'ham county, in the Linville Creek valley and in the sec- 
tion lying to the westward, then known as "The Brush." This 
particular section embraces a scope about eight miles broad, 
^extending from said creek on the east, to the North Moun- 
tain on the west, and about ten miles up from the river where it 
emerges from the mountains at Brock's Gap, to what is now 
Singers Glen on the south. For many years these two sections 
were considered the stronghold of Mennonite people in Vir- 
ginia. By about the year 1780, the principal families among them 



CONFERENCES. 201 

were the Allebaug-hs, Burkholders, Beerys, Brunks, Branners, 
Brannemans, Drivers, Fultzes, Funics, Franks, Goods, Geils, 
Hoovers, Kisers, Kauffmans, Mi nnichs, Roadcaps, Ruebushes, 
Rhodes, Showalters, Swanks, Shanks, Trissels and Wengers. 
Within the next twenty years, quite a number of the Burkholder, 
Showalfer, Shank, Kiscr, Fultz, Good, Roadcap, Rhodes and 
Wenger families became located in the section lying south and 
west of Harrisonburg, the newly established county seat. These 
were also joined at about the same time by the Blossers, Hart- 
mans and Weavers, from Page county, the Swopes and Swartzes, 
from Shenandoah, and. the Heatwoles, Hildebrands, Hashbargers, 
Gtaybills, Groves, Frys, Landises, Laymans and Niswanders, who 
all appear to have come direct from .Pennsylvania to this section 
during the closing years of the eighteenth century. Later on, a 
few of the Fauber, Grove, , Hildebrand, Hashbarger, Kendig, 
Roadcap and Staufifer families removed to points in Augusta, 
county, while several Kauffman, Fry and Wenger families lo- 
cated at a point west of the Allegheny mountains near what is now 
Lewisburg, Greenbrier county. West Virginia. 

During the first seventy years of pioneer life among the 
Virginia Mennonites, there appears at no time to have been a 
special building erected by them for public worship, while it is 
known that at a date as early as 1780, there were forty-two meet- 
ing houses in the state of Pennsylvania that were owned and used 
regularly by the Mennonites there. The Virginia Mennonites 
at no time neglected the subject of religion, and worship was 
held regularly in priva;te dwellings in the different localities where 
they were permanently established. The Sunday services were 
continued throughout the greater part of the day, except at the 
time of the noon intermission, when dinner was provided for all 
present. Being in a heavily timbered section of the state, many 
of these people naturally became great builders and in the com- 
modious dwelling houses that were erected by some of the wealth- 
ier members, there appeared an unusually large amd, spacious room 
so arranged and furnished as to accommodate quite a body of 
worshipers. 



202 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

With the general increase of population, there came a time, 
however, when the congregations that were assembled could no 
longer be accommodated at private family residences. The women 
and older members occupied all the room, which left the children, 
the boys and girls and worldly minded people out doors to pass 
the time as best they could— which was done in a way that gave 
to the outside gathering at least, the appearance of a Sunday 
social, where sports and games of various kinds were common, 
as a means of diversion for the crowd. Besides, if the dinner 
hour was prolonged, which was generally the case, it was no 
uncommon thing for the cellar, the springhouse and even the 
orchard to be drawn on to such an extent that there were not 
sufficient provisions left to provide dinner for, those who occupied 
their time at worship. 

Knowing these conditions, it is easy to account for the almost 
simultaneous movement among the Virginia Mennonites for erect- 
ing special buildings for worship and tlie establishment of per- 
manent congregations among themselves. Our well-meaning 
brethren of that time, after holding long and tenaciously to the 
customs of their fathers in connecting these objectionable 
features with their worship, in time found their eyes rudely 
opened to read a new interpretation in I Cor. 11:17, .^^^ we are 
glad to note that the actions that followed their convidtion's along 
this line were swift and speedy. 

FIRST FOUR CONGREGATIONS ORGANIZED GERMAN AND 

ENGLISH LANGUAGE. 

V 

The first meeting house being located at Trissels and the 
second at The Pike, would indicate that at these two points the 
membership was the most numerous at that time — 1822. Then 
First as a sort of connecting link between these 

Meeting Houses two points, the next two, Branneman's and 

1822, , Weaver's meeting house, were built on a 

line at two places, equally distant from each 
other and the other two, so that on a straight line, running ,for 



CONFERENCES. 203 

twenty miles across Rockingham county, none of the members had 
more than five miles to church. 

Provision was also made for the erection of school houses at 
the same places where the meeting houses were built. The motive 
for this step seems to have been prompted by the decline in the 
German language, which was already apparent with the rising 
generation. So as to counteract the injurious influences of the 
time and throw a safeguard about their children, the determined 
step was taken to have them taught in the German language only. 
To accomplish this end, the most natural and judicious course 
they could take was to erect a school house in connection with 
each church building. 

Though for many years the preaching and singing were ex- 
clusively German at all of these meeting houses, there came, in 
about the year 1840, a pressing demand for English preaching. 
This being met by a counter-pressure fully 
First English Preacii- as strong, on the other side of the question, 
ing, 1840. a compromise was reached that admitted 

the use of both languages in time of wor- 
ship. Later on English came more and more into use. This slow 
but sure process, in which the English language superseded the 
German, was vigorously opposed by many well-meaning members, 
some venturing even the sad and solemn prediction that when the 
German language would once be gone, the Mennonite faith would 
be gone also. The German Bibles and hymn books that yet re- 
main in the pulpit desks of each of these meeting houses, serve 
only as sad mementos of the hopeless struggle that was maintained 
by the generation gone by, in behalf of their native dialect and 
their mother tongue. 

With the ordination of David Showalter, in about 1840, came 
the first exclusively English speaking minister, and with the 
death of John Weaver and Daniel Shbwalter, in 1877-80, the last 
German discourses were heard by a Virginia congregation from a 
Virginia minister. 

As intimated in the beginning of this sketch, all our people 
' trace their lineage back to the congregations previously established 
in Pennsylvania, and claim direct descent from the original stock 



204 MEN N ON IT E CHURCH HISTORY. 

of Germans, most of whom had come from the Fatherland from . 
a quarter to a half century before to find a home in that state. The 
two main reasons for so many of them, later on, to turn their 
faces toward Virginia, were cheaper lands and a less rigorous 
climate than that which they found in Pennsylvania. 

No people of the Amish Mennonite branch were ever known 
to locate in Virginia during the earlier history of the dhurch, and it 
has been only within the last decade of the nineteenth century 
that a few families have located in Princess Anne, Fauquier and 
Warwick counties. 

THE FIRST CONFERENCE AND THE FIRST BISHOPS. 

The records show that the first Mennonite Conference that 
was held in Virginia, was called together at Weaver's Church, on 
Friday, April loth, 1835. 

It was composed of six ministers and one or two deacons — 
several of the older ministers being absent by reason of the in- 
firmities of age. The two principal features of the work done by 
this conference was "that the general wel- 
Conference Organized fare of the church demanded a practical 
April 10, 1835. adherence to the old order of things." and 

"that a contribution from the members of 
the church should be held annually for the benefit of the poor, and 
that at the time of the conference is the date in each year for 
holding this contribution." 

Previous to the time of holding this conference, the Virginia 
congregations appear to have been more or less under the direction 
of the Lancaster County Conference — as the kinsihip, both 
by church relation and family ties, were yet so strong that min- 
isters and lay members exchanged visits more frequently than they 
have done since the Virginia Conference was organized. When 
the Rockingham and Augusta county congregations were ar- 
ranged into three separate districts, which appear to have been 
done as early as 184.0, the conference was held interchangeably 
in each district — ^first in the Middle district, then in the Lower 
district, and then in the Upper district — and this order in the 



CONFERENCES. 20^ 



districts and the rule for calling each session on Frida)' has been 
continued ever since. 

So far as can be ascertained, Henry Shank was the first to 
be recognized as bishop in the Virginia congregations. There is 
no date preserved that records the time of his ordination, but his 

labors in this capacity must have begun 
Henry Shank, First somewhere between the years 1810 and 
Bishop in Virginia. 1:815. His residence was in what is now 

called the Lower district, and hence was 
not present at the first conference, on account of his age. 

He died the next year after the first conference was held, in 
his seventy-eighth year. During the time of a great dissention that 
broke out among the Virginia Mennonites — from 1825 to 1830, 

Bishop Henry Shank took sides with the 
Church Troubles, "offended" or "Letter Party," but it is to 

1825-30. his lasting credit, that when a committee of 

ministers from Pennsylvania came to give 
the matter a final hearing, and found him in the wrong, he came 
bfick and also that it was largely through his influence that the 
"Letter Party" was won back to the church. 

During the interval in which he had identified himself with 
tihe seceding element, Henry Rhodes, one of the older ministers 
in the Lower district, served the church as bishop, but died be- 
fore thf two bodies became reconciled. 

Bishop Peter Burkholder* has the record of being the young- 
est man ever ordained to the ministry in the Virginia church, 

* Peter Burkholder was born in Pennsylvania, A-ug. 27, 1783. When 
quite younar his father moved with his family to Rockingham county, 
Virginia. Here be grew to manhood, and wa.s ordained to the ministry 
at the earlv age of 22. About the year 1S37 he succeeded Henry Shank 
in the office of bishop. He was an earnest and able expounder of the 
faith. As a minister he spoke with such power and pathos that he 
freciuently melted his congresation to tears. He was a writer of some 
note. His three leading publications were a CONFESSION OF FAITH, 
a treatise arranged under "NINE HEFLECTIONS ON THE HOLY SCRIP- 
TURES," and another treatise on "PREDESTINATION." The latter work 
contained an "Introduction" that was especially valuable for the his- 
torical data it contained. He was an authority on church doctrme, and 
for many years his voice was heard in defense of a pure Go.spel, holy 
living, and faithful Christian service. .^ ^. -^ , 

His son, Martin Burkholder, also a Mennonite bishop, was scarcely 
less distinCTiished than his father. He .was a wise counsellor, an able 
and fearless advocate of the truth, and earnest in advocating every- 
thine which he believed to be to the upbuilding of the cause. It 
seemed good to the I<ord to remove him at an age when most people 
are in the prime of life. 



2o6 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

wliich was at the age of 21 years and 2 months. His ordination 
took place October 27th, 1805. 

He appears to have been made bishop to succeed Henry 
Shank in about the year 1837. It was at about this time also 
that he became the author of the Virginia or Burkholder Con- 
fession of Faith. This work was compiled and arranged by him 
in the German language and accompanied with an Introduction of 
incalculable value, by reason of the rare historical data it contains, 
and "Nine Reflections on Predestination, Baptism, and Obli- 
gations of Believers, " &c. This Confession of Faith was 
later printed in English, and became a handy reference book in 
about every Mennonite family. 

Some time after his ordination to the office of bishop, there 
came the necessity for dividing the congregations into districts. 
Under this arrangement the Lower district became organized with 
Daniel Good as bishop, the Middle district with Peter Burkholder 

as bishop, and the Upper or Augusta district with Stauf- 

fer as bishop, but so far no record of his full name or work can 
be found. 

It was this more complete organization and the permanent 
establishment of the conference that the Mennonite Church in Vir- 
ginia started on its first era of progress. From this date the con- 
gregations, especially those of the Lower and Middle districts in- 
creased more rapidly in membership, and by reason of 
these conditions the conference authorized an increase in the force 
of ministers in all the districts, so that the work of preaching the 
Gospel could be more readily'pushed to points along the outskirts. 
It appears to have, been in 1857-58 that the first Mennonite min- 
isters crossed the Shenandoah Mountain and preached in what is 
now Pendleton county, West Virginia. Leaving the West Vir- 
ginia work to be noticed in a later chapter, we come now to — 

TRIALS OF THE VIRGINI.A. MENNONITES DURING THE CIVIL WAR. 

With the beginning of this period (1861), there were in the 
Virginia church three bishops: John Geil, Sr., (Lower district) ; 
Samuel Coffman, (Middle district) ; and Jacob Hildebrand, (Up- 



CONFERENCES. 207 

per district) ; twelve ministers and six deacons, with a member- 
ship all told of about three hundred fifty. In the three dis- 
tricts were seven meeting houses, in each of which worship was 
held once every four weeks. 

For a number of years prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, 
the state of Virginia maintained a strict military organization 
known as the State Militia, which required every able-bodied man 
in the state, if not otherwise exempted, to attend in time of peace, 
no less than four days' drill each year, in the tactics of war. The 
exemption laws, as they were then framed, afforded no opportunity 
for our brethren to escape this service, except in the payment of 
the minimum fine — 50 cents for absence from each muster drill. 
With but few exceptions, this was always done and hence our 
brethren avoided doing violence to the principle of non-resistance 
and deliberately ignored each call as it was made to serve in the 
muster drills. 

But with the outbreak of the war, the military laws became a 
far greater menace to the brotherhood, and in time proved a severe 
test of their loyalty to the church. First there came the call 
for all the Militia to take the field.. Such of our brethren whose 
names were on the muster rolls found themselves no longer ex- 
cusable from military duty by paying their muster fines, but had to 
go into the ranks or be dealt with as deserters. 

It was a time of sore distress to the church. What were 
they to do in the face of such circumstances? To remain at 
home meant sooner or later to be taken away by force before a 
court martial, to be tried and shot. To go voluntarily into the 
ranks and line up for the field of battle would be treason to the 
church. When the final test came, a few of the younger brethren 
went into the army with the first volunteers ; others hid themselves 
away in the mountains and timbered sections of the country and 
made frequent visits to their families under cover of night ; while 
others — along with such as were drafted into the service later 
in the fall of i86t, were taken into the army under protest — with 
the understanding among themselves and their families at home, 
that neither of them would strike a blow or fire a gun. Though 
these brethren were with the regular army and were in action near 



2o8 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

Winchester, and before Harpers Ferry, they proved true 
to their pledges, and in consequence, a number of them were 
soon reported to the officers, as such who refused to shoot when 
the order was given to open lire on the enemy. In their refusal 
to obey orders on this point, some were threatened to the point of 
being court-martialed and shot ; this threat not having the efiFect 
to change their minds in the least, a number of the men found 
themselves detailed, by and by, as cooks, teamsters and on the 
relief corps, to attend to the sick and wounded. When the army 
lay in camp, it was a custom with them to meet when off duty, 
to join together in singing some of the old familiar church Hj'mns 
to which they were so well accustomed when at home. It was not 
an uncommon thing for the soldiers to have their attention drawn 
to some particular tent or corner of the camp where a number of 
earnest voices were joined in singing:^ "O, For a Closer Walk 
with God," or "Am I a Soldier of the Cross," &c. 

During the wmter of i86£-62, Avhile the army lay in winter 
quarters at Winchester, nearly all these brethren found their 
way back to their homes, but with the opening of the campaign of 
1862, there came the general call from the Confederate Govern- 
ment for every man between the ages of eighteen and forty-five 
years and capable of bearing arms, to go to the front. This call 
being made universal, there was no avenue of escape left, and to 
respond to this universal call was looked upon by the church as 
equivalent to volunteering for military service. Owing to the 
force of circumstances and the highly exciting nature of the times, 
some of the younger brethren responded and went into the ranks. 
Bishop Coffman however, todk the bold stand and preached his 
convictions from the pulpit that Mennonites could not go into 
the army and at the same time be loyal to their church, and that 
our people must, notwithstanding their opposition to slavery, oc- 
cttpy neutral ground in the present crisis. 

From this time on was the real crisis for the Alennonites. A 
considerable number of the brethren went into their former cus- 
tom of hiding away in secluded places ; others continued about 
their homes as usual. Threats were made against Bishop Coffman 
by some of the military authorities, for his public declarations, 



CONFERENCES. 209 

one certain Colonel having sent word that he was coming with 
his regiment to take Bishop CoiTman and all his members, capable 
of bearing arms, into the anny; there was, of course, some 
consternation among the brotherhood. Brother Coffman, thinking 
it prudent to leave the state for a time, passed through the lines 
safely and reached the communities of our people in Maryland and 
Pennsylvania, where he remained until the feeling against him 
at home had sufficiently subsided for him to return to his family. 

In the meantime, quite a number of the brethren, together 
with a number of their sons and others, who were not at the time 
members of the church, to the number of about seventy persons, 
all met at a certain rendevous ground not far from the mountains, 
where they decided to travel together in a body across the 
mountains of West Virginia to Ohio and other states, expecting 
to remain there as refugees until the close of the war. The 
ministers who remained were not molested, but some of the 
brethren who yet remained in hiding about their homes, were 
either apprehended on surprise or hunted down hy scouting parties 
of the provost-marshal and were taken forcibly into the army or 
confined in the county jail at Harrisonburg. Strange as it may 
seem, some of the brethren who were yet of military age, re- 
mained at their homes unmolested through all this trying period, 
while others, who were known to be in hiding, were hunted and 
chased from place to place like wild beasts of the forest — it was 
those who had been taken into the army and afterwards deserted, 
that were made thus to suffer — ^those who had managed to keep 
out of the ranks from the beginning of the war, had not near so 
much trouble. Those who managed to elude the scouts spent their 
time at camping places far up in the mountains, and returned oc- 
casionally to their homes for supplies. Others had hiding places 
under their dwelling houses that were reached by means of trap- 
doors covered with carpets or bedding to throw the searching party 
off the trail, and several instances are recalled when the fugitive 
brother lay witli only the thickness of a board and carpet be- 
tween himself and his would-be captors. 

The companv of seventy, who started on their journey across 
the mountains early in the spring of 1862, were surprised and cap- 



2IO ' MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

tured by a squad of Confederate cavalry, near Petersburg, West 
Virginia, on the second day after leaving 
Brethren in Libby home. They were immediately marched 

Prison. from that point some sixty miles to the 

southeast of Staunton, from which 
place they were sent by train to Richmond, which had already 
become the seat of the Confederate Government. Here, with two 
exceptions, they were all lodged as common prisoners in the fa- 
mous Libby Prison, at that place. These exceptions were two 
brethren who effected their escape, and came home immediately 
and reported the fate of the rest of the party. Had it not been 
for this, it miglit not have been known for a time indefinite, that 
matters had taken the turn they had, and besides the brethren 
might have been languishing in prison much longer than they 
did, without their condition being known at home. 

It was a "serious and a solemn time," when genuine and 
earnest supplication was made to God for help. By the time the 
excitement and intense anxiety caused by the news of the capture 
at Petersburg, had suflSciently subsided at home, the members 
came together for calm consultation. 

Officers connected with the Confederate Government at Rich- 
mond, who were known to have some acquaintance with the Men- 
nonites and their doctrine, were notified of the condition of things. 
With a copy of the Mennonite Confession of Faith placed in their 
hands, these officials were enabled to impress upon the Confederate 
Congress the fact that the fathers and sons of our people, w'liora 
tiiey were then holding as prisoners, were far from being enemies 
to the government, but were a peace-lovifig people and that the 
only motive they had for leaving their homes was because of the 
encroachment upon their religious liberties. 

With this convincing explanation, the Confederate Con- 
gress was moved to adopt a bill that led to the release of, not only 
the Mennonites who were in prison, but also liberated 



CONFERENCES. 211 

such who were in the army and such as 
Rights of Non-resis- were in hiding near their homes. This 

T b7° Conf elTte ■ ^'" ^'°'''^''^ ^^^ ^" P^°P^^ professing the 
Government. peace doctrine as part of their rehgion, 

such as tlie Mennonites, Dunkards, Quak- 
ers and Nazarites, residing within the Confederate States, 
would be exempt from mihtary duty on condition that eadi male 
member of such religious bodies who were subject to bear arms, 
should pay into the treasury, the sum of five hundred dollars. 
After this bill was adopted the required amount was made up as 
soon as possible, a brother delegated by the church to go to Rich- 
mond to see that il was paid, and the brethren liberated from, a 
confinement that had already been prolonged to six weeks in a 
prison that was reekiiig with filth and vermin, and a ration that 
barely kept them alive. 

The u.nfeigned joy that was experienced by the church over 
the'home-coming of the captive brethren, as well as tlie happy re- 
unions brought about in the restoration of the others, who had 
been in the army or in hiding, was profoundly deep and sincere. 
Their imexpected release from prison and military bondage was 
attributed to the same "Mighty Hand" that had brought Israel of 

old, from under the bondage of Egypt One unpleasant 

feature still remained, and that feature lay in the fact that not all 
of the seventy who were captured were members of the Mennonite 
or Dunkard Church and hence could not be released from prison 
on the payment of the five hundred dollars fine; They were, how- 
ever, liberated from confinement on condition that they went im- 
mediately into the army as conscript soldiers. The fact that 
they were about all either sons or relatives of the brethren who 
were exempted did not count for anything in their case. There 
was no other course for them to take but to go into the army, 
and it is sad to relate that some of these poor boys never again 
reached their homes alive. After serving as soldiers for a time, 
the most of them, however, left the army, came home, and spent 
the rest of the war period either in hiding or refugeeing in the 
Northern or Western States. 



212 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

During the next eighteen months of the war, the Mennonites, 
as a rule, were left undisturbed on their farms, except that the 
government levied heavily upon their crops for army supplies. 
The commissary wagons came with unpleasant frequency to haul 
away wheat, corn and other supplies, all of which they usually 
took without leave or license or a cent of pay. 

In the summer of 1864 the war cloud again settled thick and 
dark over the Mennonite homes in the Shenandoah Valley. With 
all the suddenness of a thunderclap there came from the seat of 
Government at Richmond, the announcement that the substitute 
Exemption Law was abolished and that all able-bodied men from 
seventeen to sixty years of age were now required to go into 'the 
army. This of course started off many of the seventeen-year-old 
boys and most of the older brethren to hiding again, numbers of 
them going in squads of three and four across the mountains into 
West Virginia and Ohio until by September and October, the 
exodus of brethren from the state was so general that it is "re- 
membered as the time when the Sunday congregations were com- 
posed of a few old men, the younger boys and the women. The 
meetings at this time are remembered as being made all the more 
solemn because of the many sad and weeping faces that were seen 
in the audience. It sometimes happened that these meetings were 
seriously disturbed and even stampeded by the real or imaginarj^ 
approach of soldiers, and at times for a period indefinite no meet- 
ings were held by reason of soldiers being quartered on the 
grounds and occupying the meeting house where pur people were 
accustomed to meet for worship. 

Then, to cap the climax, there came the never-to-be-forgotten 
Sheridan's raid through the Shenandoah Valley. From the even- 
ing of Oct. 6th, 1864, to the morning of the 8th following, nearly 
all the barns and mills, and in some cases, 
Sheridan's Raid, 1864. the dwelling houses also, were set on fire 
in that part of Rockingham county where 
the Mennonites were located. These buildings being burned, to- 
gether with their stores and provisions, and the live stock driven 
from the farms — the whole country being overnin by troops of 



CONFERENCES. 213 

both sides, keeping up a desultory warfare between them — with 
the fences obliterated in a way that left their farms a desolate 
waste. It is not to be wondered at that quite a number of our 
Mennonite families and nearly all the sixteen and seventeen-year- 
old boys bade farewell to the hallowed surroundings of the dear 
places they used to call home, and rather than to longer bear the 
hardships of a war-ridden country, took the opportunity to re- 
move to Pennsylvania and Ohio imder the protection of Sheridan's 
army as it marched northward in October, 1864. 

Before the hard, cold winter of 1864-65 had fully set in, 
those of our people who remained at their homes managed to pro- 
vide some shelter and to divide with one another the scanty sup- 
plies tbat remained for them. There was 
Privations During perhaps, never a time before this that Men- 

and Following the nonites in America had things more "in 
'*' ^''' common" than during the war period of 

1864-65. Every possible article of wearing apparel had to be 
manufactured at home — no leather to make shoes, except that 
which was tanned at home ; no hats were worn except the home- 
made article ; no sugar or salt or pepper or spices to season food 
with ; no coffee, except such as was made from parched wheat or 
rye. Upon the whole, it was like going back to the purely primi- 
tive life of the grandfathers of a hundred years before. 

The citing of a few instances, with reference to the trying ex- 
periences of such of the brethren who were in hiding, may not 
come amiss before closing this chapter. 

A certain brother who had spent much of his time hiding 
away from the observation of the military officials, was accused, 
not only as 9. fugitive from the ranks of the army, but also for 
rendering aid to others and acting as guide to some of the 
numerous squads of refugees that were finding their way across 
the mountains to the Federal lines. By some means it became 
known to the military authorities that he was at home on a certain 
night when some soldiers were sent out with the order that he be 
shot on sight. The soldiers approached and surrounded the house 
m the dead hour of night. Calling him to the door, he was told 
that they were there with orders to kill him. He coolly replied 



214 MhNNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

that before doing that, they would certainly give him time to bid 
farewell to his family and also to write his will. This being 
granted, he waked his wife and a number of children, arid after 
telling what the soldiers were there for, sat down in perfect com- 
posure to write his will. As he proceeded with the writing, he 
suggested to one of the soldiers that his neighbor would be 
needed to sign the paper as witness. While the messenger was 
gone to bring in the neighbor, the brother's personal coolness, to- 
gether with the pathetic attitude of the family, so operated upon 
the minds of the soldiers that they left their intended victim un- 
harmed and made a hasty departure. 

Another brother had repeatedly been searched for by de- 
tachments of the provost-marshal's guards, but in each case he 
managed to elude them. Finding tliat he was no longer safe at or 
near his hom.e, he went far back into the mountains where he 
spent many days in a solitary cabin all alone. By some unknown 
means his hiding place was located by the provost-marshal and 
several soldiei\s were sent to capture him. The soldiers were al- 
ready more than half way on the road to his camp, when they 
were seen by a near family relative, who, surmising what their 
errand was, himself started off at full speed and like Ahimaaz, who 
out-ran Cushi, he outstripped the marshal's guard and reached 
our brother's place of concealment just in time for him to save 
himself by flight. But as there was snow on the ground at the 
time, he was easily followed by his pursuers. After going some 
distance up a mountain ravine, he performed the feat of climbing 
to the top of a high mountain, walking backward in the snow and 
by this means succeeded in throwing his would-be captors off his 
trail. The first night of his flight he spent at a cold and cheerless 
place under a spruce tree, fifteen miles or more away from the 
haunts of civilization. Fearing to come back to his home, or 
even to his cabin in the lonely mountain glen, he traveled on west- 
ward for several days, until he reached the eastern slope of the 
Allegheny mountains. Finding himself among a people who 
treated him with great kindness, he made his home among them. 
From him these people soon learned something of the dodtrine 
taught by the Mennonites, and by means of a copy of the Confes- 



CONFERENCES. 215 

sion of Faith, which he had with him, they became greatly in- 
terested in the peace doctrine taught by the church. It only re- 
mains for us to add that the very means that served to drive this 
brother across the moimtains as a fugitive from military service, 
has resulted ultimately in the establishing of a church and the 
building, of the first meeting house in the state of West Virginia. 

SUNDAY SCIIOOIS, SERIES OF MEETINGS, HOME MISSIONS. 

Tlie first Sunday school in the Virginia Conference was or- 
ganized at Weaver's Church in Rockinghani county, in the spring 
of the year 1870. After being continued for several summers, it 
was again discontinued, owing to the seri- 
First Sunday School. ous objections which were brought against 
it by many prominent members in the 
•church. Sunday schools had also been held at one or two of the 
'otlier churches, but were also discontinued at about the same time. 

Owing to the fact that Sunday schools were being actively 
carried on by other denominations in the county, and that the 
children of Mennonite parents were becoming regularly taught in 
them, the pressure for having them taught in our own churches 
and by teachers selected from among our own people, the work 
was once more renewed. 

It was with the spring of 1882, that the Sunday school work 
was taken up generally in all three of the districts and, with some 
exceptions, has been continued through the summer months of 
each year ever since. 

The first direct evangelistic work done in Virginia was in 
the fall of 1888, when John S. Coflrman of Elkhart, Ind., preached 
eight sermons within the period of a week at Weaver's Church. 
The liberty taken in this case without the consent of Conference 
brought on considerable discussion in the various congregations of 
the state, and though the eight sermons resulted in bringing about 
the conversion of forty-five persons, the question of evangelistic 
work was looked upon with such disfavor by members of Con- 
ference that it was not taken up again for a number of years. With 
the closing years of the last century, however, evangelists from 



2i6 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

other states have heid series of meetings at a number of our 
meeting houses with good results, until at the present time about 
all opposition along this line has disappeared. 

It was in the year 1892, that the Virginia Conference author- 
ized the establishment of a "Home Mission Board" in the church. 
This body, consisting of nine brethren, is empowered to solicit 
means and to maintain a fund for defraying 
Home Mission Board the expenses of ministers while traveling 
Organized, 1882. for the purpose of preaching the Gospel. 

This body, with the consent and co-opera- 
tion of the bishops, has authority to send ministers to such outside 
points, where it may be thought that the Gospel as Mennonites 
teach and preach it, may he received and appreciated. 

LABORS OF THE VIRGINIA MINISTERS IN WEST VIRGINIA. 

As already stated, the preaching of'the Gospel by Mennonite 
ministers in what is now West Virginia, was begun in the years 
just prior to the 'Civil War. Martin Burkholder, Samuel Coffman, 
and others in those days made occasional visits to the vicinity of 
Brandywine, which is located just across the Shenandoah moun- 
tain in Pendleton county, where a few members of the Mennonite 
church appear to have resided. 

Shortly after the close of the war, upon the return of the 
brother who had been in exile with the people of the eastern 
slope of the Allegheny, in the extreme western part of Pendleton 
county. Bishop Samuel Cofl'man and Preacher Christian Brunk 
made a ministerial visit to that section which was two days' 
journey from the congregations in Rockingham county. Their 
preaching was so well received, and they were so earnestly en- 
treated to come back, that the visit was repeated once or twice 
during the same summer by other ministers, and the visits. suffi- 
ciently prolonged that a number of appointments could be filled 
at different places in the neighborhood, and also at points along 
the route of the two days* travel required to reach them. 

After the work had been continued in this way for a year #?i 
two longer, some twenty persons or more were added to dw 



CONFERENCES. 217 

church. For some years the meetings were held in the rude log 
school house of the section, in private dwellings, and, when the 
weatlier was favorable, in the shade of some grove. The interest, 
as well as the attendance, being all the While on the increase, the 
necessity soon ^rose for having a regular and more convenient 
place of worship. In the fall of 18S5 a 32x38' sized house was 
Wilt in the North Fork valley not far from the mouth of Seneca. 

The first regular Sunday service was held here, August 30th, 
1885, by Preacher Jos. N. Driver. From that time on the min- 
isters of the Shenandoah Valley have been going, usually two at a 
time, once a month from March to November of each year, not 
only to the end of the second day's journey in the North Fork 
valley, but on across to the west side of the Allegheny Mountain, 
into Randolph and Tucker counties, one hundred miles from their 
homes. Owing to the roads in these mountains being blocked with 
ice and snow during much of the time in winter, no visits are 
made during that season to these distant points. Even in the 
summer time, when the roads are open, the ministers often endure 
great privation in making these trips, the journey being made by 
horseback and by remaining in the mountains from ten to four- 
teen days, traveling over steep and rugged roads, exposed to all 
kinds of weather and frequently running great risk to their lives 
in crossing the swift and often swollen streams, they not unfre- 
quently find themselves so worn out and reduced in physical 
strength as to be hardly fit for duty when reaching their ap- 
pointments. 

In later years the church in the Shenandoah Valley pro- 
i vided a special carriage for the exclusive 

Hardships; Methods use of the ministers when making these 
of Work; Results. trips. This, with the improved con- 

ditions of the roads now tends to add 
greatly to their comfort. 

With the membership increased in this state to nearly one 
hundred, it has become apparent to the Conference that a more 
permanent organization needs to be established among them. 
Steps were taken in Conference to have a minister stationed there 
to temain constantly with the work. Preacher A. B. Burkholder 



2i8 MENNONJTE CHURCH HISTORY. 

was the first to be appointed to this field by the three bishops, being 
authorized to baptize converts, officiate at communion, call special 
church meetings and act in such other official capacity as may be 
necessary for the welfare of the church there. 

For the past twenty years or more the ministers of the Lower 
district have, during the summer months of each year, been 
preaching Lo the people among the mountains of Northeast Pendle- 
ton and in Hardy counties. West Virginia, where their labors 
have been so successful that a membership of something like 
eighty has been established in the two counties. Though the 
work here is being carried on more at short range, the same degree 
of hardship and privation is apparent here as in other mountainous 
regions. Steps are being taken for building a new church house 
in one part of this field. 

PRINCIPAL CAUSES FOR LOSS IN MEMBERSHIP. 

I ■ ' ' 

In proportion to the number of meeting houses now owned 
and used by the Mennonites in the two Virginias, there is no 
reason why tliere should not be within the past seventy-five or one 
hundred years a local membership of four thousand, instead of the 
bare one thousand that are now located within their boundaries. 

During the first seventy years of its existence, the Virginia 
church made a steady but continuous increase in the number of 
its members by emigration from Pennsylvania. With the opening 
of the Western States and Canada for settlement in 1820, the tide 
of Mennonite emigration from Pennsylvania to Virginia seems 
to have suddenly ceased and turned in the direction of Ohio and 
Canada. 

For- the next ten years the margins of loss and gain in the 
Virginia congregations about maintained an even balance, but 
after the year 1830, quite a number of Mennonite families from 
Virginia moved to Ohio and other points in the west and located 
there permanently. This yearly drainage of emigration upon the 
Virginia congregations tended to make the growth of the church a 
painfully slow process through all of the following thirty years, 
until the great scourge of the Civil War swept over our beloved ' 



CONFERENCES. 219 

church and drove so many of its members from the state and 
blasted nearly every prospect that had hitherto remained for en- 
larging the borders of the field. 

Though a goodly number of the young brethren and s^me of 
the families returned to their homes in the Shenandoah Valley 
after the close of the war, it Required many years before the 
church was again placed on a footing to maintain a substantial 
increase over the natural and ordinary causes of loss. At the 
close of the war the membership in the state must have been re- 
duced to less than two hundred and fifty. By the end of the year 
1884, the number of members was at least six hundred, while at 
the close of the nineteenth century the number was something 
over one thousand. The question naturally arises, where are the 
other possible three thousand ? 

Agreeing that the active mission work at home, in the various 
fields ofWest Virginia, and at the outlying points in the mother 
state has resulted in a net gain of four hundred members to the 
church in the last twenty years of its history, what might have 
been the result today if this same degree of active mission work 
had been begun twenty years earlier? The answer comes up from 
three thousand people of our own kith and kin around us — we are 
all here^ — ^but not as members of the Mennonite Church. It is a 
much deplored fact, when it is too late to redeem the precious op- 
portunities that have been lost, that there is perhaps not another 
church organization in the state that now has more of what may 
be called its "own material" in the other denominations around it, 
than the Mennonites. 

The principal causes for loss of numerical strength on the 
part of the Mennonites in Virginia may be classified under the 
four principal heads, viz :— 

1. Emigration to Western States. 

2. Dissensions and Oppositions to Direct Christian Work. 

3. Blasting Effects of the Civil War. 

4. Painful Lack of Missionary Zeal in all the Congregations. 



220 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 



THE EXTINCT CONGREGATIONS. 

During the early pioneer days the number of Mennonites was 
considerable in Shenandoah county. As has already been 
mentioned, the unusual decline in numbers here is to be accounted 
for by reason of the insecure titles to the lands they occupied when 
Lord Fairfax, claimed ownership of the whole "Northern Neck" 
of the state. Hence by the guiding hand of destiny it naturally fol- 
lowed that instead of Shenandoah, Rockingham county became the 
established home of the Mennonites in the state of Virginia. After 
that instead of Shenandoah, Rockingham county became the es- 
tablished home of the Mennonites in the state of Virginia. After 
the general exodus of members that took place from Shenandoah 
to Rockingham a number of families still remained behind, ap- 
parently preferring to take all risks than to abandon their homes. 
The sequel follows th^t being without ministers or permanent or- 
ganization, the older ones all died, the younger ones forsook the 
faith of their fathers and united with other denominatioijs, until 
at the present time, we have the sad spectacle of numbers of 
people living in the county who readily trace their ancestry back 
to Mennonite families, but who themselves know but little, if any- 
thing of the doctrine and usages of the church today. 

In Page county the same causes that led to the removal of 
so many Mennonite people from Shenandoah county, prevailed al- 
so here, but the exodus from that section appears not to have been 
so general. They seemed loath to part with the farms on the allu- 
vial bottoms of the Shenandoah river, whidi they then occupied. It 
is known that the members here were visited regularly by ministers 
from Rockingham county, and that sacramental meetings were 
held for them up to near the period of the Civil War. But with 
the advent of that dreadful period, the membership in Page county 
appears to have been so nearly wiped out, that the section has since 
beeh visited by but few of our ministers. 

In Greenbrier county, as previously stated, there were several 
Mennonite families, who appear to have located there as early as 
1810 or 1815. This section lay on one of the main routes of emi- 
grant travel from Virginia to Kentucky and southern Ohio. Judg- 



CONFERENCES. 221 

ing from the family connections that yet remain, they must all have 
gone from the L.inville's Creek valley in Rockingham county to 
that distant location on the west side of the Allegheny mountains. 
There were among the number, several families of Coffmans, 
several of Wengers and one of Frys, all Mennonites. For some 
years they were visited by ministers from the Shenandoah Valley, 
and the traditional evidence remains that an organization was 
maintained here as a church for some time with one of the Coff- 
mans as their minister. 

It is interesting to note that Bishop Samuel Coffman, who 
labored so long and faithfully as the head of the church in the 
Middle district of the Virginia Conference, was a native of, and 
grew up to manhood in this congregation, and further that 
Preacher John S. Coffman, who gave a life of noble service to the 
church in many parts of the United States and Canada, finds all 
his ancestral blood on the paternal side, coming from the same 
congregation of pioneers m the Mennonite faith. Among the 
prominent characteristics fotmd in the descendants of this colony, 
is the high standard of religious zeal with which they now work in 
other denominations, some having for many years been serving 
as missionaries in foreign lands. The extreme isolation of this 
Mennonite colony during the pioneer days, together with the har- 
rowing results of the Civil War, are the principal agencies that 
SCI ved to stamp out the Mennonite faith here. One solitary sister, 
now over eighty years of age, still remains faithful to the Men- 
nonite Church in Greenbrier county. 




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CHAPTER XIV. 

SOUTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA CONFERENCE. 

The organization of this conference was brought about as 
follows : 

Upon the death of Bishop Nicholas Johnson, of Fayette 
county, it was found necessary to ordain another bishop in his 
place. Accordingly, Bishop Jacob N. Brubacher, of Lancaster 
county, and Nathaniel .Shupe, of Dauphin county, were called 
to ordain one in the Masontown congregation. These bishops 
asked the congregation to "agree to keep house" with the Lan- 
caster Conference, and to unite with it before the ordination was 
granted. Brother John N. Durr was ordained by lot, November 26, 

1873- 

The Masontown congregation thought it advisable to attempt 
an organization of the congregations in western Pennsylvania 
into a separate conference district. The matter was brought be- 
fore the Lancaster Conference in October, 1874, by J. N. Durr, 
but the request was not then granted. The following spring, how- 
ever, permission was granted to organize a sub-district confer- 
ence, subject to the Lancaster Conference. Two meetings — one 
at Stonerville (now Alverton), Westmoreland county, in May, 
1875, and the other at the Keim church, Somerset county, Sep- 
tember, 1875— -were held by a number of the bishops, ministers 
and deacons of the congregations interested. 

A meeting for organization was held at the Blaudi church, 
Somerset county, ' in September, 1S76. There were present 
Bishops Jacob N. Brubacher and Benjamin Herr of Lancaster 

county ; Joseph Bixler, of Ohio, and Henry 
Conference Organ- '^'other, of Nebraska. A conference was 

ized September, 1876. organized with J. N. Durr moderator and 

H. H. Blauch secretary of the next m.eet- 
ing to be held at Masontown, in September, 1877. - 



226 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

Other congregations, not under any conference, asked to be 
admitted into this conference, until now the district includes the 
congregations in Somerset, Cambria, Blair, Westmoreland, Fay- 
ette, Bedford, Clearfield and Greene counties, Pennsylvania, and 
Garrett county, Maryland. 

The work is carried on in the following districts : Johnstown, 
Masontown, Scottdale, Casselman Valley, Rockton and Mor- 
rison's Cove. We shall endeavor briefly to notice the progress 
of the church in each of these districts. 

JOHNSTOWN. 

The first minister in this district was Jacob Blauch, Sr., who 
was ordained to the office of bishop about 1814, and died Oct. 7, 
1849, in his seventy-fifth year. He was a farmer all his life-time, 
yet found much time to devote to the min- 
istry. He was a good neighbor, talkative, 
Jacob Blauch pleasant, well liked by the young people, 

First Minister in . . 1 • j.-u „..i„:t „ 

an nnpressive speaker in the pulpit, a 
District, died 1849. , j. . ,. . „ t, j 1 . 

good disciplinarian. He preached exclu- 
sively in German. 
The first services were held in private dwellings, later in 
school houses, and afterwards houses of worship were erected. 
The first of these was built of round timber, and was at first used 
as a dwelling house, but later used for school and church pur- 
poses. In 1836-7, the Blauch meeting house was erected. It 
was built on the farm of Jacob Blauch, the first minister, in the 
district. In i860 a more commodious house of worship was 
erected, and the original church building is now used as a private 
dwelling house, ovN^ned by Joseph D. Eash. 

As the membership increased in number, a log house was 
erected in Cambria county in 1S55 for school and church pur- 
poses. This gave way to another building in 1879 (remodeled 
in 1904), and is known as the Weaver Church. 

In the Thomas district, services were held occasionally in 
the Thomasdale school house, and in Moses Thomas' barn. On ac- 
count of severe cold and deep snow, the remains of Jonas Thomas 
were buried in the woods on the Thomas farm. In 1874, a house 



t 



CONFERENCES. 227 

of worship was erected near this place of burial, and is known as 
the Thomas Church. The house was remodeled in 1905. 

In the Stahl- district, services were held in the Miller school 
house for a time. Prospects for growth were promising, and a 
house was erected in 1S82. This gave way to a larger building 
in 1902. 

These four congregations have a combined membership at 
present of over five hundred fifty. The work is carried on with 
great vigor, the membership growing, and meetings held at 
various mission points. In 1897 a Union Chapel was built in 
Cambria county and regular services are held at this place. Two 
years later, the brethren purchased a Lutheran church at Elton. 
At these two points there is at present a combined membership 
of over fifty. 

The first Sunday school held in Conemaugh township, Som- 
erset county, was conducted in the Union Church, at Foustwell, 
in 1832, by Peter Miller. The dates marking the beginning of 
Sunday schools in the Mennonite churches of the district, range 
from 1880 to 1900. At first the Sunday school was warmly op- 
posed by many of the brethren; but this opposition has all died 
away, and the brotherhood is now united in its support. The first 
Sunday School Conference in the district was held at the Blanch 
church, September 16 and 17, 1S95. In 1898 a Home Sunday 
School Conference for the Johnstown District was held in the Stahl 
Church, and these conferences have since been held annually. 

MASONTOWN. 

The first Mennonites in this section, were the Longeneckers, 
Johnsons, Bixlers, Fretzes, Honsakers, Saylors, and Leckrones. 
They came here about the year 1790. 

The early services were held in the homes. Later a log 
house was built, which was used for both school and church pur- 
poses. About the year 1840 a frame meeting house was erected 
which served the congregation until 1871, when the present brick 
church was built. 

The first bishop of the congregation was Peter Longenecker. 
He was succeeded by Joseph Bixler. The third bishop was Nich- 



»' 

228 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

olas Johnson, fathc-r of David Johnson, who is now eighty-nine 
years of age. He served the congregation as minister for more 
than sixty years. 

February 5, 1872, J. N. Durr and Christian Deffenbaugh were 
ordained preachers. After the death of Bishop Nicholas Johnson, 
steps were taken to ordain another bishop. The lot fell to J. N. 
Durr. He was ordained November 26, 1873. He was perhaps 
the youngest bishop in the Mennonite Church, being only a little 
past twenty years of age. 

He has been very active in all these years, spending part 
of his time in evangelistic work. In 1898 he moved to Blair 
county, Pennsylvania. 

In 1899 S. F. Coffman was called to assist in the work. He 
spent nearly a year in the work there, returning again to Vineland, 
Ontario, in 1900. The same year Edward Miller moved to 
Masontown and labored with the congregation until early winter, 
when he returned to Springs, Pennsylvania. At the present time 
J. A. Brilhart is in charge of the work. 

This congregation has lost many members by death and by 
families moving to other sections. The membership is not so 
large as formerly. 

SCOTTDALE. 

The history of the Mennonites at this place is divided into 
two periods : First, from the time of the first settlement to 1893, 
when the church took on a new growth ; second, from 1893 to the 
present. 

Among the first settlers were the Staufifers and Sherricks, who 
came from Lancaster county about the year 1790. The Louckes 
and Frctzes followed from Bucks county about ten years later, 
and these were followed by the Tinsmans, Overholts, Stoners, 
Funks, Reists, Rosenbergers, Strohms, Dillingers, Foxes, Shellen- 
bergers, Basslers, Stricklers, Ruths, Myerses, Durstines, Lanes, 
Shupes, Mumaws, Shelleys, Bares, Landeses, and Baechtels. The 
first meeting house, a log structure, was built near Pennsville in 
Fayette county, in 1800. A few years later another log house was 
built in Stonerville m Westmoreland countv. The Stonerville 



COxVFERENCES. 229 

Church was replaced by a brick structure in 1841, and the Penns- 
vlle Church was rebuilt in 1852. 

The first minister in the congregation was Abram Stauf- 
fer, who came from Lancaster county in 1790. He was great 
grand-father to Aaron Loucks, now bishop in the Scottdale con- 
gregation. Other ministers ^\''ho served the church in her early 
years are as follows : 

Joseph Sherrick, born in Switzerland, 1757 ; died in Scottdale, 
1811. 

David Funk, first bishop in the congregation; born, 1765; 
died, 1833. 

Conrad Reist, born, 1787; died, 1841. 

Christian Sherrick (son of Joseph Sherrick), born, 1789; 
died, 1845. 

John D. Overholt, born, 1787 ; ordained minister, 1830 ; 
bishop, 1833 ; died, 1878. 

Martin Loucks, born, 1798 ; ordained minister, 1833 ; died, 
1869. 

Two of the ministers, afterwards bishops, who served the 
congregation, were Henry Yother, who died at Blue Springs, 
Nebraska, aged 90; and JoAas Blough, now a bishop in the 
Johnstown district. 

The congregation prospered for many years, reaching its 
climax in 1840, when it numbered about 200 members. After this 
a change took place, and for fifty years the congregation was on 
the decline. Older members died off, children strayed oft' in other 
directions. From 1879 to 1892 the congregation was supplied 
with ministers from neighboring counties and congregations. 
These ministering brethren did faithful work. But from various 
causes tihe congregation kept on declining in members so that 
by 1892, there was only a fragment of the church left. 

On September 18, 1892, the first step was taken that led to a 
revival of the work at this place, when Aaron Loucks was or- 
dained to the ministry. 

Evangelistic services had been held a number of times, and 
the work from now on assumed an aggressive attitude; A brick 
church was erected in Scottdale in 1S93, and in 1895, J. A. Ress- 



230 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

ler, formerly of Lancaster county, was ordained to assist in the 
work of the ministry. Brother Ressler labored here faithfully 
until 1899, when he sailed as a Missionary to India. In 1901 A. 
D. Martin, formerly of Franklin county, Pennsylvania, was or- 
dained to the ministry. The Sunday school was reorganized in 
1893, and has since been evergreen. The first Bible Conference 
ever hdd in the Mennonite Church in America was held at Scott- 
dale in December, 1896. 

Since the reorganization of the church in 1893, at which 
time the congregation numbered sixteen members, there has been 
a continual growth, until now there is an enrolled membership of 
fifty. 

Cr^SSELMAN VALLEY. 

About the year 1780 a small congregation was establis'hed 
near Myers' Mill, now Myersdak. John Saylor, formerly of 
Germany and a member of the Amish Mennonite Church, became 
the first minister. Later on, two ministers by the name of Forney 
and Gundv, were ordained. The little congregation continued to 
increase until the death of the ministers, Saylor and Forney, about 
twenty years after its organization. In 1808 the remaining minis- 
ter. Gundy, united with the U. B. Church, and the congregation 
was sadly scattered. 

But a few of the members remained faithful, and for forty-five 
years this little band struggled on without a resident minister, the 
appointments being filled by ministers from a distance. These 
faithful ministers rode on horse-back across the mountains, from 
forty to sixty miles, hunting their way by unfrequented roads 
and paths throug'h wilds where the presence of the catamount and 
bear and panther made the way not only lonely, but dangerous. 
Their labors were not in vain. 

In 1853 H. H. Blauch was ordained to the ministry, and 
John Folk was three years later ordained a deacon. These breth- 
ren saw the church grow from a little band of faithful workers 
to a Mennonite settlement, numbering over two hundred souls. 
John Folk died in 1898, and H. H. Blough in 1904. It is a 
fitting and toudiing tribute to this faithful minister that after 
he had spent his life in the interest of his congregation, when 



CONFERENCES. 231 

he was overtaken by poverty and old age, the dhurch built him 
a home where he ended his days in comfort and peace. Other 
ordinations were as follows ; 

David Keim, (minister) 1870; (bishop) 1875. 

Jonas Blanch, (minister) 1862; moved to Westmoreland 
county 1865. Now a bishop in Cambria county. 

David Maust, (minister) 1882 ; relieved in 1890. 

W. C. Livengood, (deacon) 1871 ; relieved in . 

D. H. Bender, (minister) 1887. Now editor Herald of 
Truth, Elkhart, Indiana. 

G. D. Miller, (minister) 1891. 

Ed. Miller, (minister) 1899. 

D. W. Maust, (deacon) 1891. 

Jacob L. Kinsinger, (deacon) 1898. 

In 1859 the Keim Church was built in West Salisbury. The 
members moving out of this locality, and dying out, this house 
was sold to the Lutherans in 1893. 

In 1878 the Folk meeting house was built at Springs, Som- 
erset county. For many years the work dragged along without 
much increase in membership, but during the last fifteen years 
there has been a great awakening in this vicinity, and. this is now 
one of the strongest congregations in the conference district. 

Soon after the ordination of H. H. Blanch, services were 
held occasionally just across the line in Garrett county, Maryland. 
This work has grown until now there are two churches built in 
the county — Casselman's and Oak Grove — where regular services 
are being held, besides services at several mission points. 

The work in this field is being pushed with vigor, and the 
membership is rapidly increasing. 

ROCKTOiV. 

The first members in this congregation were Henry Lin- 
inger and wife, John LaBorde, Sr., and wife, John LaBorde, Jr., 
and wife ,and Mary and Fannie Brubaker. 

In about 1839 John Brubaker, a young man about 29 years 
of age, moved from Snyder to Clearfield county. Three years 
later he was ordained to the ministry, and about 1850 he was or- 



232 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

dained a bishop. Some time previous to his death (1888) lots 
were cast for a minister to take his place, and the lot fell on 
H. M. Gelnett. Brother Gelnett lived here until 1893, when he 
moved to Somerset county, and is now a minister in the Folk 
congregation. 

For a number of years, the Rockton congregation was any- 
thing but flourishing. Being without a shepherd, the flock showed 
signs of neglect. In 1897 when the evangelist, A. D. Wenger, 
was making a tour of congregations m western Pennsylvania, 
the Rockton congregation was among the churches he visited. 
The work was greatly revived. Among those who accepted the 
Mennonite faith at this time, was J. A. Brilhart, now a faithful 
minister at Masontown. From this time on, prospects seemed 
brighter. In 1891 J. N. Kaufman, formerly of Johnstown, was 
ordained to the ministry at Rockton. He labored faithfully for the 
upbuilding of the cause at this place until 1904, when he volun- 
teered his services for the India mission field. 

ItORRISON's COVK. 

This field, formerly known as the Martinsburg district, was 
one of the first in this conference district to receive Mennonite 
settlers. 

Frederick Rhodes, one of the first members to locate in the 
district, was ordained, first a deacon, then a minister, then (about 

1800) a bishop. Henry Kauffman, Andrew Bassler, and — 

Sterner, were the ministers about i{:4g to 1850, at which time a di- 
vision occurred, Bassler and Stoner withdrawing from the church 
and uniting with the River Brethren. 

Among those who did faithful service in the ministry during 
the latter part of the last century were three brothers, Jacob, 
Herman and Abram Snyder. The first two were bishops ; the 
last is still in the active work of the ministry. 

About ten or fifteen years ago the brethren in the district 
fully awakened to their dangers and opportunities. Greater 
fervor was shown in all the services and increased efforts were put 
forth for the ingathering of the lost. As the ministers were get- 
ting old, it was seen that younger men must be called to the work. 



CONFERENCES. 233 

Accordingly, arrangements were made whereby Abram Metzler 
was brought from Lancaster countj', and ordained to the min- 
istry in 1897. The year foIloAving J. N. Durr moved to Martins- 
burg, from Masontown, and a few years later J. H. Hershey mov- 
ed from Olathe, Kansas, and settled in Roaring Springs. Brother 
Hershey now lives in Lancaster county. 

The results of the active work in this district during the past 
ten years are new church buildings, increase in membership, and 
active evangelistic work on the part of several of the ministers. 



The Western Pennsylvania field affords piany striking ex- 
amples of neglected opportunites. Not only were the -members 
in general conservative in their methods of work, but conserva- 
tism was often used as a cloak for indifference and worldliness. 
In some places there was a laxness in discipline, which tolerated 
distilleries, saloon patronage, and other forms of worldliness 
hardly less excusable. By many, the salvation of souls was held 
secondary to money making, and church work was attended to 
when other work was not too pressing. 

The results may be imagined. Old members died away; 
their children staid in the world. Whole congregations dwindled 
away, and in other places there were but fragments of congre- 
gations left. Fpr a time the condition of the church in this field 
was such that it needed only the passing away of another gener- 
ation to wind up the record of the church, and leave only enough 
remaining to tell the story. 

Was the church dead? No. During the darkest days there 
were faithful members who had not bowed their knee to the god 
of this world. Their consistent living and faithful warnings did 
much to pave the way for a spiritual enlightenment. This awaken- 
ing brought some of the best young men into the church, and 
later into the ministry. Faithful ministers from the East and 
from the West helped to awaken a greater interest among the 
brotherhood. The evangelistic efforts of J. S. Coffman, and 
cither evangelists, were a means of bringing abou t an in- 
gathering of young people. It is said that the first series of 



234 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

meetings held in the Mennonite Church of America was conducted 
in 1872 by J. F. Funk and Daniel Brenneman at Masontown. The 
work of the conference did much to awaken an interest, and 
during the last twenty-five years the membership has grown 
rapidly. Throug-h D. H. Bender, J. N. Durr, L. A. Blauch, G. D. 
Miller, S. G. Shetler, Aaron Loucks, Abram Metzler, J. A. Bril- 
hart, A. D. Martin, and a number of their faithful coworkers, 
the cause has been maintained at home, and faithful evangelistic 
work has been done beyond the borders of the district. 

Besides the annual Church Conference, there is an annual 
Sunday School Conference, held near the time of the Church Con- 
ference, and a Bible Conference held between Christmas and New 
Year. 

It was from this conference district that the first Mennonite 
missionary to India (J. A. Ressler) was sent. Brother Ressler 
was at that time a minister in the Scottdale congregation. At the 
conference held in August, 1904, strong resolutions in favor of 
aggressive mission work were passed and J. N. Kauflman, of 
Rockton, volunteered his services. He is now one of the mission- 
aries at Dhamtari, India. 

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CHAPTER XV. 

THE CANADA CONFERENCE. 

The Mennonites in Ontario are found in three distinct set- 
tlements : one in Waterloo county, one in Lincoln county, and one 
in York county. The names in these respective localities most 
commonly known to otir readers are Berlin, Niagara Falls, and 
Markham. 

The first permanent Mennonite settlement in Canada, was in 
Lincoln county. It is said that as early as 1786, John Dillman, 
Jacob and Stoesfsel Kulp, Franklin Albrecht, and Frederick Hahn 
left their homes in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, in search of 
homes beyond the lakes. These were followed by others from 
time to time, and before many years the settlement had spread to 
adjoining counties. Among the family names are found Moyers, 
Hunsbergers, Kratzes, Althouses, Hochs, Grubbs, Wismers, Rit- 
tenhouses, Fretzes, Hausers, and others. 

One of the first cares of the colony was to look after spiritual 
interests. As yet there was no minister among them, and steps 
v/ere taken to have this need supplied. Val- 
entine Kratz was the man upon whom the 
Valentine Kratz, the responsible dutv fell, and he was ordained 
First IVIennonite Min- .^ ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ following, Jacob Mover 
ister in Canada, 1801. ^^^^ ^^jj^^ ^^ ^^^ ministry, and advanced to 
the bishop's oflice in 1807. He was the first 
Mennonite bishop to be ordained in Canada. 

On the New York side, it is said, that Johannes Roth came 
from Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, and settled in Erie county, 
near Williarasville, prior to the Revolutionary War. In 1824 a col- 



238 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

/ 

ony of Mennonites came from Lancaster 
Mennonites in Erie county, among them the Leibs, Lehms, 
County, New York. Lehmans, Scherers, Martins, and others. 

The first minister in the colony was Jacob 
Lapp, who came in 182R. The first deacon was John Martin. A 
few years after this, Jacob Krehbiel, a Mennonite minister from 
Meyerhof, Germany, joined the colony, and for a number of years 
the colony prospered, both by immigration and by conversions at 
home. Another small colony nearer the Niagara Falls was looked 
after by the ministers from Clarence Center^ For many years the 
church in Erie county held a position of some prominence and in- 
fluence in the church at large. But many of the members moved 
to other localities, and there was not always the earnestness and 
unity manifested that there should have been. At present, the 
church is divided. A few members, who still adhere to the Canada 
conference, are looked after by the ministers from Lincoln county, 
A few small congregations are under charge of Jacob Krehbeil, 
son of the first minister of that name, and adhere to the General 
Conference' Mennonites. 

The first Mennonite settlers in Waterloo county were Samuel 
Betzner and Joseph Scherch, who left Franklin county, Penn- 
sylvania, in 1799, and settled near Preston, Ontario, in the 
spring of 1800. Two years later Joseph Bechtel came from 
Montgomery county, Pennsylvania, and settled in the same 
vicinity, just east of the Grand River. He was the first 
minister in Waterloo county.* The colony was strengthened 
rapidly by the arrival of other settlers from eastern Penn- 
sylvania. Among them were the Ebys, Schneiders, Erbs, 
Baumans, Webers, Brubachers, Schantzes, and other familiar 

names who have ever since been connected 
Early Days in with the history of the church in Canada. 

Waterloo County. As early as 1802, a school was opened in 

the vicinity of Samuel Betzner's, and the 
children given the advantage of a limited education. 

• Aonording to Dr. Eby, in hl.s article on the Mennonites of Canada 
(1171), Joseph Bochtel was ordained to the ministry after he came to 
Canada, but Samuel S. Bowman, a srandson of Joseph Bechtol, writes 
that he was ordained in Montgomery Co., Pa., before he moved to 
Canada. 



CONFERENCES. 239 

In 1803 the first settlers in Waterloo county accidentally dis- 
covered that the land which they had purchased, was heavily 
mortgaged. Richard Beasley, the man from whom they had 
bought their land, at first refused to give satisfaction ; but finding 
that this course would put an end to his selling land, finally agreed 
to sell enough land to pay for the mortgage. Samuel Bricker 
and Joseph Scherch were authorized to go to Pennsylvania to 
raise the required amount. They were about to give up in despair 
and return home, when John Eby, a brother of Benjamin Eby, 
came to their assistance. He reasoned with his brethren in this 
wise: This is not an investment for speculation, but an act of 
brotherly kindness to our bretihren in Canada, who are in distress. 
Other brethren became interested and the money was raised. A 
tract of sixty thousand acres was purchased in Waterloo county, 
and Beasley gave them a clear title to their land. The greater 
portion of the township was now in possession of brethren in Lan- 
caster county, Pennsylvania, and this fact had the effect of stimul- 
ating emigration to Canada. Soon after another association was 
formed in Pennsylvania, and another tract of forty-five thousand 
acres purchased in Woolwich township. The immigration into 
Waterloo county was now rapid. In less than ten years from the 
time the first Mennonites settled in the county, the foundations for 
a flourishing colony were securely laid. 

In 1803 began the settlement at Markham, York county. 
This was during the time in which the brethren in Waterloo 
county had their trouble in securing a clear title to their land, 
and it is thought by some that this was the reason why these set- 
tlers went to a place where they knew they 
The Settlement would have no trouble in this line. The 

at Markham. first minister among them was Henry 

Wideman. A' few years after his ordination 
he was killed by a falling tree, and his son, Adam, succeeded him 
in the ministry. The colony prospered fairly well, and spread over 
several townships. 



tfo.. 



240 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

In 1806 Benjamin Eby,* the most noted among the early 
Mennonite Bishops in Canada, settled with the colony in Waterloo 
county. Building a house on his farm, upon which a portion of 
Berlin now stands, he went back to Lancaster county, Pennsyl- 
vania. He was married to Mary Brubaker, February 25, 1807, 

and in the following June returned to Can- 
Bishop Benjamin Eby. ada with his wife and a dozen or more 

other persons. Two years later he was 
called to the ministry, and from the beginning of his ministerial 
labors he exerted a marked influence over the church in Canada. 
After he was ordained a bishop, the field was divided, he taking 
the oversight of the congregations west of the Grand River, while 
his colaborer, Joseph Bechtel, took charge of the congregations 
east of this river. 

In 1S13 the first Mennonite church in Canada was built on 
the farm of Benjam.in Eby. It was a rude structure, built of logs, 

was used both for church service and school 
iMennonite Church in purpo.ses. It was replaced in 1834 by a 
Berlin, 1813, 1834, 1902. more commodious structure, and this again 

replaced in 1902 by a building 42x70, at 
a cost of three thousand, seven hundred ten dollars. 

The War of i8;2 was especially severe on the brethren in 
Canada. Finding them unalterably opposed to do military ser- 
vice, the_government ceased to insist on them bearing arms, but 

required them to serve in camps, hospitals, 
War of 1812. etc. As team.sters, they were required to 

furnish their own horses, and when the war 
closed not many of their horses returned. The crop failure of 

• Benjamin Eby was born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, May, 2, 
1785. Received a fair common school education. United with the MeUr 
nonlte Church in 1S04, and ordained to the ministry 1809. Three years 
later he was ordained a bishop. 

He was a man of unblemished character, firm but mild in his dis- 
cipline, positive in his convictions, tireless as a worker, both tempor- 
ally and spiritually, hospitable to neighbors and strangers, and a min- 
ister of more than ordinary ability. From the time he was called to 
the ministry, he devoted the energcles of his life to his calling. The 
first Mennonite meeting house in Canada was built on his farm in 1813. 
Here he taught school during the winter months for many years. For 
years he was the owner of a printing press which he used in the In- 
terest of the cause. His most noted writings are a shorter catechism, 
an* a history of the Mennonites. 

He was a great grandson of Theodoriis Eby who came to America 
In 1715, and the youngest brother of Bishop Peter Eby, of Lancaster 
county. He died June 28, 1S53. 



242 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

iSl6, added to their suiferings. But for the timely assistance of 
their brethren in Pennsylvania, the Canada brethren might have 
fared worse than they did. After a few years, however, the 
brethren had apparently outgrown the effects of the terrible war. 
Their numbers were swelled by emigrants from Pennsylvania and 
Germany, and the colony again assumed the air of prosperity. It 
is pleasing to note that while their governments were grappling 
with each other in cruel and bloody warfare, the brethren in Can- 
ada and in the States, who recognized the bond of Christian fel- 
lowship as more binding than the claims of patriotism, remained 
on the friendliest terms. 

The time when the church in Canada first began to hold con- 
ferences is given bj' those best posted on her history as about 
1820. Conferences are held annually, rotating among the three 
districts, and held at the following places: 
Conferences. Christian Eby Churcli in Berlin, Meyer 

Church in Lincoln county, and Wideman's 
Church, in York count}'. This v/as one of the first conferences to 
recognize the Mennonite General Conference. 

About the middle of the last century a division took place in 
the church in Lincoln county, which afterwards spread to the 
settlements in Waterloo and York counties. A number of the 
brethren felt the need of more aggressive work, and in their labors 
adopted methods which the church could not approve. The most 
noted among the leaders of the aggressive faction was Daniel 
Hoch, who afterwards became one of the leading men in the or- 
ganization of the "General Conference of Mennonites of North 
America," which we shall notice in a succeeding chapter. The 
offending brethren were formally expelled by Bishop Benjamin 
Eby. (Whether they had previously withdrawn or whether this 
expulsion marks the beginning of the actual division, is not known 
to the writer.) With all their aggression, their strength con- 
tinued to dwindle away until the few that were left when the 
"New Mennonites" started in 1874 or '75, united with that organi- 
zation. 

The schism just named had a more marked effect. Their 
charges against the church were the same as those brought by their 



CONFERENCES. 243 

forerunners about a quarter of a century earlier — not enough 
spiritual life. About the year 1875 th^y 
"New Mennonites." organized their first conference in Canada, 
uniting witli the "Reformed Mennonites" 
of Indiana.* Their leaders were Solomon Eby, Menno Bowman, 
and Noah Detweiler. With great veheixience did they press their 
claims, and for some years produced quite a commotion. This 
church is still active, and has a publishing house at Berlin. 

These schisms had a two-fold effect. 

First, the church was divided and tlie cause greatly hindered 
in many places. The forces which ought to have labored side by 
side were turned (at least in part) against each other. The 
church had lost her aggressive element, and this element, left to 
itself, lacked the conser\'^atism which is needed in a well balanced 
church. It is very seldom that anything is gained by leaving the 
church, because things do not seem to go fast enough, but usually 
the reverse is true. 

Secondly, the brotherhood, realizing the dangers confronting 
them, were aroused to greater efforts. That there were too many 
in the church who opposed earnest and continued endeavor for 
the salvation of the lost, is now generally admitted. That those who 
left the church acted unwisely in the way they went about to 
bring about a greater activity, is equally clear. But the brethren, 
profiting by past experiences and seeing more and more the need 
of more aggressive work, proceeded in their task without question- 
ing church loyalty or compromising Gospel principles. 

While one wing of the church left it, because it went too slow, 
another left it because it moved too fast. About the year 1886 
a number of brethren living in Woolwich township, withdrew 
from the church and united with the Wis- 
Martin or Woolwich ler Mennonites of Indiana. The reasons 
Schism. they gave for their withdrawal was that 

the church sanctioned Sunday schools, 
evening meetings, English preaching, falling top buggies, and a 
number of other things which were formerly not to be found in 
the Mennonite Church in Canada. From the time of Jacob Wisler's 

• See chapter on Mennonite Brethren in Christ. 



244 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

withdrawal from the chnrch, about 1871 or '72, they sympathised 
with him and the things for which he stood. Seeing the church 
becoming more and more committed to aggressive means of work, 
their patience finally became exhausted, and they organized a 
church to themselves. It was this element which was most active 
in opposing the New Mennonites when they first started out. Had 
their conservatism been quickened with the aggression of the New 
Mennonites, and the great zeal of the New Mennonites beer- 
tempered by the conservatism of the Woolwich people, both 
would have been useful factors in the development and growth of 
the church. 

A spiritual awakening in the church in Canada began about the 
year 1890. Sunday schools, evening meetings, English preaching 
and other helps had been adopted as regular features of church 
work ; but even these were not sufficient to stay the tide of world- 
liness and indifference which was overtaking the church. Old 
members were dying off, and members' children were turned 
aside into worldly paths. Money-making, pride, popularity, con- 
tention, formalism, schisms and a number of other things con- 
tributed toward bringing about a condition of affairs which meant 
decay in many congregations, some of which have since died a 
natural death. But the brethren were not all asleep. There never 
has been a time in the history of the church in Canada when it 
has not had a number of faithful soldiers of the cross, whose self- 
sacrificing efforts did much to keep the spiritual fires burning. 
As the need for more aggressive work became more apparent, 
more of the brethren aroused to a full sense of their duty, and 
there were signs of a spiritual awakening. 

In iBqo the first Mennonite Sunday School Conference ever 
held in America was held in Canada. It was a means of awaken- 
ing a greater interest in spiritual work. It has since been one of 

the regular features of church work in 
Sunday School Con- ,.. , t 1 

Canada, in the same year a meetmg was 
ference, 1890. . 

held in Berlin at which time the question 

was discussed as to what may be done to promote the cause of 
Christ and the progress of the church. It is said that Bishop 
Daniel Wismer, who had lived in Kansas for a number of years, 



CONFERENCES. 245 

told of the evangelistic work which J. S. Coffman and others 
had done in the West, and wondered if a similar service would 
produce similar results in Canada. The suggestion was acted up- 
on at once. Letters were sent to J. S. Coffman, who consented 
to lend his assistance. 

During the winter of 1890-gi, he labored faithfully among 
the congregations in Canada. The plain, non-resistant doctrine 
of the Mennonite Church were held forth in a way which impressed 
all classes of people. Immense crowds 
A Spiritual Awaken- flocked to hear the life-giving Word. The 
ing, 1890. church was greatly encouraged. Members 

were revived, members' children who had strayed away were 
brought back to their first love, and the outside world looked with 
greater reverence upon the doctrines of the church. There were 
over one hundred conversions, and the church started on an era of 
prosperity. 

The work thus started has since been carried forward, and 
continued meetings have been held from time to time. Besides 
the faithful laborers at home, evangelists from other fields have 
been called to their assistance. During the past year (1904-05) 
another wave has swept throug^h the churches in Waterloo county. 
Among those who were called to assist in Bible Conference at Ber- 
lin, during the holidays of that year, was A. D. Wenger, a min- 
ister and evangelist from Millersville, Pennsylvania. Finding the 
field ripe for evangelistic work, he remained for several months, 
with the result that there were over two hundred public confess- 
ions, and the work is not yet completed. 

Besides the congregations in Ontario, Uiis conference has the 
oversight of the remains of the former congregations in Erie 
>: county. New York, and a few settled members and congregations 
in Michigan. Among those of her ministers who are active in 
evangelistic work at home and abroad, are Noah Stauffer, E. S. 
Hallman, Moses Bowman, S. F. Coffman, and cithers. In the 
Markham District, Samuel Wideman is the present bishop in 
diarge, S. F. Coffman, in the Lincoln County DistricJt, while this 
part of the work in Waterloo county is divided between Elias 
Weber, Amos L. Cressman, Daniel Wismer, and Jonas Snyder. 



246 



MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 



A certain writer from Ontario, who has spent many years of 
faithful service as a minister in the church' in that district, looks 
with sadness on the tendency of drifting into worldly fashionsj 
but expresses satisfaction in that whiskey-drinking is now almost 
unknown among the brotherhpod there, and tobacco is fast going 
the same way. 

Following is a list of congregations, as compiled by S. S. Bow- 
man, of Berlin, Ontario. 




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CHAPTER XVI. 
EASTERN AMISH NIENNONITE CONFERENCE. 

The congregations holding to this conference are located in 
Ohio and Pennsylvania, with scattered members and congre- 
gations elsewhere. 

After the Amish Mennonite General Conference was aban- 
doned in 1878, conferences were held occasionally with congre- 
gations favorable to conference work, but there was no regularity 
as to time and organization. As time advanced, the sentiment 
in favor of regularly organized conferences became more pro- 
nounced. In 1888 five congregations in 
Organized May 25 Indiana were represented in a conference 
and 26, 1893. which has since been held annually. This 

was followed by the bretjiren in Ohio, who 
held their first annual conference in 1893, and have since con- 
tinued the organization. 

In 1897 the Pennsylvania congregations acting in harmony 

with this wing of the church, connected 

Ohio-Pennsylvania themselves with this conference, and the 

Conference, iviay 27 ^^^^ changed to "Ohio-Pennsylvania Con- 

28 1897 

' ■ ference." The conference continued to be 

known by that name until 1904. 

As the sentiment in favor of united work became strongerj 
the work of the conference advanced. "In iinity there is strength," 
is a truth which finally impressed itself upon many who at first 
looked upon the conference wiVh great disfavor. Even in Penn- 
sylvania, where the opposition to conferences had been the most 
pronounced, the church is almost solidly in favor of conferences, 
except among the "Old Order" brethren. As conditions were 



CONFERENCES. 251 

changing and the field widening, it was seen that changes were 

necessary. Accordingly, a constitution was 

adopted for the_ government of the con- 

Eastern Ai«ish Men- ^^^^^^^ ^j^j^j^ ^^^ henceforth to include 

nonite Conference, ,, . . , t ,■ 

May 25 and 26, 1904. ^^' ™^ congregations east of Indiana, and 

in harmony with the rules and regulations 

of the conference. Its name was changed 

to "Eastern Amish Mennonite Conference." 

We have already given a brief history of the Amish Men- 
ncnites in a preceding chapter. During the latter half of the last 
century, a great change took place within the church. During 
this time we notice a drift within the; brotherhood in opposite 
directions. The tendency to liberalism and worldliness on the part 
of some, had the effect of causing many of the church leaders to 
tighten on the reins of church government, and more rigidly en- 
force the forms of the church. Long before there was any division 
in the visible church, there was a division of sentiment as to what 
extent the customs of the fathers should be considered in the dis- 
cipline of the church. Had the solution of this question been left 
to those who were spiritually minded, consecrated to the will of 
God, and devoted to the spiritual progress of the church, the 
whole church might today be united upon a Gospel basis, waging 
an aggressive warfare against sin. But that kind of people usually 
have the least to say when quarrels come around, except when they 
are compelled to rise in defense of the cause of Christ. 

In vain did the lovers of peace work for the unity of the faith 
and spirit^among the brotherhood. It was to accomplish this that 
the General Conference was called into existence in 1862. It was 
largely because of a failure to see these results that the confer- 
ence was abandoned. Whether the various fragments of the 
church will ever be collected into one body remains for the future 
historian to record. 

Space will not. permit us to give an extended list of those 
whose voices were heard in behalf of earnest endeavor in the Chris- 
tian service, but a brief reference to a few of the leaders among 
the brethern may not be out of place here. Among Uiem may be 
mentioned the following : 



252 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

Jonathan Yoder, of McLean county, Illinois, moderator of the 
first General Conference, in 1862. 

Shem Zook, of Mifiiin county, Pennsylvania, secretary of this 
conference, scholar, historian, publisher of the third American 
edition of Martyr's Mirror, and a zealous worker for the exten- 
sion of the faith. 

*John K. Yoder, of Wayne county, Ohio, who for many years 
has exerted a commanding influence in the church. As a defender 
of the faith, organizer and counsellor in conferences and church 
work in general, he has long been regarded as one of the foremost 
leaders of the church. 

John P. Kmg, of Logan county, Ohio, widely known as a 
minister of great power, and a bishop whose services were in great 
demand. 

Solomon K. Byler, of Miiiflin county, Pennsylvania, minister 
and bishop, in his day one of the most prominent leaders of the 
church in Pennsylvania. 

Many others might be named, who, had they chosen to use 
their talents for worldly renown, might have made their mark in 
that direction ; but choosing to be humble followers of Jesus 
Christ, they will wear their glittering crowns after all of earthly 
glory shall have faded away. 

Nearly all the congregations in this district are now open to, 
and invite evangelistic work. J. S. Gerig, of Smithville, Ohio, has 
been actively engaged in this line of work, while the services of 
brethren, not immediately connected with this conference, are fre- 
quently called for. Among those who, at the present time (1905), 
arc active in giving counsel and direction to the work of the 
church, are Benjamin Gerig, of Wayne county, Ohio ; Moses and 
Fred Mast of Holmes county, Ohio ; John E. Kauffman, of Mifflin 
county, Pennsylvania, and David Plank, of Logan county, Ohio, 
and John Zook, of Lawrence county, Pennsylvania. 

01 A/"*^" ^- "'^o^ei' -was born in Mifflin county, Pennsylvania, January 
21, 1824: united with the Amish Mennonit Church at the age of about 
18; married to Lydia Cook in 1845: ordained to the ministry in 1850; 
moved to vVayne county, Ohio, in 1855, and four years later was or- 
dained a bishop. He has lived to see many events in his church, and 
has had much to do in shaping her history. For half a century his ser- 
vices have been in demand for conference work, organizing' new congre- 
gations, settling church difficulties, etc. In his active labors he was an 
Impressive speaker and a good disciplinarian. He is still living (1906) 
though his health no longer admits of active services. 



CONFERENCES. 253 

Bible Conferences are 'held in various parts of the district 
from Western Ohio to Mifflin county, Pennsylvania. Conjointly 
with the Ohio Conference, a Sunday School Conference is held an- 
nually in Ohio. These conferences have also united in supporting 
a mission at Canton, Ohio, where J. A. Leichty is now in charge 
as superintendent. 

Following Is a list of congregations in the district : 






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CHAPTER X.V1I. 
THE OHIO CONFERENCE. 



Including also the Early History of the Aniish Mennonite Settle- 
ments in the State. 



BY M. S. STEINER. 



In the census bulletin of 1890 (the last statistics of the 
churches taken by the goA'ernment) the people treated in this 
paper are called "Mennonites" and are said to be "the parent 
body.'' In the same bulletin, the Amish Mennonites are referred 
to as "constituting the second largest body of Mennonites." These 
bodies have practically united their forces in Ohio, and hold all 
their church institutions in conmion.'^ Since the days of bitter 
persecution, Mennonites have taken to colonization as a means of 
propagating their faith, as their peculiarities in faith and practice 
could best be presented by^ that method. So long as the church 
was active in colonizing her people, there was little talk of divis- 
ion, but when she ceased her aggressive measures along this line, 
and adopted no new methods by which she could advance, she 
fell into the habit of discussing non-essentials and breeding divis- 
ions. After that she turned her attention to advancement by legiti- 
mate means, suc^h as' evangelization, missions, etc. The history of 
Mennonite Church in Ohio, may properly be classed utider three 
divisions, viz: the period of colonization (1801-55), the transitory 
period (1855-85) and the period of advancement (1885 ). 

As early as i>?oi the Mennonites of Fayette county, Penn- 
sylvania, and Rockingham county, Virginia, began to consider 
the advisability of locating a colony in "the West," where lands 

• In conference relations they stUl maintain separate organizations 
but assist each other in conference worlt. 



CONFERENCES. 257 

were cheap. Two years later, a number of 

families — among them the Steiners, Bren- 

ZZ\rr-T?^ n^^' "ematis, Gwds, Beerys, Lechrones, and 
tlemnt, Fairfield Coun- ,_ , , -r^ .\. , , \^, . 

ty, 1803. Lulps — moved to Fairfield county, Ohio, 

and located near Bremen. The colony 
faced the hardships of frontier life bravely. 
They were active in clearing the forests and tilling the soil, but 
not so active as to neglect their spiritual necessities. In 1809 the 
church took counsel and by lot chose Henry Stemen to the min- 
istry. He had the usual double task of Mennonite ministers — 
that of providing for his family the necessities of life, and provi- 
ding for his congregation the necessities of the Gospel. He was 
equal to the task. "In those days people were more accustomed 
to the howl of the wolf and the yell of the Indian than to the 
cheery sounds of the Gospel, but he took up the work with a will 
and at once began to preach the Gospel with power."* He never 
traveled by buggy or by railroad, but upon his trusty saddle-horse, 
(usually forty miles a day) he rode through the wilderness, the 
mud and the storm, and often knelt in his saddle while his horse 
would swim a stream. 

On one occasion, he rode with General Harrison. When 
they crossed the Scioto, near the present site of Columbus, the 
General remarked that he believed the slavery question would 
some time result in war between North and South. Father 
Stemen was of the same opinion. In later years he related the 
incident to his grand-children and looked upon it as a prophec)'. 

In 1820 he was ordained a bishop, and in this capacity, it 
was said of him that "nothing ever discouraged this valiant soldier 
of the cross, and he never knew any fear in the discharge of his 
Master's duties." During his life he did much toward organizing 
the church in Northwestern Ohio, and churches under his ministry 
everywhere prospered. He was succeeded in his office of bishop 
by J. M. Brenneman, of whom m.ore will be said later on. 

The Amish Mennonite brethren first looked up a location in 
Ohio in 1803. In 1809, several families from Somerset county, 
Pennsylvania, settled in Walnut Creek township. Holmes county, 

• Dr. C. B. Stemen, 



2S8 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

being attracted there by the cheap lands (which were to be had 
for the settling) the nice springs and large timber. Among the 
first settlers were Jonas Miller, Jacob and Joseph Mast, Charles 
Yoder, Jacob Stutzman, Hostettlers, Weavers, and others. A 
check to the progress ot the colony was made by "the removal 
of the Greentown Indians from the Mohican." During the re- 
moval of the Indians a number of the first settlers became alarmed 
and went back to Pennsylvania. They did not return until after 
tihe War of 1812. 

Several of the "patents" (deeds for the land) secured by the 
bretliren date back to 1807, and were signed by President Jeffer- 
son. 

The first cabin erected for a school house, was in 1815, on a 
farm, owned by Stutzman brothers. It was, however, used as a 
dwelling for two years by a Mr. Constantine, who taught the first 

term of school in this section. A distillery 
First School House ^^^^ ^j-g^^g^ ^^ ^-^^ 3^^^ ^^^.^ ^ ^^^^ ^^^^'^^ 
Among Amish Menno- t ,1 1 , • , .,' . 

nites of Ohio 1815 those days whisky was considered an in- 

dispensable article in nearly every family, 
and one of the first things to be done was the erection of a still- 
house. The effect has been only too apparent. The ruin of 
many families proves this article to have been reprehensible in- 
stead of indispensable. 

Jacob Miller, who was said to have been miraculously saved 
from a burning cabin when an infant, became the first resident 
bishop in the Sugar Creek settlement. The first member to die 
was Solomon Miller. His coffin was made of split-plank, hewed 
and pinned together with wooden pins. 

The settlement prospered, regardless of the hardships oc- 
casioned by the annoyances of Indians, and the inconvenience of 
hills." The Lord surely set them on high from affliction, and made 
them families like a flock. This is the stronghold of Amish 
Mennonites in America. 

About the year 1852 the church here divided on the question 
of meeting houses and Sunday schools. Among the aggressive 
branch, the first house wa.-; built near Walnut Creek, and the con- 
gregation there numbers six hundred and fiftv members. Another 



CONFERENCES. 259 

congregation near Berlin has about one hundred and fifty members. 
The Old Order Amish have seven churches in Holmes and Tus- 
carawas counties, with a combined membership of about thirteen 
hundred. 

A settlement of Aniish Mennonites was opened near Bremen, 
Fairfield county, a decade later than the Holmes county settle- 
ment. Among them were Kurtzes, Lantzes, Morrels, Hartzlers, 
Kings and Zooks. These people and the Mennonites in the same 
vicinity lived neighbors and learned to know and trust each 
other, and later on attended worship together. They did well for 
a while, but finally the "western fever'' overtook them, and a few 
years later, all had left the "hills" for I^agrange county, Indiana, 
and Champaign county, Ohio. The descendants of this congre- 
gation are now found in the congregations at Topeka, Indiana, and 
Oak Grove, Champaign county, Ohio. It is remarkable that the 
descendants of this congregation were the first to welcome the 
Mennonite ministers to 'preach for them and to invite Mennonite 
evangelists to labor among them. Although today, hardly a trace 
is to be found that such a congregation ever existed, the fruits of 
their labors in associating with the Mennonite people of their 
neighborhood, is enjoyed by thousands throughout America. 

The second settlement of Mennonites in Ohio was located in 
Stark county, on the banks of the Tuscarawas. Canton, in ex- 
tending her city limits eastward, has taken in much of the prop- 
erty once owned by the Rowlands, Mc- 
laughlins, Eberlys, Sheppards, Lehmans, 
Second Mennonite ^jjd Rohrers, who came from Lancaster 

Settlement in Ohio ^^ Pennsylvania, and Rockingham 

Church Erected, 1823. "^ ' „ . . , ^, ■ • 1 

county, Virgmia, and were the ongmal 

members of the Rowland Mennonite 
Church of Canton. Bishop Nold, of Columbiana county, organ- 
ized this congregation, with Smith and Newcomer as local min- 
isters. Michael Rohrer, a man o-f considerable ability, was later 
called to the ministry. A log church was erected in 1823, which 
was replaced by a brick structure in 1874. Of recent years the 
Mennonite blood of this congregation has been absorbed by the 



26o MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

"down town churches," and all that remains is a mission station 
revived lately. 

An Amish Mennonite settlement was opened several years 
later, three miles southwest of Canton. The Garbers, Millers, 
Yoders, and Sommers of Stark county, are descendants of this 
colony. Those members who yet adhere to the faith.transferred 
their membership to the congregation near Louisville, a settlement 
establishecl, by Amish Mennonites who came from a place in 
Germany called "Imbuchen Land,'' (Beech-tree Country) about 
1820. Michael Slonecker, (who was born on the ocean in 1817, 
while his parents were on their way to America) has since been 
called to the ministry and bishopric. 

In the spring of 1815 Preacher Jacob Oberholtzer, of Bucks 

county, Pennsylvana, purchased and located on a large tract of 

land in what is now Beaver township, Mahoning county, Ohio. 

Other members followed. Two years later, 

Jacob Nold, the first resident Mennonite 

Jacob Nold, First bishop in Ohio, with several other families, 

!^!.""°rl*.t ^''^°'"" rnoved from Bucks and Lehigli counties, 
Ohio, 1817. _ , . , , , *=, 

Pennsylvania ,and located on farms, most 

of which are now within the city limits of 
Leetonia. He was an able and zealous worker, and during his 
ministry organized churches at Georgetown, Canton, North Lima, 
Orrville, and Wadsworth. One peculiarity of the Mahoning 
county settlement was that it was made up of settlers coming 
from so many different localities. From Peimsylvania* there 
came the Metzlers, of Lancaster county, the Yoders of Bucks 
county, the Detwilers of Montgomery county, the Lehmans of 
Franklin county, v^hile the Blossers and others came from 
Virginia. The brethren were well pleased with their new location, 
and prospered both temporally and spiritually. 

The Georgetown settlement, about twenty miles west of 
Leetonia, prospered for a while, but during the days of contention 
about German or English services and about Sunday schools, the 
decline set in which did not cease until all were gone. The same 
thing is true about Harmony, Pennsylvania, which was placed un- 
der the supervision of this district. The original settlement, 



CONFERENCES. 261 

(Leetonia), however, overcame this contention, and at present en- 
joys the distinction of being the largest ATennonite settlement in 
the state. 

The first Amish Mennonite to locate in Wayne county was 
Jacob Yoder, who came from Mifflin county, Pennsylvania, in 
1S17. David Stutzman and John Zook (formerly Zug) followed 
a year later. The latter was a descendant of the Zug persecuted 
in Switzerland in 1659. (See Martyr's Mirror, P. 1065.) In 1819 
Charles Brandt, a minister from Switzerland, settled with the col- 
ony, and organized the church. After this the settlement increased 
rapidly, among the new settlers being Smuckers, Hartzlers, 
Schantzes, Planks, Millers, Gerigs, Kuntzes, Wengers, and Hoo- 
leys. Cleveland was their trading place. The minister, Charles 
Brandt, hauled a load of wheat to that place and received twenty- 
five cents per bushel. Ke then bought a barrel of salt for ten 
dollars. Forty bushels of wheat and a fifty -mile drive with a four- 
horse team through woods and rough roads for a barrel of salt, 
gives us some idea of pioneer days. This is today one of the most 
prosperous settlements in the state. They hold their meetings al- 
ternately at Oak Grove and Pleasant Hill, and are well attended 
and full of inspiration. 

A congregation of Swiss Mennonites, some of whom came 
from the settlement south of Dalton, and some direct from Switz- 
erland, located south of what is now Sterling, Wayne county. 
Peter Steiner was their first bishop, followed by Christian 
Steiner and D. C. Amstut/. They have a membership of about 
eighty, support the various missions and charitable institutions oi 
the church, but are independent of any conference. 

The Mennonite settlement of Medina county, near Wads- 
worth, was opened in i<Sa5, by brethren from. Eastern Pennsyl- 
vania. Among them were the Overholts, Geisingers, Weidmans, 
Koppes, Leathermans, Rohrers, Hoovers, and Tintsmans. Two 
years later a congregation was organized under the leadership of 

Wm. Overholt and Tintsman, and in 1832 a house of 

worship was built. A few years later, another house was erected 
six miles north, near Blake post office. This was for a number 
of years one of the strongest Mennonite settlements in the state. 



262 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

But contention entered the ranks and the work was greatly injur- 
ed. Two elements became more marked as 
Holdeman Schism, years passed by. In 1859, John Holdeman, 

1859. a layman, who claimed to have received a 

revelation from heaven, organized a church 
of a dozen members, and started in on his "torrents of criticisms 
against the church." When the Wisler schism occurred in In- 
diana, 1870 and 71, many of the brethren of Ohio, especially in 
the settlement now under consideration, sympathized with him. A 
large majority of these Wisler SArmpathizers . 
withdrew and joined his conference in 
Wisler Schism, 1872. ^^^^ ^j^^ conservative position was held 

by Preacher Martin Leatherman, who, 
with much patience and zeal, succeeded in holding and building 
up such as held to the state conference. In 1890 a new church 
was erected near the old building and. a congregation built up. 
J. M. Kreider, grandson of the first minister, Wm. Overholt, is 
the minister in charge. The first conference of Wisler brethren, 
in Ohio, met at this place in the sprirg of 1872. They have since 
changed the time of their meeting to October. 

In 1825 the attention of the Amish Mennonite brethren in 
Pennsylvania was called to some land lying in Fulton county. 
Several years later, the brethren, Lauber, Kiebler, Bender, Rupp, 
Wyse and Beck, located near Archibald. A church was fully or- 
ganized in 1832 by Bishop Hagy. ' The "black land," which many 
had looked upon with suspicion, was cleared, underdrained and 
improved, and in a few years every one was satisfied that they had 
made a good investment. The church here prospered greatly and 
is now the second largest Amish Mennonite congregation in the 
state. 

In 1834 John Rohrer and Jacob Buchwalter came from Lan- 
caster county, Pennsylvania, and settled in Wayne county, south 
of Orrville. They were followed by the Alartins, Sengers, Bren- 
ncmans, and others. The settlement spread 
Ohio Confeernce Or- to the east. A second church was built 
ganized, 1843. across the Stark county line to accom- 

modate the people. This congregation 



CONFERENCES. 263 

claims the honor of witnessing die organization of the Annual 
Mennonite Conference of Ohio in 1843. This congregation pros- 
pered until the time of the Wisler agitation in 1872, when a num- 
ber withdrew from tlie church and united with that body. By this 
rupture the church suffered greatly. Bishop Michael Horst held 
a conservative view,' and the church regained a footing slowly, 
and received a new impetus when I. J. Buch waiter, a young minis- 
ter and school teacher, was ordained a bishop. A third house was 
erected near Weilersvilie, in 1889, and David Hostetler, formerly 
an Amish Mennonite minister, was placed in charge. The old 
church near North Lawrence, has been replaced by a commodious 
frame structure, and named the "Pleasant View Mennonite 
Church." The Martin's church, south of Orrville, was rebuilt 
in looi. 

In 1840 began the settlement by the Amish Mennonites, in 
Logan county. The settlers were mainly from Mifflin county, 
Pennsylvania, and from Wayne and Holmes counties, Ohio. 
They were farmers and were attracted by the fertility of the soil. 
Among the early settlers we find the names Yoder, Kauflfman, 
King, Troyer, Hooley, Hartzler, and Plank. In 1845 a con- 
gregation was organiz.ed in Union township by Moses and Levi 
Miller, of Holmes county, and Joseph Kauffman and Jonas 
Troyer became the first ministers. In the course of a few years 
the settlement spread to Champaign county, and a congregation 
organized there about 1850. Services were held in private houses 
until about 1856 or '57, when two churches were built — one about 
tivo and a half miles northwest of West Liberty, and the other 
about three m.iles southwest of Mt. Tabor, in (Champaign county. 
In 187s two new churches were built to accommodate the grow- 
ing crowds. They were named respectively. Walnut Grove and 
Oak Grove. The first is in Logan county, the second in Cham- 
paign. In 1874 Elder Jonas Yoder with several families, moved 
from Indiana and settled near Huntsville. Others followed and 
soon a flourishing congregation was organized, and a substantial 
church building erected in 1887. In 1894, a Mennonite congrega- 
tion was organized at West Liberty, with David Hilty, formerly 
of Bluffton, in charge. By a rupture in the Walnut Creek con- 



264 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

gregation in 1882, an independent congregation was organized, 
known as the Miller or Detwiler Church. They hold services at 
Walnut Grove every two weeks, conducted hy Samuel Detwiler.* 
In 1840 several Mennonite settlements were opened in North- 
western Ohio. One, near Prairie Depot, Wood county, by mem- 
bers of the congregation at Georgetown, Mahoning county, suc- 
ceeded in putting up a church building and holding services a num- 
ber of years. One in Seneca county, near Fostoria, never had a 
place of worship, but worshiped with the congregation near Prairie 
Station. One in V/illiams county, north of Bryan, was opened 
by P)ishop Hoffest, of Franklin county, Pennsylvania, and fol- 
lowed by the Eberlys and Lehmans of Lebanon county, Pennsyl- 
vania, and several families from Canada. They were a conser- 
vative people, and never did much outside of holding regular ser- 
vices once in two or four weeks. About this time several families 
settled near Upper Sandusky, and several others near Bucyrus, 
but never succeeded in building up an organization. A church 
was built near Ashland, and another one near Wooster; but the 
members in these settlemnts were slow to take advantage of "in- 
novations," and preferred to die out with their German and no 
Sunday schools rather than to prosper by evangelistic measures. 

The brethren locating in Clark county, near Osborne, about 
the same time succeeded in building up a little congregation. J. 
M. Kreider, of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, was their first 
and only resident minister and bishop. He took an active part in 
the state conference, and was looked upon as a man of more than 
average ability. The Reformed Mennonites, locating in the com- 
munity in large numbers, have held the ground and built up the 
largest church of their faith in the state. 

In 1842 a number of brethren from Chamber sburg, Pennsyl- 
vania — among them Lehmans, Millers, Hoffmans, Bowmans, and 
Ebersoles — settled near Canal Winchester, in Franklin county. 
They built a church and at one time had about sixty members. 
Some forty years later, a second church was built near Pickering- 
ton, where Noah Brenneman is now in charge. 

• For the Information concerning: the congregation in Logan and 
Champaign counties we are Indebted to Elder David Plank. 



CONFERENCES. 265 

About the same time a settlement was opened up near Elida, 
Allen county. Bishop Henry Stemen, John Sherrick, David 
Cammel and Henry Funk, all of Fairfield county, were the first 
settlers. Others followed from Pennsylvania, from Virginia, and 
various parts of Ohio, and soon the settlement near Elida found 
itself one of the most prosperous in the state. In the course of 
time, almost the whole membersihfp from Bremen and Canal Win- 
chester was transferred to this place. It was here that J. M. Bren- 
neman spent the best years of his life.* There are now two pros- 
perous congregations : one at Salem, and one at the Pike. The 
membership is very active, and holds the honor of entertaining 
the preliminary meeting of the Mennonite General Conference 
of the Mennonite and Amish Mennonite Churches of America in 
1897. 

In 1849 Bishop John Thut, of Holmes county, moved to 
Shannon (now BluflPlon), Allen county. For a number of 
years he worshiped with the Swiss Mennonites ; but because the 
latter did not observe the ordinance of feet-washing, he severed 
his connection with them, preached in school houses and private 
dwellings until i860, when a church was built. Bishop Thut was 
an active worker. He held aggressive ideas and did much toward 
indoctrinatmg his people. He was succeeded in the ministry by 
C. P. Steiner( a son-in-law) and Abe Steiner. Several years 
later, Abe Steiner withdrew and organized an independent or- 
ganization, which was afterwards received by Bishop Egli into 
the "Defenseless Mennonite" church. After this the congregation 
again revived. New ministers were ordained, young people came 
into the church, and the congregation now numbers about one 

• X ^M:. Brenneman was born in Fairfield county, Ohio, May 28, 1816. 
Died OctolDer 3, 1895, in Allen county, Ohio. He was ordained to the 
ministry in 1844, and four years later moved to Allen county, Ohio, 
where he was ordained a bishop in 1849. 

He was untiring as a preacher and a writer. His whole soul was in 
the work, and he did much to arouse the church to greater zeal. Every 
enterprise in the church received his hearty support. It was due to his 
efforts, largely, that the Hei-ald of Truth" started on its mission. He 
was one of the forerunners of the evangelistic wave which swept over 
the church during the last years of his life. 

His more active work took place after he moved to Allen county, 
Ohio, in 1855, where he lived until the time of his death. 

He wrote extensively in defense of the doctrines of the church. 
Among his most noted books are: "Christianity and War,' published in 
1S63, and "Plain Teachings," published in 2 876. 



266 MBNNGNITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

hundred members. Asidi; from this, the congregation has sup- 
plied members to our new colonies, from Virginia to Oregon. 

A congregation of Mennonites was organized at New Stark, 
Hancock county, in 1870. Several Freed brothers from Stark 
county had located here, and they were followed by brethren from 
the congregation near Bluffton. The brethren, John and N. O. 
Blosser, have charge of the work here, who also see after the work 
at several mission stations near Ada. 

The church at Blanchard (which dates back to 1843, when the 
Myerses and Smiths ard Shanks, from Hagersto^vn, Marj'land, 
and others from Canada, settled there) is now under the care of 
the ministers at Elida, New Stark and Bluifton. 

Several sniall congregations of Mennonites are also located 
in Holmes county. The largest and oldest, near Winesburg, has 
been placed under the care of M. Van Buron Sharpe. 

During the colonization period, Mennonites devoted them- 
selves primarily to the task of overcoming the difficulties and hard- 
ships of pioneer Ufe — and they did it manfully. The poor mem- 
bers of the congregations were looked after and well cared for. 
The children were sent to school, when they could be spared, often 
over rough and dangerous roads. They had services every two 
weeks ; the intervening Sunday being spent in visiting among the 
brotherhood. All tlieir preadiing was in German. Sanday 
schools were unknown and evening services not so much as 
thought of. Their ministers were chosen by lot, and ordained to 
preach the unadulterated word without compensation. Communi- 
cation between the settlements was necessarily inadequate. 
Church papers they had none, letter writing was expensive, and 
traveling slow and tedious. They were taught to be conscientious 
and upright in all their dealings, and to keep themselves unspot- 
ted from the world. In those day the word of a Mennonite was 
as good as a note. He always paid what he owed, and in case he 
could not, the church paid his obligations. The world to them 
was sinful and wicked, and all its ways were to be shunned. In 
fact -they had suffered much during the persecution in Europe, 
both from the officers of the government and the officers of the 
popular churches, and as a consequence learned to lodk upon all 



CONFERENCES. 267 

of them as their enemies, and the enemies of the true Gospel. To 
them there' was "no diflicrence," and this idea accounts, at least 
in part, for the fact, that they formed the habit of leaving others 
alone, and of devoting themselves to Iceeping the church free from 
all fomns of worldliness. Their mission was not so much to save 
the world, as it was to abstain from the world.* The zeal and earn- 
estness, that was so characteristic of the apostles, and of the fore- 
fathers during the persecutions in Europe, was largely lost in the 
struggle for an existence in America, and in the way they had 
been taught to look upon their relations toward such as were not of 
them. When the arm of torture rested heavily upon them, they 
prayed for the return of peace and of prosperity. God answered 
their prayers. They found both peace and prosperity in the for- 
est and wilds of the New WorldT But days of peace and plenty 
brought them face to fnce with opportunity and responsibility. 
Many of the brethren in 1850 had become well- to-do. They in- 
creased their farms, educated their children in the language and 
customs of the day and made strides in worldy interests on every 
side, but failed to advance accordingly in their reUgious duties and 
life. Some of the brethren saw the crisis coming on and en- 
deavored to avert it. They talked of it to their ministers, and min- 
isters talked of it to each other, but what was to be done ? 

One of the first ministers in the state to advocate "new 
things" was J. M. Brenneman, formerly of Bremen, and later of 
Elida. He began to preach in the English language, hold ser- 
vices " in the evening," organize Sunday schools and advocate the 
need of a church paper. It was through his encouragement that 
J. F. Funk, of Chicago, started the Herald of Truth, which was 
henceforth an advocate of "these new tilings." This caused much 
talk and anxiety on the part of those who opposed new measures. 
Bishops John Thut, Joseph Bixler, George Brenneman, and Min- 
isters Martin Leatherman, C. P. Steiner, Christian Gulp, Peter 
Basinger and Daniel Brenneman, heartily supported the work and 

* A radical element manifested itself in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, a* early as 
1805, who claimed that Mennonites ought to have no fellowship whatsoever with other de- 
nominations; that they represented "babel," and should not be listened to. The majority 
of the church contended that we should have no restrictions along that line, that members 
mav attend services with other denominations if they "prove all things, and hold fast that 
which is Bood." But the radical element were not satisfied; they became more rigid in 
their views and claimed the church, on account of her "liberahty," had become corrupted. 



268 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

brought their congregations in line. The Amish Mennonite breth- 
ren extended a Avarm support. J. K. Yoder, John P. King, David 
Plank, John Wayne, and C. K. Yoder, extended a helping hand in 
supporting the German paper — "Der Herald der Wahrheit." 
Thete was great opposition when J. M. Brenneman and others 
first started out in their aggressive work. Sometimes houses 
were locked against them, in which cases they usually resorted to 
school houses. The overflowing crowds and marked attention, 
proved to these brethren that the people were with them, and the 
revival of interest in spirituality and growth of the church where 
these new methods were introduced, proved to them that God also 
was with them. For years the contest raged, but finally the cause 
of aggressive work triumphed ;« but not without the loss of ex- 
treme conservatives on the one hand, and the extreme progressives 
on the other. * Sunday schools have been established in all tlie 
congregations of the district, series of meetings are being held 
whenever and wherever thought to be upbuilding, and Stinday 
school confeernces, Sunday school meetings, young people's 
meetings, mission and cliari table work contribtite to the progress 
of the cause. 

In 1882 J. S. Cofiman, of Elkhart, Indiana, began to hold 
series of meetings throughout the state. In this work he was en- 
couraged and supported by the home ministry. The efforts were 

blessed with large ingatherings of the 
United Effort and brightest young people of the church. A 

Advancement. similar movement among the Amish Men- 

nonites was introduced by D. J. Johns and 
Jonathan Kurtz, of Indiana. The ministers and evangelists of 
the two churches exchanged pulpits, and extended liberty to each 
other in conference work. They discovered that there was prac- 
tically no difference between them. The church institutions were 
alike supported by both. Both branches had representatives upon 
the Board of Directors of the several institutions, arid evangelists 

*Haa all the advocates of aggressive work exercised proper discretion, the whole 
charch might have been tiansfonned into an aggressive force for Christ. As it was 
there came from this period of agitation two notable schisms: [11 The Wisler schism consist 
ing of those who took a radical stand for conservatism, headed by Jacob Wisler; [2] The 
Brenneman schism consisting of those who took a radical stand for progression, headed by 
Daniel Brenneman. But for extremists on both sides, these schisms need not have oc- 
curred.— K. 



CONFERENCES. 269 

conducted series of meetings for either 

,, .^ „ , „ .. branch. Thev heard the Gospel iriter- 

Unity Between Bodies. . , r , , . , , , 

pretea from the same standpomt, and both 

branches observed the same ordinances, 
and practically the same discipline. A common question raised 
among them in case of difiference was, "Where is your Bible?" 
There was the infallible guide. Beyond that, there was no bind- 
ing auliiority. The searching of the scriptures brought on new 
light, new life, and a new standard of conduct. The young people 
took an active part in the work of the church, and called for the 
organization of Bible readings and young people's meetings, 
which were granted. 

In May, 1889, a number of brethren who had come together to 
attend a conference near Orrvillc, met and organized the Men- 
nonite Book and Tract Society. The officers elected were J. S. 
CoflEman, President; David Burkholder, 
Vice President: M. S. Steiner, Secretar}'; 
Mennonite Book and G. L. Bender, Treasurer. (As all of the of- 
Tract Society, 1889. ficers were at the time, members of the 
church in Indiana, Elkhart was for a num- 
ber of years the seat of active work on the 
part of this society, and the history of the society is given in con- 
nection with the Indiana-Michigan conference.) A number of field 
members were also appointed. The matter was presented to the 
conference, and that body approved of the work and commended 
it to the churches as an institution worthy of support. 

In 1894 (August) the first Mennonite Sunday School Con- 
ference in the state (the second in the United States) was held 
near Blufifton. Both Mennonites and Amish Mennonites united 
their forces in the work. It had a marked 
Sunday School Con- bearing in ^velding them together more 
ference, 1894. firmly. The two topics around which the 

greatest interest centered were the need of 
a Young People's Paper, and the starting of a mission at Chicago. 
It was decided that M. S. Steiner, of near Bluffton, should edit 
the paper, and later on decided that he should also superintend 
the mission at Chicago. He remained in charge of the Chicago 



270 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

mission until he was called to take charge of a small congregation 
at Canton, Ohio, and was later succeeded as editor of the Young 
People's Paper by C. K. Hostetler, now of Goshen, Indiana. 

The Sunday School Conference grew year by year, and it 
soon became necessary to secure tents to accommodate the im- 
mense congregations. The singing was soul-inspiring, and the 
papers read and discussed before these conferences were laden 
with ripe thought. They aroused great interest, and the enthusiasm 
thus created was carried home to the several congregations. The 
door of usefulness to young people had swung wide open and 
many of them ventured into new fields of labor and usefulness. 

In 1897, David Garber, formerly a minister from Indiana, 
and S. K. Plank, a deacon in Wayne county, opened up an or- 
phanage on their farm near Weilersville, Ohio. Two years later. 
Elder D. C. Amstutz and wife, of near 
Homes for the Help- Rittman, Ohio, offered their farm to the 
less, 1897-1899. church in support of an Old People's 

Home. A committee was appointed to ar- 
range for the erection of an Old People's Plome. Afterwards the 
Orphans' Home was al.<;o put in charge of this committee. The 
organization was then incorporated, and the managing board is 
now known as the "Mennonite Board of Charitable Homes and 
Missions," the work of the Board having been widened in 1904 
so as to include missions. At the present time this Board has 
supervision of the Old People's Home on the farm of D. C. 
Amstutz, and the Orphans' Home, near West Liberty. The two 
homes are worth about ten thousand dollars each to the church. 
J. D. Mininger is the Superintendent of tlie Old People's Home, 
and Abram Metzler of the Orphans' Home. The Board is ably 
represented by officers and directors throughout the churches, 
east and west, and aims to make itself worthy of being placed 
with other general church institutions. 

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CHAPTER XVIII. 

INDIANA-MICHIGAN CONFERENCE. 

The center of active work among the Mennonites of this 
conference district, has from the beginning been located in Elk- 
hart, Indiana. Among the earliest Mennonite settlers in this 
county were John Smith, who came from Medina county, Ohio, in 
184,3 ; Bishop Martin Hoover and son, who .=ettled near Southwest 
in 1845 • Jacob and Christian Christophel and Jacob Wisler, who 
joined the colony in 1848, and several other families. 

On Ascension Day, 1848, they held their first service. Among 
those present were three ministers : Bishop Martin Hoover, an old 
man of 85, who showed his interest by his presence, and Jacob 
'Wisler and Jacob Christophel, afterwards prominent in the his- 
tory of the church in Indiana. 

Within twenty years after this settlement was begun, the 
Mennonite Church in Indiana had grown to considerable size. The 
first organized church was the Yellow Creek congregation, about 
ten miles south of Elkhart, where in the summer of 1848, the first 
Mennonite meeting house in the state was erected. Besides the 
family names alrcadv noted, we find among these early settlers 
the narnes of Hartman, Holdeman, Smeltzer, Moyer, Henning, 
Eohrer, Brundage, Hershey, Miller, Weaver, Nussbaum, Freed, 
Weldy, Yoder, and others. From the Yellow Creek congregation 
the membership spread out until several other congregations were 
organized, one at Shaum's (now Olive), one at Holdeman's near 
Wakarusa and one at Nappanee. In 1853 a company of Hol- 
landers, who loved their non-resistant faith more than their native 
country, settled in Elkhart county. Their ministers were R. J. 
Schmidt and N. J. Sijmensma. For many years they conducted 



274 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

their services in their native dialect, but after the death of the 
older members, and especially of their ministers, the remaining 
ones united with the Salem congregation and at present their pos- 
terity forms a large part of that body of worshipers. In Clinton 
township, east of Goshen, another congregation was organized/ 
in which the first resident minister was John Nussbaum. In 
Lagrange county, the work was, carried on under the leadership 
of Henry Miller, who for many years was the bishop in that 
district. Besides these, there were congregations organized in 
Owen, Adams ?nd Dekalb counties. 

Most of the early settlers came from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and 
Canada. Among them were a number of leaders, who afterwards 
performed a prominent part in the history of the church. 

•Jacob Wisler, the first active bishop in the state, was a 
prominent figure in the counsels of the church until the time of 
the division, after which he continued to be the leading man in his 
own church until the time of his death in 1889. 

Jacob Christophei was born in Europe, and came to America 

in 1818, and saw active service in western Pennsylvania and 

eastern Ohio. He was ordained to the 

Early Church ministrx' in 1827, and served in that ca- 

Leaders. pacity for over forty years, part of the 

time as bishop. He died in 1868. 

Benjamin Hershey was ordained to the ministry in Canada. 
Moved to Elkhart county in 1850, and later to Whiteside county, 
Illinois. He was ordained to the bishop's office, and closed his 
labors at a ripe old age. 

Daniel Brundage was another minister from Canada. In the 
spring of 1869 he moved to Missouri, was ordained a bishop, took 
an active part in the work of the church, and succeeded in having 
the Missouri conference organized. Moving to McPherson county, 
Kansas, he there resumed his active labors, took part in organ- 
izing a number of congregations and another conference (The 
Kansas-Nebraska Conference) and finally moved bajrk to Indiana, 
w'here he died. 

Jacob Freed, a minister from Holmes county, Ohio, ended his 
labors in Elkhart countv, in 1868. 



CONFERENCES. 275 

Daniel Moyer was an aggressive Christian worker, and a 
minister of considerable ability. His labors were suddenly cut 
short in DecemlDer, 1864, when lie lost his life in a railway acci- 
dent. 

Other leaders appeared on the field later on. In 1864 J. F. 
Funk began his publication in Chicago and moved to Elkhart in 
1875. From that time on he was one of the most promirfent figures 
in the church in Indiana. Daniel Brenneman moved from Fairfield 
cciunty, Ohio, to Elkhart coimty, Indiana, in 1864, and proved him- 
self a man of great power. In ten years more he found himself 
outside the church, working just as earnestly to build up another 
church. The work in Kent county, Michigan, was started about 
this time. Among the»first members of what is now the Bowne con- 
gregation were the Weavers, Keims, Livingstons and Speichers. 
Peter Keim was ordained to the ministry in 1866 and John Speich- 
er in 1867. The latter served as bishop for many years, while 
the former was permitted to remain with his congregation until 
1904, when the t.ord called him home. 

The Indiana-ATichigan conference was organized October 
14th, 1864. Among the ministers from a distance, were John 
Brenneman, John Shaum, John Hartman, Peter Imhoff, Isaac 
Hoifes and Abraham Lehman, of Ohio; Jacob Bauer, of Owen 
county, Indiana ; Isaac Oberiiol-zer, and Henry Moyer, of Penn- 
sylvania; Matthias Eby, of lUinois. 

From 1865 to 1875 were troublesome times for the church 
in Indiana. It was during this time that the great contest between 
conservatism and aggressiveness was being fought. It was a 
needless battle. Had those who adhered strictly to the principles 
and practices of the church been as zealous for the ingathering 
of the lost as they were to maintain their faith, they might have 
looked with greater toleration upon such innovations as evening 
meetings, English preaching, Sunday schools, etc., even though 
they were "something new." Had those who favored aggressive 
work been as zealous in promoting the Gospel of brotherly love, 
as they were in "doing something," they might have left off many 
things which were neither essential nor wise, and thus retained the 
good will of many of their conservative brethren. Had the 



276 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

whole church been burdened for the salvation of the lost, and the 
peace, purity and growth of the church, instead of being torn 
into factions, history might record a tremendous revival wave, in- 
stead of tlie tremendous wave of strife which the church was 
compelled to suffer. However, we cannot join with those who 
would blame the church for all such controversies. As a rale, 
the church would gladly rid herself of such strife, if she could 
only control the men who bring about the trouble. Before this 
season of controversy was over, one wing of the church walked out 
at one door, in 1871, with Jacob Wisler as the leader. Another 
fragment walked out through the opposite door, in 1874, com- 
manded by Daniel Brenneman. As both of these schisms will be 
given in succeeding chapters, we will not notice them further at 
this place. The church, bleeding from the loss of two of her 
ablest leaders, and some of her best members, gathered her shat- 
tered forces, and by faithful service, had, in a few years, suc- 
ceeded in regaining an era of prosperity. 

For years northern Indiana has been the center of activity in 
the Mennonite Church in the West. 

Probabl)' the first event of importance which directed the 
eyes of the Mennonite people toward Indiana was the setting up of 
the Herald of Truth printing press in Elkhart. In 1864 a rising 
young business man of Chicago, who had 
Mennonite Publish- recently professed the Mennonite faith, was 
ing Company. (1864.) induced by J. M. Brenneman and others to 
start the publication of a church paper. 

• John F. Funk wns born in Bucks county, Pennsylvania. April 6, 
1835. His early life was spent on the farm. He obtained his education 
in the comirion schools and in Freeland Seminary. T ught school three 
years. Went to Chicago in 1857. Here he was very successful in the 
lumber business. But iiis life-work was destined to be in other lines. 

He was united with tlie Mennonite Church in the winter of 185S-60, 
was ordained to the ministry in 1865. and tO" the office of bishop in 1892. 
In January, 1864, he published tlie first number of the "Herald of Truth." 
This was the beginning of wliat is now known as the "Mennonite Pub- 
lishing Company, of -which institution he has ever since been at the 
head. He is recognized as an able .-ninister, a ready writer and a nat- 
ural-born leader. His work in translating "Menno Simon's Complete 
Works" and "Martyr's Mirror" into the Kngllsh language are regarded 
as his greatest literary achievements. He is also the author of a work 
called "Mennonite Church and Her Accusers," in wliich he ably defends 
the faith and practice of the Mennonite Church and her people against 
unwarranted attacks on the part of some who were once Mennonltas 
and afterward left the church. There Js probably not a man livins 
whose influence has been more marked in the church, and whose knowl- 
edge of the church and her doctrines and people exceeds that of the 
subject of this sketch. 



CONFERENCES. 277 

This was the Herald of Truth, and the young man, whose name 
was henceforth to be reckoned with as one of the leaders of the- 
church, was J. F. Funk * After printing the paper in Chicago 
a few years, the printing plant was moved to Elkhart, Indiana, 
and set up in a basement. Tlae idea of having a church paper, 
was at first warmly opposed b> many of the more conservative 
brethren in the church, but it continued to grow in favor, and 
has been an important factor in shaping the policies of the 
church. What the Herald of Truth was for the English-speaking 
people, the "Herald der Wahrheit" was for the Germans. These 
papers served as a common medium through which those who 
were interested in the welfare of the church could reach the 
■brotherhood at large in boch languages. For a number of years 
the publishing house was owned by T. F. and A. K. Funk, and the 
firm was known as "J- F. Funk and Brother." Afterwards it was 
changed into a stock company, and the name changed to "Men- 
nonite Publishing Company." The Funk brothers still retain a 
controlling interest. The company is now chartered at one hun- 
dred thousand dollars, and does an immense business. They pub- 
lish a full line of Sunday school literature, and the following 
periodicals : 

Herald of Truth, (an 8-page weekly) — D. H. Render, editor. 

Mennonitische "Rundschau und Herold der Wahrheit, 
(weekly) — M. B. F"ast, editor. 

Young People's Paper, (monthly) — A. B. Kolb, editor. 

Words of Cheer, (weekly for children) — D. H. Bender, editor. 

Der Chris tliche Jugendfreund, (weekly, for children — M. B. 
Fast, editor. 

They carry an extensive list of books, and make a specialty of 
job work, employing at times from seventy to eighty hands. 

During the last years the company has been financially em- 
barrassed, and at one time was in the hands of a receiver. But the 
receivership has been dissolved, and business is again conducted 
as before. 

In 1882 the Indiana Conference took action recognizing what 
was called the "Mennonite Aid Plan."' It was an organization 
among brethren, designed to reduce charity to a system, and 



278 MEN N ON IT E CHURCH HISTORY. 

furnish such brethren as felt the necessity 
of insuring their property, a substitute for 
Wlennonite Aid Plan. insurance companies. By the terms of the 
by-laws,- only members of some branch of 
the Mennonite Church could become members of the "Aid Plan." 
The idea met with much favor, and brethren from almost all 
parts of the United States went 'into it. The organization has 
grown beyond the control of the Indiana conference, and is now in 
the hands of the Russian Mennonites, with headquarters at Moun- 
tain Lake, Minnesota. 

Another movement started in about 1882, which was still 
more far-reaching in its influences upon the church. Many of the 
ministers who were most active in traveling among the churches 
and encouraging the brotherhood were men of limited means, and 
some of the brethren thought it but right and just that something 
be done to assist in defraying their expenses. Accordingly, a 
meeting was called in the Elkhart congregation to consider the 
matter. It was here decided that a permanent organization be 
effected to collect an evangelizing fund. J. F. Funk, H. B. Bren- 
neman, and M. D. Wenger were appointed a managing committee. 
This was the beginning of what is now the Mennonite Evangelising 
and Benevolent Board of America. At 
first it was to be a local affair, and con- 
Mennonite Evangellz- fined to evangelistic work. Now it is a 
Board"" ^*"*'''°'''"* church institution, and the evangelizing 
feature has been overshadowed by charit- 
able and missionary work. 
A few years after this Board was organized, several brethren 
met in Chicago, and conceived the idea of getting out a charter for 
a company authorized to hold bequests and wills set apart for 
charitable purposes. According to their idea, those who felt in- 
clined to set apart a portion of their estates for any charitable 
purpose, might donate the same to this organization to hold it in 
trust for any purpose which the donor might specify. The com- 
pany took the name "Mennonite Benevolent Board.'' As most of 
those who were interested in this Board were also active in further- 
ing the interests of the ^'^ »i;.»;no- 'Rnard. the two companies 



CONFERENCES. 279 

were consolidated, got out a charter under the laws of Indiana, 
adopted a constitution and by-laws, arid assumed the name above 
mentioned. 

This organization was but a few years in out-growing the 
bounds of the Indiana-Michigan Conference, although it is still 
officially located in Elkhart. The present officers are A. B. Kolb, 
President; A. R. Zook, Vice President; C. K. Plostetler, Secre- 
tary, and G. L. Bender, Treasurer. Besides these, there are 
field members looking after the interests of the cause in the 
various conference districts. The M. E. & B. B. now holds meet- 
ings just prior to each meeting of the Mennonite General Con- 
ference. 

Under the auspices of this Board, a number of missions have 
been started. It owns the property held by the Mission of 
Chicago, and the American Mennonite Mission of Dhamtari, 
India. It collects money for the various missions, home and 
foreign, and for all evangelizing and charitable purposes. It has 
been a powerful factor in prom.oting a general interest in the 
extension of the kingdom by the brotherhood at large. 

In speaking of the evangelizing movement which called this 
Board into existence, and which did so. much to bring the Men- 
nonite Church upon a more aggressive basis, we reach the sphere 
of church work in which J. S. Colifman* 
J. s. Coffman. did his greatest work. While 'he, like his 

colaborer, J. F. Funk, was interested in 

• .T. S. Coffman was born In Hockin^ham Co., Va., Oct. 16, 184S. Be- 
ins' the eldest of 12 children, his early education was neglected; but his 
thirst for knowledge led him to carry his book to the field or 'Wher- 
ever he went, and later he attended Bridgewater, Va., College in 1S7B- 

He was converted -it IP. During the Civil War he fled to Cum- 
berland Co., Pa., to escape military duty. He was marrieil at 21. Taiight 
school seven years. Ordained to the ministry m lSi5. Moved to Mk- 
hart, Ind.. in 18Y9, where he lived until the time of his death „^„^, , 
> For a numlier of years he was an associate editor of the Heiaia 

of Truth Though he did efficient work in this capacity, he was des- 
tined for another field. No sooner were his qualities ^^ an evangelist 
known, than his services were in con.stant demand, and tljere were 
few places in the church where his voice was not heard. Before he 
ended his career he had seen many hundreds, turn to the Liord, ana 
had thi^'latisflcfion of seein.^ his work grow in favor ^^^ 
and witnessing some ot those who had turned to the Lord under his 
ureachina- become his colaborers in his later years, ^. , ,. „* _. 

■ Wii last vSrs werp devoted largely to promoting the Interest of 
the 1 khart InsmutT^n which he was especially interested. Ho was 
llso the editor ot the Mennonite Book and Tract Society for a num- 

He died 'in Elkhart, July 22, 1S99. 



28o MEN NO NIT E CHURCH HISTORY. 

everj' movement Which affected the welfare of the cause, it was as 
an evangelist that he was most widely known. For twenty years 
his voice was heard, appealing to the lost to accept salvation and 
to his brethren in the faith to "walk worthy of the vocation where- 
with they are called." When he commenced his work, there were 
few places where he was permitted to hold continued meetings. 
But his manner was so persuasive, and his success so marked, 
that opposition was m.ostly overcome, and when he died, the whole 
church west of the Allegheny mountains in the United States, and 
the church in Canada were open to evangelistic work. It seems 
that he had been called of the Lord to open the field, and when 
that was done the Lord called him home. 

Another organization similar to the M. E. & B. B., was the 
Home and Foreign Relief Commission, organized in Elkhart in 
1896. Among those who were interested in this movement were 
George Tvambert, G. L. Bender, J. S. Leh- 
Home and Foreign man, C. K. Hostetler, A. C. Kolb, and 

Relief Commission. Others. The object of this organization 

was to furnish relief to the suffering in 
India, which was then experiencing a terrible famine. Circulars 
were sent out describing the conditions in India, and the Men- 
nonite people responded liberally to the relief of the people there. 
George Lambert was put in diarge of a cargo of provisions and 
sent to see to their proper distribtition. After the famine closed, 
Bro. Lambert returned to America, and told the story that did 
much toward starting mission work there. This organization has 
since then collected means for various mission and charitable pur- 
poses, but is almost extinct because the AT. E. & B. B. is generally 
recognized by the church as the authorized Board to distribute 
the charities of the church. 

The Elkhart Institute is another of the church institutions 
located in this conference district, but supported by members of 
the church at large. As this institution is noticed more fully in 
another chapter, we shall pass it by for the present. 

Another church institution which started at Elkhart, was the 
Mennonite Book and Tract ."society, which started about the same 
time as the Elkhart Institute. The object of this association was to 



CONFERENCES. 281 

furnish books to ministers and worthy poor 
Mennonite Book and at cost, and, also to collect means for gen- 
Tract Society. eral tract distribution. The society num- 
bered, among its members, some of the 
most influential members of the church, and has done much in the 
way of distributing free tracts and cheap literature. Among the 
most active officials in this society were J. S. CofTman, for many 
years tract editor; M. S. Steiner, one of the prime movers in its 
organization ; G. L. Bender and John W. Weaver, for many years 
secretaries and treasurers. At present the main office is located 
at Scottdale, Pennsylvania, with A. D. Martin as secretary and 
treasurer. John Blosser, of Rawson, Ohio, is the president of the 
institution, and A. D. Wenger, of Millersville, Pennsylvania, is 
its present tract editor. 

Some may ask why so many of the important movements of 
the church during the last thirty years had their origin at Elkhart. 
The answer to this question is found in the fact that Elkhart, 
during all this time, was the fo.untain from 
Some Modern which flowed most of the church literature. 

History-Makers. Within the shadow of the publishing house, 

were some of the most wide-awake . men of 
the chu.rch. Here were J. F. Funk, founder and president of the 
Mennonite Publishing Company; J. S. CofFman, the most widely 
known evangelist in the church: A. B. Kolb, for many vears 
editor of the Herald of Truth, and president of the M. E. & B. B. ; 
M. S. Steiner, who has been connected with many of the 
enterprises of the churchy G. L. Bender, school teacher, 
Sunday school worker, and secretary and treasurer of a num- 
ber of church institutions ; M. D. 'V^'enger, for many years the 
secreta^ and treasurer of the Mennortite Aid Plan; Joseph 
Summers, whose labors made the Words of Cheer a favorite 
among the children; C. K. Hostetler, known to the church a? 
editor of Young People's Paper, secretary of the M. E. & 
B. B., and later as business manager of Goshen College; John 
Horsch, writer of some note, and for many year.s editor of the 
German Herald; and many others whose work has counted much 
in contributing to the welfare of the church. 



282 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

During the last few years a number of changes have taken 
place within the district, and a number of events of more or less 
importance have taken place. The oldest leaders, who for many 
years directed the affairs of the church, have passed away, and a 
younger generation has arisen to take their places. Several new 
congregations have been organized and a mission started in Ft. 
Wayne. The first resident minister at White Cloud, Michigan, was 
J. P. Miller, now the bishop in charge of the congregations in 
Michigan. The present bishops in Indiana are Jo^hn Garber, of 
Goshen, and David Burkholder, of Nappanee. The mission at 
Ft. Wayne is supported by the brotherhood in Indiana and Ohio, . 
and under the direction of J. F. Bressler, Supt. The Elkhart In- 
stitute building has been sold to the Mennonite Brethren in Christ, 
and the school moved to Goshen, where it is now known as Goshen 
College. Two congregations — one in Goshen and one in Mich- 
igan (Barker street) are now under the joint supervision of the 
Indiana-Michigan and the Indiana (Spring) conferences. A wave 
of strife, which a few years ago threatened the peace of the church, 
has been quieted through the prayers and wisdom and forbearance 
of faithful brethren, and the last two years have seen numerous 
accessions to the church. 

Following is an outline of congregations r 




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CHAPTER XIX. 

INDIANA-MICHSGAN (A. M.) CONFERENCE. 

In a previous chapter we spoke of the beginning of Amish 
Mcnnonitc settlements in Indiana. It was not long after, until 
serious difficulties arose. One of the questions which gave rise to 
much disputation, was whether baptism 
Church Troubles. should be administered in the house or in 

the water. Some were more strenuous 
than others in keeping up old forms of worship, clothing, etc. 
Among some there was laxness in morals, and this also seriously 
interfered with the peace of the congregations. We are not able 
to tell v/hen the church in Indiana was divided ; but as early as 
i860 the marks of division were clearly seen. Hopes of recon- 
ciliation through the intiuence of the General Conference were 
finally given up, and for years the congregations worked along 
without any conference. Those maintaining the "old order" dis- 
cipline are still without a conference, man}- of them looking upon 
conferences as wrong. 

But a number of the wide-awake brethren, recognizing the 
advantages of united work, and seeing the dangers confronting the 
church, followed the apostolic order (Acts 15) and worked for 
the organization of another conference. "The motive which 
prompted them to organize were: First, To get a better under- 
standing with one another; Second, To establish more uniform 
methods of church government: Third, To overcome certain dif- 
ficulties ; Fourth, To bring about a more brotherly feeling among 
the brotherhood."* 

The first meeting was held in the Maple Grove M. H., near 
Topeka, and was organized by electing J. P. Schmucker Moderator 

* D. J. Johns. 



286 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

and J. S. Hartzler Secretary. Three bishops, J. P. Schmucker, 
D. J. Johns, and Jonathan Kurtz, together 
The Conference with most of their colaborers in the minis- 

Organized 1888. try, were present, and five congregations 

were represented at the meeting. The 
pioneer Menronite evangelist, T. S. Coffman, was also present to 
assist with his counsel. 

The first meeting was attended with satisfactory results, and 
annual nieetings of the conference have since then been a regular 
feature of the work of the church in Indiana. The congregations 
holding to the conference are more firmly united and the mem- 
bers better indoctrinated than before. The membership is increas- 
ing and the cause is spreading. 

Those who had hoped that in time all the Amish Mennonites 
in Indiana might become united have thus far failed to see their 
hopes realized. The ''old order" congregations in Indiana, as 
in other states, are not willing to work with a body who do not 
make the wearing of hooks and eyes, and also literal shunning, 
tests of church fellowship. On the other hand, the conference 
people are much more stringent in their views on temperance and 
other moral questions than are their "old order" brethren. Among 
the "old order" brethren, there are also differences of opinion 
which keep them from working together in. perfect harmony. They 
have congregations in Elkhart, Lagrange, Marshall, Newton, Jas- 
per, Howard, Miami, Davies, Brown, Adams and Allen counties, 
and have a com.bined membership of ateut twelve hundred. 

While the conservatism of some keeps them from uniting with 
or working with the conference, others are found on the opposite 
extreme; In 1892 Joseph Stuckey, of North Danvers, Illinois, or- 
ganized a small congregation in Clinton township, Elkhart 
county. These members had formerly belonged to the Clinton 
congregation, but withdrew from that body on the ground that 
the congregation did not allow enough privileges. It assumed the 
name "Silver Street" congregation, and now works with the 
General Conference Mennonites. r\ few }ears later, another con- 
gregation of progressives was organised at Topeka. 

Within the past few years the work of this conference has 



CONFERENCES. ' 287 

been considerably extended. In the year 1900 a settlement was 
begun in Oscoda county, Michigan. The pioneers in this settle- 
ment were Noah Yoder, Joseph Miller, John Stutzman, and 
others. Among those that followed soon after was E. A. Bon- 
tragor, a minister from Nappanee, Indiana. A church was built 
and the congregation is growing rapidly. Two years later J. S. 
Horner, a minister from Howard county, Indiana, led a little 
colony into Manistee county, Michigan, where a congregation was 
organized the year following by £. A. Mast, of Kokomo, In- 
diana. For several years a mission station was maintained 
at Middlebury, Indiana. The effort proved successful, and 
a congregation is now organized there with A. J. Hostetler 
in- charge. When the Mennonite school at Elkhart was 
moved to Goshen, in 1903, the question of organizing a con- 
gregation there aroused some discussion, as there were both 
Mennonites and Amish Mennonites connected with the schooL 
After careful consideration, it was decided to establish but 
one congregation, and let principle, not name, be the basis of 
organization. Accordingly, the congregation was organized under 
the oversight of Bishops David Burkholder (Mennonite) and D. 
J. Johns (Amish Mennonite). It is one of the signs of the times, 
showing that our people are coming to a place where they inquire 
into oneness in faith rather than oneness in name. 

This conference has, since its organization, taken an active 
part in encouraging evangeli/ing work, and several of the most 
active evangelists in the church reside in this district. D. J. 
Johns, Jonathan Kurtz, D. D. Miller, and others, have traveled ex- 
tensively in the interests of the church, doing the work of bishops 
and evangelists. The first Mennonite Sunday school conference in 
the United States was held in this district, and mission work re- 
ceives a hearty support. 

Following is an outline of congregations : 



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CHAPTER XX. 

ILLINOIS CONFERENCE. 

The Mennonites of Illinois first met in conference on Friday, 
May 24, 1872. The first meeting was held in Science Ridge, M. 
H., near Sterling, Whiteside county. The following bishops were 
present: Henry Nice, Morrison, Illinois; 
Organized in 1872. Matthias Ebv, Fi'eeport, Illinois ; Benjamin 

Hershey, Cherry Box, Missouri; Daniel 
Brundage, Versailles, Missouri, who preached the conference 
sermon. Among the topics discussed were "Rules and Discipline," 
"Non-comformity to the World," and "Non-resistance." Since 
that time the conference has met annually. It is now held during 
the first week in June. 

The leader among the brethren of the church in Illinois dur- 
ing these days was Henry Nice,* of Morrison. Commanding in 
appearance, strict in discipline, impresijive in speech, and devoted 
to the cause of God and the church, his services were in demand 
far and near, and his influence is still felt among the congrega- 
tions! 

We are unable to tell to a certainty who the first Mennonite 
settlers in Illinois were, but as early as 1826, Benjamin Kindig 
moved with his family from Pennsylvania, and settled in Wash- 
ington county. He was followed by his 
First iviennonite Set- brother-in-law, Kaufman, Peter Hartman 
tiers in Illinois. ^^^ Hgj^j.y g^g^ and families in 1830, and 

• Henry Nicn was born in Montgomery Co., Pa., April 17, 1822. In 
early manhood he moved to Medina Co., O., where he lived fifteen years, 
and then moved to Whiteside Co.. 111., which he counted his home during 
the remainder of his life. In 1.S42 he w^as iinited in marriage to Levlna 
Tyson, who wp„s his f.aithful companion throuph life, and is still living. 
He was ordained minister in 1853, and bishop in 1868. He was identified 
with the development of a<ll tlie consresrations in his part of the field, 
and was irequentlv called in tlie settlement of church difficulties in 
other parts. He died Feb. 12. 1S92. The loyalty of hi.s family is shown 
by the fact that one of his sons is n doacon, and three are in the min- 
istry. 



CONFERmCES. 291 

in 1844, by Yost Bailey, who afterwards became the first minister 
of the faith in Illinois. Joseph Kindig was the first deacon there, 
and spent the time profitably by conducting worship in the 
houses. 

At Gardner there was at one time a congregation of consider- 
able size, but it has since entirely disappeared. Here we find such 
names as Buchwalter, Showalter, Tinsman, Bachman, Gulp, and 
Shelley. Among the ordinations recorded at this place, are John 
Bachman (1863), and Henry Shelley and John F. Funk (1865). 

Some time, in the early forties, a few of the brethren located 
in Stephenson county. Among the first settlers there were God- 
frey Groff, John Brubacker, Martin and Samuel Lapp and fami- 
lies, who moved from Cilarence Center, New York, and settled a 
few miles north of Freeport. This was the beginning of what is now 
known as the Freeport congregation. One of their number, Mar- 
tin Lapp, afterwards became the pioneer Mennonite preacher of 
Missom-i. 

Before the year i860 Mennonite settlements had been started 
in Whiteside and Livingston counties. The former is now known 
as the Sterling congregation, and is the largest congregation in 
the district. Among the first settlers, we notice the names of 
Jacob Suavely, Leonard Hendricks, Henry Heckler and others. 
The congregation is composed mostly of members from Lancaster ' 
and Bucks counties, Pennsylvania. The settlement in Livingston 
county, now Cullom congregation, was begun by members from 
Woodford county, and later augmented by families from Virginia 
and Canada. 

In 1865 William Gsell moved with his family from Franklin 
county, Pennsylvania, and settled near Morrison. Here he was 
joined later on by Henry Nice, of JMedina county, Ohio, and sev- 
eral other families, which resulted in a congregation being organ- 
ized in 1868. 

Thus, in brief, is recorded the beginning of the work in Ill- 
inois. That the cause moved slowly is evident from the fact that 
it was nearly fifty years from the time the first settlers appeared 



292 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

until a conference was organized. Even 
Slow Progress. . after this the work was retarded by more 

or less contentidli in some of the congre- 
gations, by a lack of interest on the part of some, and by a 
mistaken idea of conservatism, which for a while, kept out Sunday 
schools, continued meetings, and other helpful lines of work. 
But the time came when the church awakened to its condition, 
and there appeared upon the field a number of earnest laborers, 
whose efforts gave the church a more encouraging outlook. 

We have already spoken of the labors of Henry Nice. 
Through the untiring efforts of J. S. Coffman, the work at Cul- 
lom was revived, and there was an ingathering of souls there and 
at other places. Emanuel Hartman was a 
Workers and Results, man of great influence and did much work? 
but in an evil hourprovedunfaithful,desert- 
ed the church, and united with a sect known as the "New Amish." 
John Nice is faithfully filling the place so long occupied by his 
father. J. S. Shoemaker and L. J. Lehman are evangelists of 
recognized ability, giving their time and talents to the cause. As- 
sociated with these brethren, are a number of faithful workers, 
in and out of the ministry, whose efforts are telling for the pros- 
perity of the cause. The church, at this writing, is active, most 
of the congregations are growing, donations are liberal, and the 
' future seems to hold out many opportunities. 

The needs of the field seem to be : first, more ministers ; 
second, more consecrated workers among the laity. 

A Sunday School Conference was organized in 1895, and 
has met annually ever since. Each year a two days' session is 
held just previous to church conference. 

A Bible Conference was organized in 1902. In this, the 
whole district is interested and a ten days' or two weeks' session 
is. held in midwinter, usually about the holidays. 

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CHAPTER XXI. 

MISSOURI-IOWA CONFERENCE. 

This is usually known as the Missouri Conference. It was 
organized in 1S73. The leader in this movement was Daniel 
Brundage, over whose signature the call for the conference ap- 
peared in August, 1873. The meeting 
Organized in 1873. was held with the Bethel congregation, 

Moniteau county, Missouri. Three congre- 
gations were represented : one in Morgan and Moniteau counties, 
one in Shelby county, and one in Page county, Iowa. 

Among those whose names were prominent in the early his- 
tory of the church in this district, we may mention the following : 

Martin Lapp was the first Mennonite minister known to 
have been in Missouri. He moved from Illinois in about 1855, 
labored with a small body of Amish Mennonites for a few years, 
and then moved to Shelby county. Here 
Early Leaders. he remained for a few years, and then 

moved back to Illinois, where he died at 
a ripe old age. 

Daniel Brundage was connected with the development of the 
church in its earlier history in Indiana, Missoiiri and Kansas. Hf 
was ordained to the bishop's oflfice in Missouri, where he was 
looked upon as a leader. In Kansas, he organized most of the 
earlier congregations and also took a leading part in organizing 
the Kansas-Nebraska Conference. He was noted for his earnest- 
ness, and traveled much for the cause. 

Benjamin Hcrshey, the first Mennonite minister at Sterling, 
Illinois, moved to Shelby county, Missouri, shortly after the 
Civil War. . Here he was ordained bishop — ^the first to be or- 
dained to that office in the state. 

John Good, of Page county, Iowa, was another faithful pillar 
whose voice was frequently heard at conferences. 



CONFERENCES., 295 

D. D. Kauffman and D. F. Driver, of Morgan county, Mis- 
souri, were among the first Mennonite ministers in the state to be 
ordained to the ministry. The former was for years the only 
resident bishop in the district. The latter has been a faithful 
attendant at conferences ever since its organization, and is looked 
upon as a faithful father in Israel. He is the only one of these 
early leaders who is still with us. 

The tide of immigration which swept into Missouri after 
the Civil War, brought some Mennonites with it. Between 18G5 
and 1875, small bodies of Mennonites located in Shelby, Cass, 
Moniteau, Morgan, Chariton, Cedar, Hickory, and Jasper coun-- 
ties, and scattered members were to be found in many other lo- 
calities. Crops were good and prices high. While these con- 
ditions remained, people kept coming. 

But things changed. A few crop failures and the financial 
panic of 1873 had the effect of disheartening many of the breth- 
ren. It was found, also, that in some 
Early Settlements. places they had settled on thin soil. As a 

result, many of the settlements were 
abandoned. Some moved on to Kansas, while others went back 
to their former homes in the East. 

The early history of the church in this district is not all 
sunshine. "Hard times," and "tliin soil" were drawbacks, but the 
most serious results were brought about by 
A Period of Trials. inaction and contention. People were 

earnest in a way, but their earnestness was 
not great enough to hold the salvation of souls uppermost in 
their hearts. This served as an excuse for restless leaders to 
work mischief, and .also left a gap open for the enemy to come 
,in and sow the seeds of discord and contention. 

The withdrawal of Daniel Brenneman from the church in 
Indiana, 'had the eflfect of dividing the congregation in Page 
county, Iowa. This proved its deathblow, and there are now only 
two members left at that place. 

In .Shelby county the imprudent actions of Benjamin I.,app, 
one of the ministers at that place, caused much disturbance. He 
was finally silenced, and he and his brother, Christian, then deacon 



296 MENNpNITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

of the church, left the church and united with the Dunkards. It put 
an end to the troubles, but such disturbances are never upbuilding. 

The congregation in Moniteau and Morgan counties separ- 
ated on the question of feetwashing. When all was peace, this 
question made no trouble. But contention arose, and feetwashing 
was made the pretext. Once this question was made the issue j 
the body of members, though peacefully inclined, remained true 
to their convictions, and divided into two separate congregations. 
The congregation in Morgan county retained its allegiance to 
the conference and continued in its former discipline. The con- 
gregation in Moniteau county opposed feetwashing, and after 
a time changed its attitude on the question of non-conformity. It 
is now a part of the General Conference Mennonites. The mem- 
bers of these two congregations still regain the best of feelings 
for each other. 

In other places where there had been small bodies, they dis- 
appeared because of "hard times,'' "poor land," worldliness, or 
other causes. 

For years the church decreased in membership. Some moved 
out of the district, old members died, and the young people 
were drawn away through strong worldly, influences. It was 
seen that there must be more determined, effective means adopted, 
or another generation would see the Mennonite Church in Mis- 
souri a thing of the past. Aggressive Christian work was a neces- 
sity. The idea of members sitting at ease in Zion, while their ~ 
children were being destroyed by worldly influences, aroused the 
brotherhood as they had never been aroused before, and there were 
brighter times ahead. 

Jn the early part of 1883 J. S. Coffman, of Elkhart, Indiana, 

came by invitation and labored with the Mt. Zion congregation in 

Morgan county, for a week. This was the first series of meetings 

_ . . . _ held within the district. Results, five ad- 

Begmning of Re- , , , . 

newed Life. ditions to the church, mtense interest, and 

a wave started which soon extended to the 

other congregations. Immense crowds flocked to hear the pioneer 

Mennonite evangelist, and there was, not a congregation in the 

district where his voice was' not heard. For a number of vears 



CONFERENCES. 297 

he lent his service, at intervals, to the chnrch in Missouri, and 
other evangelists rose up to carry on the work thus nobly begun. 
From Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and other states, 
came visiting ministers to encourage the brotherhood. Evangel- 
izing work was now a regular feature of churdh work, carried on 
by home evangelists, as well as by evangelists from adjoining 
districts. 

Since then the work has been gradually extended. New con- 
gregations have been started in Cass, Marion and Shannon coun- 
ties, Missouri, Keokuk county, Iowa, and Olathe, Kansas. The 

work in the south end of the district re- 
The Work Extended, ceived a new impetus when Andrew Shank, 

a minister from Aljen county, Ohio, moved 
to Jasper county, Missouri. Witli his characteristic energy, he 
set to work, and the membership increased at Oronogo, Missouri, 
Neutral, Kansas, and Birch Tree, Missouri. Tliis field has not 
been altogether free from trouble. 

During the last few years the conference district has been 
considerably extended. In 189S the congregation at Neutral, 
Kansas, transferred its connection from the Kansas to the Mis- 
souri Conference. In 1900 the congregation at Iowa, Louisiana, 
was admitted, and this was followed by the congregation at 
Alpha, Minnesota. During the last few years a settlement of Men- 
nonites, principally from Cass county, Missouri, was formed at 
Baden, North Dakota. About the same time another settlement 
of Mennonites from Logan county, Ohio, and Mifflin county, 
Pennsylvania, was formed at Surrey, North Dakota. These are 
now practically a part of this conference, and are at present 
under the oversight of Bishop S. G. Lapp, of South English, Iowa. 

During the year 1904 J. M. Kreider, of Palmyra, Missouri, 
commenced preaching at Pea Ridge, about twelve miles west of 
Palmyra. The field seemed to have been ripe for harvest, and a 
prosperous congregation is now started at that place. 

Thus the cause is spreading slowly. Difficulties have con- 
fronted the brotherhood in this field all along their line of work. 
But, the Lord has been with them, and blessed their labors with 



298 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

a reasonable measure of success. Following are a few facts which 
throw some light on their method of work : 

Conference has met annually since its organization. 

A Sunday School Conference was organized in 1893. Holda 
annual sessions. 

There is a "Local Mission Board," consist- 
Mission Board. ing of one member from each congrega- 
tion. 

The first Bible Conference was held in Cass county, Decem- 
ber, 1899. 

There is a very close bond of fellowship between the Men- 
nonites and Amish Mennonites in the district. 

Under the auspices of the "Local Mission Board" a mission 
was started in Kansas City, Kansas, in April, 1905. The move 
has the official sanction of both the Missouri and Kansas-Ne- 
braska Conferences. A congregation was organized, at the Mis- 
sion, May 17, 1905, and Jos. F. Brunk, Superintendent of, the 
Mission, ordained to the ministry. 






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CHAPTER XXII. . 

KANSAS-NEBRASKA CONFERENCE. 

To this conference belong the Mennonite congregations of 
Kansas, (excepting the congregations at Neutral and Olathe in 
the eastern part of the state), Nebraska, Oklahoma, Idaho, Colo- 
rado, and Oregon. Before the year 1870 
Early Settlements. there were few, if any, Mennonites in the 

district. Not far from this date, Henry 
Yother, who had for years been a bishop in western Pennsyl- 
vania, settled in Nebraska. From 187 1 to 1873, the Kilmers, Heat- 
woles. Goods, Bares, Neuenschwanders, Hornbergers, and others 
settled in Marion and McPherson counties, Kansas. The first 
church service was held in the Marion Center school house. It 
was conducted by Henry Yother, of Nebraska. 

These settlers faced many hardships. They came with very 
little money, homesteaded their land, built sod houses, worked 
ox-teams, used hay, cobs, cornstalks and sometimes corn itself 
for fuel. To add to their hardships, the grasshoppers devoured 
their crops in 1874, and dry seasons shortened their crops at 
other times. But these sturdy settlers braved their misfortunes, 
and, with the help of generous friends from the East, most of 
them succeeded in holding their claims. The country affords 
enough advantages to offset some serious shortcomings, and the 
brethren in this section are now reasonably prosi)erous. 

About this time several families of Holdeman Mennonites 

settled in McPherson county and a few 

families of Russian Mennonites settled in 

Holdeman and Rus- Marion county. This was followed by a 

sian Mennonites Set- jgj-g^ i^j^^^ of Russian and Swiss Men- 

noniics who located in McPherson, Plar- 
vey, Marion, and adjoining counties. 



CONFERENCES. 301 

In 1873 the little flock in McPherson county was strength- 
ened when Daniel Brundage, a bishop from Missouri, settled 
in the neighborhood, and organized a congregation. About the 

same time, John Evers, a minister from 
Congregations -.. . . , , , , ,. , ^ , 

Organized Virgmia, assumed charge of the little nock 

in Marion county. Bro. Evers, however, 
did not remain here long, as the Lord called him home to his re- 
ward. It is a fact worthy of note, that on Bro. Brundage's farm, 
in McPherson county, and on the farm of Bro. Hornberger, a 
minister in Marion county, two dhurch buildings were erected. 
The first is now known as the Spring Valley M. H,. while the 
latter bears the name Cathin M. H. 

Before the year 1880, two other congregations had been or- 
ganized in Kansas. The first one is the Osborne county, organized 
under the leadership of Bishop Newschwanger, and others. The 
enemy of peace entered and the congregation was almost torn to 
pieces. Of late years an effort has been made to revive the work 
there. The other was the West Liberty congregation in Mc- 
Pherson county, now one of the largest congregations in the 
district. 

In 1878 another congregation was organized in Adams 
county, Nebraska. The man whose history is closely allied with 
this congregation, is Albrecht Schiffler, the bishop in charge, who, 
with a number of faithful co-workers, has labored successfully 
for the upbuilding of the cause at this place. 

A few years after this, another congregation was organized 
in Harvey county, Kansas. It was composed mostly of settlers 
frotn L-ancaster county, Pennsylvania, and became known as the 
Pennsylvania congregation. 

A conference was organized in 1879. The first meeting was 
held in the Spring Valley M. H., McPherson county. For a 
number of years the conference was held semi-annually — one each 
year in Kansas, and one in Nebraska. 
A Conference Organ- This was finally changed, and for a num- 
ized 1879. rj^gj. gf years has met but once a year. 

It is held in October. 



302 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

When the conterence was organised there were only two states 
represented, but the work has since then been greatly extended. As 
parts of the Indian Territory were opened up for settlement, there 
were Mennonites among the Settlers. 
Growth of the Church. Calls were made for evangelists, and sev- 
eral of our ministers responded. There 
are now small congregations at German Springs and Milan Valley 
and small groups of members at several other places. 

In 180Q David Garber, an evangelist from Ohio, led a small 
company of brethren to Nampa, Idaho. The first object sought 
was health for the body. But this has become a question of sec- 
ondary importance, and health for the soul is now the leading 
question. There is a congregation of considerable size at Nampa 
which is now the center of religious activity among our people 
in the Northwest. 

In 1899 Garber made a visit to Oregon. This was followed 
by another visit from George R. Brunk, of McPherson, Kansas. 
As a result of these, and subsequent visits from these brethren, 
there are now two congregations in Oregon, holding to this con- 
ference. Within five years, a work has been started in these 
states which we pray may be the beginning of a mighty work for 
God. 

For years there has been an interest in the cause manifested 
in parts of Colorado. Settlements were attempted at diflrerent 
times and places, but for various reasons, proved tinsuccessful. 
Finally John M. Nunemaker, a minister from Roseland, Nebraska, 
started a work at Lajunta, Otero county, that promises to be 
successful. Though this settlement is less than three years old, 
there are now two congregations ; one under charge of Bro. 
Nunemaker, and the other under charge of Bro. George Ross, 
formerly from Elida, Ohio, 

Concerning trials, much might be said. Some of the earlier 
congregations were severely tried by contention among minis- 
ters. ' "Grasshoppers" and "hot "winds" and crop failures made 
some of the settlements short-lived, and sent many of the breth- 



CONFERENCES. 303 

Oppositions and Sue ^^" "^^^^ ^^^^■" ^^"^^ ^^^^'^ ^'^'^ ^^^^^ 
cesses. prosperity, and were swallowed up in 

worldliness. Others cast their lot with 

denominations layin.^ special claims to "holiness." For some, 

the church moved too fast ; for others, it was entirely too slow. 

But, in the face of opposition from without and within, the 

brethren kept on with their work, and their efforts have not been 

in vatn. To God be all glory ; and maj' He continue to strengthen 

the hands and bless the efforts of the brethren that the church 

may continue to multiply in numbers and rise in spiritual grace. 

A Sunday school conference was organized in 1895, and has 
been held annually ever since. Nearly all the Sunday schools 
of the district are "evergreen." The tir.st Bible Conference, held 
within the disti-ict. was at Roseland, Nebraska, in December, 1900, 
R. J. Heatwole, of Windom, Kansas, has been untiring in his ef- 
forts to keep the field well supplied with evangelists. While 
serving as a member of the Mennonite Evangelizing Board, he was 
the most active field member of that institution, and has done 
much to iielp the work in neglected places. Among the most 
active evangelists and bishops of the district are George R. 
Brunk, of McPherson, Kansas; Tillman Erb and J. M. R. 
Weaver, of Newton, Kansas ; D. G. Lapp and Albrecht Schiffler, 
of Roseland, Nebraska; S. C. Miller, of Canton, Kansas; David 
Hilty, of Nampa, Idaho : David Gart)er, of Hesperia, California, 
and J. M. Nunemaker, of La Junta, Colorado. 

Following is a list of congregations with summarized history : 




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CHAPTER XXIII. 

WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE. 

The origin of the various settlements of Amish Mennonites 
in this conference was briefly given in the general chapter on 

THE \MISH MENNONITES. 

It was about the autumn of 1884, when the first regular meet- 
ing of this conference (or ministers' meeting, as it was then call- 
ed) was held in the Sugar Creek meeting house, near Wayland, 
Iowa. A number of meetings had been held at irregular inter- 
vals, previous to that time, but it was at this meeting that arrange- 
ments were made for regular sessions of conference, which have 
since been held annually.* 

There was at this time no regular organization of Amish 
Mennonites in America. In a general way, most of them held 
the same doctrines: but the church was in a state of transition; 
and the various congregations held views of church policy, rang- 
ing from worldly popular religion to rigid formalism. It was 
hard to find two congregations which agreed on all points of 
doctrine, policy, and custom. As time passed on, sentiment began 
to crystallize, and within a few years after the General Conference 
was abandoned (187S) we find the brethren who had kept away 
from the extremes manifested in former controversies, again 
working together in conferences. 

At this time there were three questions which claimed the 
attention of the brothertiood in the West: First, to what extent 
shall the church work with Eld. Joseph Stuckey, whose congrega- 
tion was governed with a laxness which bordered on liberalism? 
Second, was it permissible, in view of the Bible teadhing on non- 

• For the statement ami the time this conference was organlzefl, we 
are indebted to Joseph Buerkey, Tiskilwa, Illinois. 



■ CONFERENCES. 307 

conformity, to allow the brethren to wear buttons on their 
clothes, instead of hooks and eyes, as had been the custom for 
time imm.emorial ? ; Third, shall the church continue her practice 
in shunning excommunicated members in literal eating "and 
drinking ? 

To consider the first question, a conference was called in 
Illinois in about 1882, but no definite action was taken. The 
question eventually solved itself, as Joseph Stuckey never identi- 
fied himself with conference, and continued in his work of build- 
ing up an independent organization. Allowing greater liberties 
than the Mother Churdi granted, this church has made inroads 
wherever there were meml^ers who were inclined towards liberal- 
ism, and succeeded in .establishing congregations in Illinois, In- 
diana and Iowa. 

To consider the second question, a conference was called in 
1883 to meet in the Sycamore church, Cass county, Missouri, where 
the churdh was having some trouble. Twenty years later, we 
are wondering why a question like this should be made a subject 
for so much discussion ; but, strange as it may seem, the question 
was great enough in those days to disturb the peace of many 
congregations, even causing division in places, and is still a 
disturbing factor among the most conservative of Amish Men- 
nonites. 

The year following (1884) another conference was called 
for Henry county, Iowa, at which tinie it was agreed to hold 
conferences annually from then on. The question of permitting 
brethren to wear buttons was again discusseid. While the position 
of the church was not clearly defined, it was understood that 
wherever the wearing of buttons could be tolerated without rais- 
ing a disturbance, it should no longer be made a test of church fel- 
lowship. It was the beginning of the solution of a most vexed 
question, and had the double effect of restoring peace to many a 
congregation and of making the distinction between the conser- 
vative and old order branches of the church more marked. 

The question of shunning expelled members received its 
full share of attention. After much discussion, it was finally 
agreed that the question be left open to the individual conscience of 



3o8 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

each member to assume such an attitude toward expelled members 
as each thinks the scriptures require him to take. It was the last 
barrier which separated the Mennonites and Amish Mennonites 
in doctrine. They still retain separate organizations, but there is 
nothing now between them but local customs, and settled convic- 
tions of a few of the brethren who have not yet forgotten names. 
Among the members the feeling is quite friendly, and the min- 
isters work together in conferences, and church services without 
distinction , of names. In some places they commune together, 
and in a few instances congregations have been merged into one 
organization. 

The first sessions of conference were marked for their ex- 
treme caution. On account of differences of opinion on vital 
questions, they hardly dared to make any general regulations. 
They were together, not to give voice or direction to churdi doC' 
trine and work, but, as brethren in the Lord, endeavoring to 
promote a spirit of unity and good will, and seeking common 
ground upon which to unite for offensive and defensive warfare 
against the common enemy of souls. The Lord has blessed their 
labors, and prospered them as a people. In the vicinities surround- 
ing Metamora, Illinois ; Henry and Johnson counties, Iowa ; Gar- 
den City, Missouri, and Milford, Nebraska, are extensive settle- 
ments of the brethren, while in a number of other places pros- 
perous congregations arc to be found. 

This conference has provided for an evangelizing committee, 
which sees to the collection of means to defray the expenses of 
traveling ministers, and to provide for the wants of the poor in 
the church. It has officially endorsed Bible conferences and 
Sunday school conferences, and most of the churches are open 
to continued meetings, Bible readings, and other helpful means 
of carrying on gospel work. Having broken loose from forms, 
which in former years, impeded the progress of the church, their 
greatest fight in this line, is now to counteract the tendency to 
drift into the opposite extreme — worldiness. But they are for- 
tunate in having a number of strong men, who are boldly preach- 
ing the doctrine of entire separation from the world. 

At first the conference was intended only for ministers, but 



CONFERENCES. 309 

it IS now largel}' attended by the members in general. It is the 
policy to have an elder in every community where there is suitable 
material for the same. To further systematize the work, the 
congregations holding to the conference have been sub-divided 
into districts and have been put under the oversight of the fol- 
lowing bishops. 

The congregations in Illinois are under the care of John 
Smith, of Metamora, Illinois. 

The congregations in Iowa are under the care of Sebastian 
Gerig, of Wayland, Iowa. 

The congregations in Missouri and Arkansas are under the 
care of J. J. Hartzler, Garden City, Missouri. 

The congregations of Kansas and Oklahoma are under the 
care of Joseph Schlegel, Hartford, Kansas. 

The congregations of Nebraska, Colorado and Oregon are 
under the care of Joseph Schlegel, Milford, Nebraska. 

The brethren just named have been active in promoting the 
cause of Christ, visiting the congregations and scattered members. 
They have been ably supported by the assistance of many of their 
faithful co-workers in the ministry. Among the younger minis- 
ters who have been active in the evangelistic field are Levi J. Mil- 
ler, of Garden City, Missouri, and Samuel Gerber, 6f Groveland, 
Illinois, Peter Zimmerman, of Roanoke, Illinois, has also traveled 
extensively in the interest of the church. Many of the brethren 
contribute liberally to the mission and dharitable institutions of 
the church. 

Following is an outline of congregations belonging to the 
district : 






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1 







CHAPTER XXIV.> 

NEBRASKA-MINNESOTA CONFERENCE. 

In 1874 a colony of thirty-five Russian Mennonite families 
settled in York and Hamilton counties, Nebraska. Their min- 
ister at this time was Henry Epp. The year foUovring, came 
Bishop Isaac Peters] who allied himself with these members and 
organized them into a congregation. The brethren, Epp and 
Peters, had been co-laborers in the ministry in Russia. 
Other immigrants came from Russia, and the congregation grew 
very rapidly. By 1882 the membership had increased to about 
three hundred thirty. 

But the history of the congregation was not all sunshine. 
Coming from different settlements in Russia, the immigrants 
brought with them a diversity of opinion. Coming into a land of 

freedom, many of the members felt the 
A New Congregation release from the restraints imposed under 
Organized. a despotic government, and were inclined 

to drift toward worldliness. In vain did 
the bishop and some of the ministers warn the members of the 
results of sinful indulgences, and plead for a pure life and entire 
separation from the world. Two of the ministers, one deacon, 
and a majority of the members took the ground that the bishop 
and those who stood by him were too strict in their discipline, and, 
as a result, the congregation was divided. The bishop with two 
of the ministers and fifty-eight members organized a new congre- 
gation and built a new house of worship. 

The next question was: What shall be their conference re- 
lations? In faith and practice, they agreed with the Mennonites 
represented bv the Kansas- Nebraska Conference. But the Ameri- 

• For the statistics ancT early history of this conference we are in- 
debted to Isaac Peters and C. M. Wall, of Henderson, Nebraska. . 



314 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

can Mennonites used the English language 
A New Conference Or- almost exclusively, and this congregation 
ganized Oct. 14, 1889. was exclusively German. It was therefore 

decided to organize a new conference fnr 
the benefit of such of the German and Russian Mennonites who 
agreed with them in faith and practice. Because of the promi- 
nence of Isaac Peters in the organization of this conference, it was 
called "Peter's Conference.'" The location of the leading con- 
gregations has given it the name "Nebraska-Minnesota" Con- 
ference. In the work of this conference, the brethren in Nebraska 
have united their forces witli the Mennonites in Minnesota under 
the-care of Bishop Aaron Wall, of Mountain Lake. "The confer- 
'ence is held annually in autumn, changing among the different 
groups of members, living in the different states ; as Minnesota, 
Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas." Congregations are also found in 
Manitoba, Saskatchewan, -Oklahoma and Texas. 

The adherents to this conference maintain a strict discipline 
along Gospel lines. Not only are the members forbidden to 
patronize saloons, but tobacco also is excluded. They are noted 
for their fervent piety and zeal, for their simple honesty and 
uprightness in business, and for the hospitality and cleanliness 
found in their homes. Right here it may not be out of place to 
say that while the manner of living on the part of some Russian 
Mennonites has been such as to cast a reproach upon the name, 
it is by no means true of all of them. The lives and homes of 
the brethren holding to this conference, as well as members of the 
"Bruedergemeinde" and other Russian' Mennonite bodies, can 
justly be taken as a mode! for some of their American critics. 

The original settlement in York and Hamilton. counties> 
Nebraska, is divided into three bodies. First : The Peter's church, 
already described ; Second :. The remaining part, of the original 
congregation, now adhering to the General Conference Men- 
monites; Third: The "Ereuedergemeinde," resembling the Peter's 
churdi in faith and practice, but differing from them in that they 
insist on the wearing of full beards, and upon immersion as the 
Bible mode of baptism. 



CONFERENCES. 315 

The members of this conference read the Hterature published 
by the Mennonite Publishing Company, and work in harmony 
with the conferences represented by said institution. The dif- 
ference in language, has, to some extent, interfered with a full 
co-operation with the other conferences, but has not impaired the 
oneness in faith. 

The congregations in the northern part of the district are 
tinder the oversight of Bishop Aaron Wall. In the southern field. 
Isaac Peters has been the faithful steward in charge. On account 
of his old age, Cornelius M. Wall has been ordained a bishop to 
assist him. Following is an outline of congregations in their part 
of the conference district : 

Ebenezer Church, York county, Nebraska, (House built in 
1880). 

Ministers — Isaac Peters, C. M. Wall, John P. Epp, Peter 
P. Epp. 

Deacon — Cornelius P. Epp, 

Present membership, thirty-nine. 

Ebenezer Church, Jefferson county, Nebraska, (House built 
in 1891). 

Ministers — Henry RatzlaflF, Henry J. Ratzlaff, Peter J. Fast. 

Deacon-^Bernard Kroeker, 

Present membership, fifty-one. 

Ebenezer Church, McPherson county, Kansas, (House built 
in 1892). 

Ministers— J. J. Pauls, Henry A. Wiens. 

Deacon-7-Henry J. Neufeld. 

Present membership, forty-four. 

There are also small congregations in Grant county, Okla- 
homa (15 members) in charge of John J. Neufeld; in Fort Bend, 
Texas, (15 members) in charge of Bernhard Kroeker; and in 
Shem^an county, Nebraska, (6 members) in charge of Wilhelm 
Theisen. 

We are unable to give a full report of the congregations un- 
der the oversight of Aaron Wall. We quote the following from 
Isaac Peters and C. M. Wall : '^ ) 



3i6 



MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 



The preachers at the present time (1902) in Bishop Wall's 
dhurch are : Henry Fastsen, Henry E. Fast, Peter Schultz, (now 
of Saskatchewan) Henry Duech, Cornelius Theisen (deacon), 
Minnesota; Henry P. Unruh and Henry C. Unruh (ministers) 
and C. H. Unruh (deacon), South Dakota; Abraham Freisen, 
Steinbach, Manitoba. 




CHAPTER XXV. 

NORTHWESTERN CONFERENCE. 

This conference is a child of the Mennonite Conference of 
Ontario, Canada. As in the United States, so in Canada, the 
tide of emigration is rolling westward. Finding it difficult to se- 
cure homes in Ontario, a niimher of our brethren there determined 
to seek cheaper lands farther west. Onward they sped past the 
Russian Mennonite settlement in Manitoba, and finally secured 
what they considered a desirable location in the province of 
Alberta. 

The pioneers in this movement were Elias Bricker and An- 
drew Weber. They were followed by Isaac .Snyder, Amos and 
John Brubaker, Abram Weideman, John Lehman, and others. 
About the same time, a number of families representing the 
Mennonite Brethren in Christ, settled in the same vicinity. A| 
first there were no ministers among them, but they organized 
Sunday schools and Bible readings, and occasionally enjoyed the 
services of visiting ministers. The members of the two churches 
worked together to some extent. 

The brethren were not long in sending out the Macedonian 

cry. While they came here in search of cheaper homes, they 

were not unmindful of the fact that they, their children, and their 

neighbors, needed spiritual food as well, 

The Work of ^"'^ ^^^^ ^" urgent call to their brethren 

S. F. Coffman. in Ontario to make some arrangement 

whereby the bread of life miglit be broken 

to them. The Ontario conference responded by sending S. F. 

Coffman to Alberta with instructions to preach the Word and take 

steps in tlie direction of organizing congregations as he and the 

brotherhood there found advisable. Bro. Coffman went on 

his mission during the summer of 1901, and remained four 

■ months During this time he labored in the vicinity of Carstairs, 



3i8 MENNONTTE CHURCH HISTORY. 



I 



Okatoks, and Mayton. He baptized a nvimber of applicants, or- 
dained the brethren, Israel Shantz and Norman J. Stauif er, to the 
ministry, and organized congregations at three different places. 
Having completed the work he was commissioned to do, he re- 
turned to his post of duty in Ontario, leaving the cause in Al- 
berta in a promising condition, and the brotherhood encouraged 
to press on in the work. 

These congregations being so far removed from tKe congre- 
gations in Ontario, it was felt that a new 
Conference Organ- conference should be organized. Again 

ized 1903. the Ontario brethren came to their assist- 

ance by sending Bishop Elias Weber 
among them, and a conference was organized July 28, 1903. Before 
he left Alberta, Bro. Weber ordained A. S. Bauman to the bishop- 
ric. 

The work in Alberta has prospered from the beginning. 
Though the membership is small, the Lord is adding others to 
their number. In financial matters the brethren seem to be rea- 
sonably prosperous. At the time of tlieir conference, June 10, 
1904, the following congregations were reported : 

1 West Zion In charge of Israel R. Shantz, minister, 

andAmos Weber, deacon. Membership, 41. 
Meeting house built in November, 1901. 

2 Mount View In charge of Norman Stauffer and Isaac 

Miller, ministers, and Abraham Wambold, 
deacon. Membership, 28. Meeting house 
built in the spring of 1902. 

3 Mayton In charge of A. S. Bauman, (the only 

bishop in the district,) and Noah Gerber, 

deacon. Membership, 22. Meeting house 

built in the spring of 1902. 

The brethren are active in keeping up Sunday schools, Bible 

readings, and other forms of religious work. That God may use 

them as instruments in bringing the pure Gospel to the thousands 

of famishing souls in their district, is the earnest prayer of the 

promoters of the conference. 



CPJAPTER XXVI. 
SCHISMS. 

It is not pleasant to write about church divisions. Recog- 
nizing that each event of this kind means the loss of immortal 
souls, we are made to feel the fearful cost of brethren failing "to 
dwell together in unity." 

The !\Iennonite Church is no exception to the general rule. 
A complete record of our history presents some unfortunate 
divisions. We might moralize on what might be accomplished 
if every one bearing the name '"Mennonite" could be enlisted in 
the same organization, thus presenting a solid front to the enemy 
of souls. But it is the purpose of this chapter to present the facts 
of history, and leave the reader to reflect upon what might have 
been. 

It mjay be of interest to examine the causes of these divisions. 
If by looking at past misfortunes, we may be enabled to avoid 
similar calamities in the future, we are well repaid for our efforts. 
Among the most prominent of these causes, we may mention the 
following : 

First, Contention mithin the ranks. Churches seldom di- 
vide on Bible doctrine. Zealous brethren often differ in their 
views, but so long as they are knit together by the "bond of per- 
fectness," they bear with one another. But where strife or con- 
tention enters, love can not long exist. Then the brethren re- 
member that they do not look at things alike; and church doc- 
trine is often, though not always, taken as the pretext for quarrel- 
ing. 

Second, Lust for power and popularity on the part of am- 
bitious men, . The origin of several of the branches that sprung 
from the Mennonites can be traced to this cause. 



320 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

Third, Lack of indoctrination and spiritual life. Lacking 
in these two essentials, some of our people became subject to 
•worldly influences. 



C<;iuses Briefly Stated. 



Fourth, Lack of subordination to God 
and the church. This is an outgrowth of 
the cause just mentioned. The Mennonite 
Church has always stood for a high standard. Unfortunately 
there have been members and bodies of members all along during 
its history who have refused to submit. The result has been 
either compromise with sin (as done in some places), or going 
oft" to other churches or forming independent bodies. 

Fifth, Lack of patience and toleration. It is reasonably 
certain that several of our church divisions might have been 
avoided had there been more forbearance exercised. 

Sixth, A failure to keep up a General Conference repre- 
senting the whole church. Had there been more general con- 
ferences like the one held at Dort in T.632, our church might have 
a different history. Our brethren would have kept in closer 
touch witli one another, the indoctrination would have been 
more uniform, and designing leaders would have been more slow 
to oppose the whole church than a portion of it only. A general 
conference is a powerful factor in promoting and maintaining a 
uniformity of doctrine and sympathy and life and discipline. 

We have already referred to the differences of opinion and 
practice that existed in the days of Menno Simon ; to the contro- 
versy between Jacob Ammon and his brethren, and the subseqiient 
division (1693) and to the different kinds 
of Mennonites now to be found in Europe. 
Divisions in Europe. ^"he purpose of this and succeeding chap- 
ters is to continue the subject as it applies 
to the Mennonites in America. 

When the Revolutionary War broke out (1775) it was a 
question as to what should be the attitude of the Mennonites 
toward both sides involved in the controversy. Some opposed 
paying war taxes. Otlicrs claimed that it was the Christian's duty 



SCHISMS. 321 

to be subject to the higher powers, with- 
out asking questions as to what should be 
A Split on the War done with the taxes. Among those who 
Question (1777). were prominent in the controversy was 

Christian Funk of Franconia. Various 
questions agitated the minds of the brethren until finally, in 1777, 
a division occurred. The schism, sometimes called the "Chris- 
tian Funk schism" lasted for nearly half a century, when the se- 
ceding brethren returned to the church. 

About this time the church in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, 
was considerably exercised through the apostasy of Martin Boehm. 
Boehm had been a minister in the church for some years, when 
he claimed to have received "new light." He spoke with great bold- 
ness, but not always with discretion. Grad- 
ually he drifted out in the direction of 
liberalism. The brethren labored with 
great patience to regain his loyalty; but 
Boehm proved both inconsistent and headstrong, and was finally 
disowned. Uniting with Otterbein of the German Reformed 
Church; he became one of the founders of the United Brethren 
Church.t 

The first independent body of people calling themselves Men- 
monites to secede from the Mennonite Church in America was the 
Herrites, who left the church in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, 
in 181 1. The following church leaders 
were either expelled or disowned, or left 
Subsequent Schisms. the church voluntarily, and became promi- 
nent in the organization of independent 
bodies : Jacob Stauffer (1846), John H. Oberholtzer (1848), John 
Holdeman (1859), Jacob Wisler (1871), Daniel Brenneman 
(1874). A history of these schisms will be given in succeeding 
chapters. 

• See letter prepared by Mennonite ministers of Lancaster, pub- 
lished In "Mennonite Churoli and Her Accusers," by J. F. Punk. 



322 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

'Since 1875 there have been disturbances in a number of con- 
gregations, a few of which have been actually divided ; but noth- 
ing like a general division has taken place. On several occasions, 
when the peace of tlie church was threatened, the brethren re- 
sorted mightily to God in prayer, which has been found to be the 
best preventative. That God njay deliver us from further schisms 
and eventually unite us under the same banner, is the earnest pray- 
er of many a pious heart. 




CHAPTER XXVII. 

REFORMED MENNONITES. (HERiRITBS.) 

The Reformed Mennonites, or "Herrites," as they are usually 
called, had their origin in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, in 1811. 
The organization of this church marked the first permanent divis- 
ion which occurred in the Mennonite Church of America. 

For years there had been a conviction on the part of some of 
the Mennonites that the church was not rigid enough in its dis- 
cipline. They believed that the church should not allow its mem- 
bers to eat with expelled members, and that since Mennonite 
people are "a peculiar people," they should have nothing to do with 
other churches. 

Right here it may be in order to say that the Mennonite 
church holds two doctrines, which, when taken together and kept 
in their proper place, form essential features of a well-rounded 
Christian faith ; but when undue emphasis is placed upon a partisan 
construction of these doctrines, they form the basis for two widely 
separated extremes. The first of these is the doctrine of entire 
separation from the world. This doctrine may be so construed 
and emphasized as to lead to an exclusiA^eness which is both un- 
scriptural and unwise. Several bodies have left the Mennonite 
Church and drifted into this channel. The other is the doctrine of 
salvation by grace through faith. It is easy to look at this doc- 
trine in a light which would minimize the importance of right- 
eousness as manifested by works, and thus lay the foundation for a 
liberalism which would do violence to many plain scripture teach- 
ings. Some Mennonites have unfortunately followed this line. 

Why this church started when it did, has been a matter of 
dispute. It is claimed by the founders of the church that they 
could no longer endure the corruption in the church, and left it 
that they might begin a "Reformed Mennonite Churc'h," gather 



324 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

up the righteous members in the old Mermonite organization, and 
leave the rest to their own fallen course. On the other hand, it is 
charged that Francis Herr, father of John Herr, the founder of 
the new church, had fallen under the censure qJE the church because 
of questionable methods in horse trading. That in the efiEort to 
get matters rectified, a storm was aroused wliich resulted in the 
organization of the church now under consideration. Two things 
can be established from written and printed testimony still avail- 
able. First, there were some at this time who did think the 
church was not strict enough in discipline; secondly, the church 
did have some difficulty with Francis Herr about his horse trade. 
How much tliese facts figured in the organization of the church, 

probably no one living can tell. 

The new band began to hold regular meetings and their 
number steadily increased. The question as to who should be their 
leader was discussed at their private meetings, and their choice 
finally fell on John Herr,* son of Francis 
Organized 1811. Herr. Confessing himself called of God 

to raise the fallen state of the church, he 
set about with great energy to accomplish this result. The -move- 
ment was attended with some success, and within thirty" years from 
its origin, the church had organizations in Lancaster, Montgom- 
ery. Dauphin, Cumberland and Franklin counties, Pennsylvania; 
Richland and Wayne counties, Ohio; Wayne county, Indiana; 
Erie and Livingston counties, New York, and in Canada. 

In faith and practice, they retain most of the doctrines of the 
church they left. They lay great stress upon "the avoidance," re- 
fusing to give social recognition to excommunicated members. 

* John Herr was a descendant of Hans Herr, the first Mennonite 
minister in I.anca.=!tor Co., Fa. AX the time he became the fouiider of 
his new church he was about 30 years of age and had never connected 
with the Mennonite Church, but when the controversies started which 
led to the organization of a new church, he took sides aprainst the Men- 
nonite church and so impressed Iiis personality upon his co-workers that 
he was at once recognized as a leader. Being: chosen to head the now 
movement, he pushed the w^ork with all the vigor which young man- 
hood could muster, and, af a preacher and as a writer, lie proved him- 
self a leader of considerable ability. His charges of (jenerai corruption 
against the Mennonite Church were not in accordance w^ith facts, as 
the writings and testimony of many of the brethren of that day give 
evidence of deep piety, pure life, and consecrated work. 



SCHISMS. 



325 



They consider it wrong to listen to relig- 
Church Doctrines. ious services conducted by people of other 

denominations. In dress they are severely 
plain, but most of them bring up their children in the height of 
fashion. They believe in plain houses, but credit their children 
with unnecessary furnishings in them. In daily life, most of 
them are noted for their uprightness. They claim that no sins 
were forgiven before Christ died on the cross.* 

The fact that their members are taug-ht that this is the only 
true church, and never listen to the doctrines of other denomi- 
nations, has the effect of making all their loyal members, staunch 
defenders of their faith. The care which they exercise in the 
choice of their ministers secures for them an able ministry. These 
facts account for the growth of the church in its early days. But 
all their strictness in discipline, zeal for their faith, ability in the 
ministry, and denunciation of other churches, have not been able to 
counteract the effect ot their allowing the (diildren to grow up 
without being kept under strict discipline. The church is 
hardly holding her own in numbers. 

Their largest congregation is in Lancaster city, where they 
have a membership of about three hundred, and a house of wor- 
ship, fifty- four by ninety-four feet — the largest Mennonite church 
in America. Their second largest congregation is at Landisville, 
Pennsylvania. Beside these, they have ten other congregations in 
Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, and small congregations and scat- 
tered members m several other counties and states. 

• In one of their books, "Christianity Deflned," P. 14, w'e find the 
language: "All mankind must certainly have been in their sins till 
Christ came and satisfied the justice of God. Inasmuch as they ivere in 
their sins, they could not receive the Holy Spirit as p,n indwelling 

power, because He would not dwell in a defiled temple John 

the Baptist with those referred to, were yet under the judg-raent of a 
broken law. and the dominion of sin, beoau.se the blood of Christ was 
not yet shed." 




CHAPTER XXVIII. 

GENERAL CONFERENCE MENNONITES. (NEW SCHOOL.) 

The second schism of importance in the Mennonite Church 
of America, was the Oberholtzer schism, of eastern Pennsyl- 
vania. John H. Oberholtzer* was a minister in the West Swamp 

church, Bucks county, Pennsylvania. 
Oberholtzer Schism, ^^^^ ^j^^^.^^^ ^j^^j^ ^^ ^^ ^^^^^^ ^^^ 

church were lack of system and progres- 
sion. The charges which the church had against him were stuU- 
bornness and dangerous tendencies toward 'worldliness. The re- 
striction in dress which the conference required of its ministers 
did not appeal to him as being necessary, and he refused to sub- 
mit. His plan of adopting a constitution for the conference was 
twice rejected by the conference. It is easier to start a breach 
than it is to heal one. So it happened in this instance ; for when 
Oberholtzer continued steadfast in his demands, and refused to ac- 
cede to the demands of his brethren in conference, the Franconia 
Conference, in 1847, withdrew fellowship from him and his sym- 
pathizers, until they should recant. Instead of recanting, he, with 

• J. H. Oborholtzer was born in Bucks Co., Pa., Jan. 10, 1809. Be- 
gan teaching at sixteen and foUowefl it for fifteen years. Ijearning the 
lock.smith trade, he followed that for a livelihood. In early life ho 
united with the Mennonite Church, and w^as called to the ministry In 
1812. Youn.ar, aggressive, and able, he soon attracted wide attention. 
His strong will, positive character, and attempted reforms brouglit him 
Into conflict with his co-workei-s in conference, wliich resulted in his 
excommunication in 1847. lie and his followers reorganized immedi- 
ately and started to build up a new church. He began the publication 
of his "Eeligioeser Botscbafter" in 1852, and wrote a book In his own 
defense in 1860. He was the moderator of his home conference .almost 
continuously from its organization until 1S72, and presided frequently 
over the earlier sessions of the General Conference. He warmly es- 
poused the cause of Sunday school.i, missions, and education, and his 
personality was felt in all the earlier movements of the church along 
these lines. He was a man of robust constitution, a tireless worker, of 
Indomitable will, and an ardent defender of what he conceived to be 
right. Had he been less impulsive, and more considerate for the wishes 
and judgment of his brethren, his splendid organizing abilities might 
have been spent for the upbuilding of the church of his youth. As it 
was, to him, more than to any one man, is due the credit for the rapid 
growth of- the church to which he devoted the energies of his maturer 
years. He died Feb. 15, 1895. 



SCHISMS. 327 

sixteen other ministers, organized a separate confereiice, Oc±ober 
28. 1847. 

Oberholtzer now pushed his work with great vigor. In 1852 

he began the publication of his paper, the "ReHgioeser Bots- 

chafter." This name was afterwards changed to "Christliches 

^^ , , „ .,. Volksblatt." Though active in promoting 

Eifort at Reconcilia- , . . ,? ... 

^■^g^ . the mterests of his new organization, he 

had not yet given up hopes of reconcili- 
ation. In his paper, he strongly plead for union, and in his 
book, written in i860, in his own defence, he suggested plans 
whereby peace and union could be restored. His plans, however, 
did not meet the approval of the church leaders, who wanted 
to see submission to church discipline as the first requisite for 
reconciliation. It is unfortunate that a reconciliation could not 
have been effected. It was about this time that the question of 
closer fellowship among all the Mennonites of America was ab- 
sorbing the minds of the brotherhood in many places, and had 
the leading spirit in the movement for general unification been 
a minister in full standing in the church, rather than the leader 
of a dissenting body, the history of the Mennonite ' Church in 
America might read quite different from what it does. While 
Oberholtzer manifested a self-will and lack of consideration for 
the judgment of his brethren, some of the things for which he 
contended were right. If his disposition could have been temp- 
ered by the conservatism of his brethren; and they in turn have 
imbibed some of his aggressiveness, the two combined would 
have formed an aggressive conservatism which would have 
proven a power in the development of the church. 

THE MOVEMENT TOWARD A GENERAL CONFEEENCE. 

Meanwhile events were transpiring in other places which 
attracted Oberholtzer's attention. 

In parts of Canada the congregations were small, and some 
of the brethren there felt the need of more aggressive work. The 
most active exponent of this idea was T^aniel Hoch, of nea.' 



328 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

Niagara Falls, who traveled extensively, 
Movement in Canada preaching to and encouraging the smaller 
and Ohio. congregations. He afterward became one 

of the leaders of the organization of the 
General Conference. In 1855 an organization was effected, 
styling itself the "Conference Council of Canada West and Ohio." 
In response to Oberholtzer's editorials on the question of union, 
this conference, in 1857, adopted resolutions favoring the idea 
of holding "a general council of the Mennonites of America." 
There vrcre no immediate results from these resolutions, save 
the manufacture of sentiment in favor of the plan. 

In Lee county, Iowa, there were two small congregations, 
composed of immigrants from South Germany. Among the 
leaders in this colony were the Showalters and Krehbiels — families 
which are still prominent in the councils 
Conference in Iowa, o^ the church. At the suggestion of 
March 21, 1859. Daniel Krehbiel, a conference of the lead- 

ers of these congregations was held in the 
Zion Church, March 21, 1859. This proved to be the beginning 
of a powerful organization. Thoug'h representing a mere hand- 
ful of members, this little meeting had for its leading topic the 
union of all the Mennonites of America, and strong resolutions 
were- adopted looking to this end, and attracted wide attention. 
The plan was discussed through the columns of the "Volksblatt," 
and warmly approved by Oberholtzer, Hoch, and others. 

As a result of these various efforts, the General Conference 
became a reality. The first meeting was held at West Point, Lee 
county, Iowa, May 28 and 29, i860, with J. H. Oberholtzer 
president and Christian Showalter, secre- 
First Meeting of the ^arv. The leading questions discussed 
General Conference, ' , . ■ ■ ^, r n 

Mav 28 29 1850 were education, missions, the union of all 

American Mennonites, and articles of faith. 
This was the beginning of an organization which has ever 
since been extending its sphere of influence. The leaders in the 
organization have shown themselves vigilant, enterprising, and 
aggressive, and the rank and file have largely imbibed the same 
spirit. As a result, many independent congregations, calling 



SCHISMS. 329 

themselves Mennonites, have allied themselves with this confer- 
ence. There is, however, one weakness about their plan 
of union in that they have made the name Mennonite, rather than 
Gospel principles, the basis for their union. H. P. Krehbiel, in an 
ably written history of this conference, says*: "The General 
Conference is not a separate class or division of Mennonites 
which may be distinguis'hed from others by special doctrines or 
customs. It is impossible to class the conference as such a divis- 
ion, because her membership list contains churches which 
differ very much in customs and special views, and which to 
this day retain these differences precisely as they did previous to 
uniting with the conference." Confessing their differences in 
faith, concerning certain ordinances and restrictions, they pro- 
ceed precisely as if these differences did not exist. Moreover, 
instances have occurred where congregations were divided into 
factions, and yet each faction, as a separate congregation, was 
recognized as part of the same conference. Such conditions 
naturally call for the inquiry: If these brethren are not near 
enough one that they may fellowship one another in the same 
congregation, why should they assume to appear one, by working 
together in the same conference? Union is right. Co-operation 
is right. We long to see the day when all people, calling them- 
selves Mennonites, can be united in one body — btit not until they 
can fellowship one another, united upon Gospel principles. 

Another question: What shotild be the attitude of the 
American Mennonite Church toward the General Conference Men- 
nonites? We answer, the most friendly kind. Our prayer is 
that some day there may be union, real union. Our fathers were 
separated under circumstances over which we have no control. 
We are kinsmen, and agree on many points of doctrine. We long 
to see the time, when, after we have measured our relations and 
we see how we stand, that there may be two series of conferences : 
First, conferences between bodies, to see how they may be united 
in faith and practice ; second, conferences within one united body 
to further the interests of the kingdom.. 

• Page 68. 



330 MEN N ON IT E CHURCH HISTORY. 



CHURCH KXTENSION. 

Since the organization of this conference, regular sessions 
have 'been held, and now meets once in three years. New congre- 
gations have been added from time to time. Establishing friendly 
relations with the Mennonites of Europe, they united with them 
in supporting mission work. It was largely because of these 
friendly relations that the Mennonite emigrants from Europe 
united with this conference sooner or later. 

A previous chapter is devoted to European settlements in 
America. Most of those who have emigrated to America, during 
the last half century andjome who were here before, now belong 
to this conference. In Ohio and Indiana are large congregations 
of Swiss Mennonites, numbering among them some of the ablest 
men in the church. The congregation at Bluffton, Ohio, furnishes 
one of the ablest among the evangelists in the person of J. B. 
Baer. Under the oversight of Eld. John Moser, this congregation 
has become a stronghold in the church.* At Berne, Indiana, is 
another strong congregation. Here is found the central publish- 
ing house of the church, supported by stalwart men like S. F. 
Sprunger and I. A. Sommer. In Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, 
the Dakotas and Manitoba, arc large settlements of Russian Men- 
nonites. Through the efforts of Christian Krehbielt and others, 
Uie attention of these people was directed to the General Confer- 
ence, and many of them now co-operate with it. No sooner had 
they established themselves in America than they began to take 
steps to educate their diildren in their native tongue. The col- 
leges at Newton, Kansas, at Gretna, Manitoba, besides a number 
of educational institutions at other places, are the result of this 

• Thi.s congregation has lately been separated Into several congre- 
g-ations through strife and contention 

t Christian Krehblel was born in Bavaria October 18, 1832. Came 
■with his parents to America in 1851. Settled in Lee county, Iowa, where 
he worked on a farm. In 1860 he moved to Summerfield, Illinois, where 
he was called to the ministry in 1866. Conceiving the idea of opening a 
settlement for Mennonites in Kansas, he devoted his entire energies to 
this task, and suoceedetl beyond expectation. He took an active part In 
colonizing Russian immigrants in Kansas, and himself moved there in 
1879. He settled on a homestead near Hialstenrl, where he became pastor 
of a large congregation, and an active force in organizing congrega- 
tions in that part of the Tield. He is active in promoting the various 
interests of the church, and exerts a wide infiuence throughout the 
brotherhood. 



SCHISMS. 331 

movement. Emigrants from Germany, too, helped to swell the 
members'hip of this conference. 

CONFERENCES. 

At the time of the organization of the General Conference, 
there were three conference organizations in existence. These 
were Cybei^holtzer's conference in Eastern Pennsylvania, the 
"Conference Council of the Mennonite Community of Canada 
West and Ohio," and the little organization in Eee county, Iowa. 
Since then there have been a number of changes and additions. 
At present there are five conference organizations, named and 
located as follows : 

I. The eastern conference, organized by J. H. Oberholtzer, 
in 1847, embraces congregations located in eastern Pennsylvania. 
"In 1897, sixteen churches were connected, having a total mem- 
bership of 1,650:"* The aggressive policy of Oberholtzer has 
been kept up ever since. Among the most widely known of the 
leaders at this time are A. B. Shelly, A. S. Shelly, A. M. Fretz, 
J. S. Moyer, and N. B. Grubb. It was here that both the leading 
church periodicals, the "Bundesbote" (German) and "The Men- 
nonite" (English) had their origin. There is an Old Folks' 
Home at Frederick, Montgomery county, founded in 1896, and 
mission work is carried on in Philadelphia, under the leadership 
of N. B. Grubb. 

II. The middle di.strict conference was organized in 
i86p, by a union of the congregations in Lee county, Iowa, and at 
Summerfield, Illinois. It is at present the most populous of the 
conferences holding to the General Conference, and embraces the 
congregations located in Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, and Missouri. The 
"Mennonite Book Concern," of Berne, Indiana, and the "Central 
Mennonite College," of Bluffton, Ohio, are two institutions lo- 
cated within the territory of, and largely supported by this con- 
ference. 

• Kiehblel. i 



332 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

* III. The western district conference^ formerly the 
"Kansas Conference," was reorganized in 1891, so as to include 
congregations outside of Kansas, and at present embraces congre- 
gations in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. This conference is 
noted for its activity in mission and educational work. 

IV. The northern conference, organized at Mountain 
Lake, Minnesota, comprises the congregations in Minnesota and 
thfe Dakotas. Among those present at its organization was J. B. 
Baer, the church missionary, whose efforts did much to make 
this conference possible. This conference has one of its members, 
J. A. Penner, of Moimtain Lake, doing missionary work in India. 

V. The pacific coast conference was organized in 1896, 
at Salem, Oregon, and embraces a number of small congregations 
in the states on the Pacific coast. 

MISSIONS. 

From the oi^anization of the General Conference there has 
been a pronounced sentiment in favor of mission work. At first 
the conference co-operated with the Mennonites of Europe by 

sending contributions to Europe in the in- 
Missions in the terest of the cause. At home, there was 

Indian Territory. some activity in home evangelistic work, 

and as time rolled on this sentiment crys- 
tallized in favor of starting missions in America. The subject 
was discussed at numerous conferences, and finally took definite 
shape in the organization of mission work among the Arapahoe 
Indians. Am.ong those who were most active in this movement 
were Christian Krehbiel, David Goerz,* John Haury, H. R. Voth, 

* David Goerz was a succes.sful young' teacher in Russia, when, in 
1873, he was called to teach In a parochial school at Summerfleld, Illi- 
nois. He did not long remain at this place, however, but cast his lot 
with the emigration movement to Kansas. Here his voice In the council 
of the church was soon regarded with great respect, and is now one 
of the most influential men of the church. A man of great executive 
ability his business sense is frequently made use of in various church 
enterprises. As business manager of IJethol College, he has been a suc- 
cess, and his practical views have done much for the success of mis- 
sion work, both in the Indian Territory and in India. As minister, edu- 
cator and counselor he is still active in the service. 



SCHISMS. 333 

and others The last two, together with a number of co-workers, 
were the missionaries in charge. By 1883 missions had been es- 
tablished at Darlington and Cantonment. The plan was to 
establish schools and educate the Indians in the arts of civiliza- 
tion,as well as to inculcate the principles of Christianity. The 
work was carried on with great vigor for a number of years, and 
received encouragement from government officials. Though at- 
tended with some favorable results, it was not attended with en- 
tire success, and interest, once centered upon this field, has been 
shifted to other fields. The missionaries, however, have won 
the confidence of the Indians ; and the future may yet witness 
great results. 

The great famine in India in 1896-7, during which the Men- 
nonites of America, contributed so liberally to the temporal wants 
of the people of that stricken country, directed their minds to a 
still greater famine there, for want of some one to hand out t'he 
Bread of Life. The Mennonite Evangelizing and Benevolent Board 
followed up the work begun by George Lambert, by sending out 
J. A. Ressler and W. B. Page and wife, who opened up a mission 

at Dhamtari, noticed more fully in another 
India Mission. chapter. This was followed up later on 

by the General Conference Mennonites, 
Who sent David Goerz and J- A. Penner to India, to investigate 
the field and find a suitable place for a mission. After a thorough 
investigation, it was decided to establish a mission at Champa, 
C. P., where J. A. Penner and wife are now at work. They send 
out the usual missionaries' appeal: "Send us means. Send us 
workers." 

EDUCATIONAL. 

One of the first questions agitated after the organization of 
this conference, was to establish a theological school for the train- 
ing of ministers. The idea had for its active champions J. H, 
Oberholtzer, Daniel Hoch, Daniel Krehbiel, Ephraim Hunsberger 
and others among the church leaders. Funds were raised to 
erect a suitable school building, and Wadsworth, Ohio, was se- 
lected as the most suitable site. The building was dedicated in 



334 MEN N ON IT E CHURCH HISTORY. 

1866, amid imposing ceremonies, and much was hoped for the 
future of the school. But it is one thing to plan, and another 
thing to execute. The prime movers of the school, though en- 
thusiastic school men, were inexperienced in this line of work. 
The attendance was not so large as ex- 
pected. The opposition within the church 
Theological School at ^.^g ^^^e pronounced than the friends of 
' " the school had at first realized. The 

teachers could not always agree, and the 
students were not always as orderly as 
they should have been. The debt piled up. Great efforts were 
made by many of the friends of the institution to furnish funds 
sufficient to save it, but many more were disheartened, and the 
school was abandoned in 1878, having been conducted eleven 
years. The school, though itself a failure, did much to shape the 
future policy of the church, inasmuch as many of the students be- 
came the after history-makers of the dliurch, and are now recogr 
nized among her strongest ministers and workers. 

Bethel college, located at Newton, Kansas, was completed 
in 1893, at a cost of about thirty-hve thousand dollars. The idea of 
establishing a German church school having been endorsed by the 
Kansas conference, a school was started 
Bethel College, i" lialstead about the year 1882. The 

Newton, Kansas. pioneer in this enterprise was H. H. 

Ewert, who as principal of the school, saw 
it grow in size and influence, until it developed into a college of 
recognizefl standing. When the question of erecting a suitable 
college building came up, it was found that Newton offered bet- 
ter advantages than Halstead, and was therefore chosen as the 
permanent site for the school. With David Goerz as business 
manager, an able faculty devoted to their calling, a liberal en- 
dowment, and buildings of ample size, the school has thus far been 
considered a success. 

Other schools conducted in the interest of the churdh are a 
normal school at Gretna, Manitoba, founded about 1891 ; the 
Central Mcnnonite College, located at Bluffton, Ohio, founded in 



SCHISMS, 335 

1901 ; and smaller institutions of learning 
Other Schools. in Nebraska, Minnesota, South Dakota, and 

Saskatchewan. In many places, German 
schools are upheld for the purpose of keeping up the language 
within the congregations. 

PUBLISHING INTERESTS. 

The pioneer along this line was j. H. Oberholtzer, whose ef- 
forts in establishing and maintaining a church paper have already 
been noticed. In eastern Pennsylvania and in Kansas there was 
for years, a marked interest in keeping the church supplied with 
literature. As the various publications and publishing interests 
began to conflict, it was seen that a consolidation would best serve 
the interests of the cliurch. Accordingly the matter was taken 
up in conferences, and an agreement reached. Berne, Indiana, 
was chosen as a suitable location, and the"Mennonite Book Con- 
cern"* adopted as the publishing company of the .dhurch. The 
several smaller papers were combined, and now the Bundes Bote 
is the recognized German organ of the church, while "The Men^ 
nonite" performs a similar function in the English language. The 
church carries a full line of Sunday school literature. A number 
of books have been published, among them a "History of the 
Mennonites," by David Goerz, of Newton, Kansas, one on the 
same subject by C. H. A. Van der Smissen, of Summerfield, 111., 
and a more extensive work on the same subject by C. H. Wedel, 
Newton, Kansas, all m the German language, while H. P. Kreh- 
biel is author of a history of the General Conference of Men- 
nonites of North America. 

* This institution was formerly owned and controlled by Joel Welty 
and S. F. Sprunger. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 
THE CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST. 

This church, better known as "Holdemanites," was founded 

in 1859. Its founder was John Holdeman,* who, aibout the year 

18.1)3, was baptized into the Menhonite Church in Wayne county, 

Ohio. Claiming to have a call to preach, he made his first effort 

one Sunday in January, 1858. This was 

in his own house, where for two hours he 

rganize n . preached to a congregation of eleven souls, 

including members of his own family. 

His theme was two-fold : First, He had been called of God ta 

preach ; second. The Mennonite Church had drifted from the "old 

foundation." 

At this time he had no expressed idea of leaving the church. 
His first hope was that the church would recognize his claims, 
and ordain him to the ministry. In this he was disappointed. He 
found in. Abraham Rohrer, the bishop, an overseer who watched 
the interests of his flock and who was not to be moved by the 
claims of individuals unless backed by the best of evidence. He 
next sought another people whose doctrines and sympathies were 
in harmony with his own. With this end in view, he made a trip 
to Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, hoping to find a congenial 

• John Holdeman was born jn Ohio In 1832. Farming was^his life 
work, although he spent much of his time in traveling and writing for 
the cause he espoused. He united with the church at twenty-one, com- 
menced preaching at twenty-flve, and organized a church of his own 
at twenty.seven. He wrote a number of books in defense of his chnreh 
and doctrines. Among his :}Ublications are, "The Old Ground," "History 
of the Church of God," and Spiegel der Wahrhelt." His tireless aeal 
and his boldness In attacking those whose opinions dltCered from his 
own won him the devotion of his followers. His last years were clouded 
In financial disaster, he having spent his fortune in publishing his lit- 
erature, in the "Lichty law suit," and unfortunate business ventures. He 
moved to Jasper oountys' Missouri, in 188S, q,nd thence to MoPherson 
county, Kansas, in 1893, where he died in 1900. 



SCHISMS. 337 

home in t!ie "Staiiffert Church." Here he failed to find a people 
whom he considered on "the old foundation." Returning home, 
he took steps to organize a church of his own. 

In doctrines, these people differ very little from the Mennon- 

ites. Holdeman's expressed reasons for leaving the church were : 

First, Because his claim to being called of God to preach was not 

recognized by the church ; and, second, because the old Mennonite 

Church had become "hopelessly corrupt." 

On this last point he and his followers were 
Chjrch Doctrines. , ,. , ,, ... ^ , 

very emphatic, and the doctrme of shun- 
ning in its extreme literal sense was enforc- 
ed agamst members who had been proven unfaithful. The taking 
of interest in money was pronounced ."usury," and condemned 
in the severest terms. 

Holdeman claimed to be endowed with the spirit of prophecy ; 
but he used this gift too freely for safety, as many of his prophe- 
cies were never fulfilled. 

From the beginning of his labors, he had a small following. 
The church grew slowly but gradually, and before many years, 
had a few members in other states, the largest settlement being in 
Michigan. When the Russian Mennonites settled in America in 
the early seventies, they presented a har- 
vest to those who had left the Mennonite 
Growth of the Church. Church. Tldldeman land his tolaborers 
were among those who used their persua- 
sive powers, with the result that several 
hundred of the Russian Mennonites were brought over to their 
faith. Their congregations in Kansas and Manitoba are still the 
largest congregations in the church, the congregation in Kansas 
(McPherson county), numbering about 300 members. 

t Jacob Stauffer was a minister in Lancaster county Pennsylvania. 
A rnisunderstanding arising, he was expelled about the year 1846. His 
congreg-ation desiring him to continue preaching, he sought the advice 
of his former oolaborers in the ministry. They advised him. to preach if 
his congregation so desired. Taking their advice in part, he commenced 
preaching and started a new church. He was very rigid in his discipline, 
and his followers claim to be the only true church. The church has 
never prospered, and there are now only; three small congregations in 
existence- One in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania; one in Snyder county, 
Pennsylvania, knd one in May City, Iowa. The total membership Is 
probably less than one hundred. 



338 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

In 1903 there were reported from the church the names of 

twenty-seven ministers, distributed among the states as follows: 

Kansas, ten; Manitoba, seven; Michigan, three; Missouri, two; 

Texas, two ; Oregan, one ; North Dakota, 

membership has been variouslv estimated 
Location and Size. o ^i tn 1 j. -r-i 

one; South Dakota, one. Ihe present 

from five to eight hundred. 

The church has always prided itself in its rigid discipline, 
and laid great stress on the claim that in doctrine and discipline 
they are traveling the paths trodden b)'^ Menno Simon and other 
leaders of the Reformation period. Their rigid adherence to the 
doctrine of shunning excommunicated members has been the 
cause of endless trouble, oftentimes making communion impos- 
sible, and sometimes scattering whole congregations. Since the 
death of Holdeman, the church has in places relaxed in 
some of its stringency. Whether the organization, since the death 
of its founder, will wane in power and membership, or retrace its 
steps and be merged into the mother church, or take on a new 
leiise of life and become an active power in the work of rescuing 
the lost, remains for the future historian to record. 



\i ..i. > 



CHAPTER XXX. 

THE WISLER MENNONITES. 

To '•elate in full the causes which led to the organization of 
this church would fill a volume. Urieily told, the story is as fol- 
lows : 

Jacob Wisler was one of the first Mennonite ministers and 

bishops in Indiaiia. He saw the growth of the church there 

from its beginning, and was identified with her history. But all 

the preaching was in German. As time passed on, the necessity 

and demand for English preaching became 

more urgent, and the body of members 
Origin of the Church. , " , . , - , . 

became more and more convmced that this 

want should be supplied. About this time, 
D::,niel Brenneman, a mmister from Ohio, appeared on the field. 
In the eyes of many, he was the man for the place. He was 
orthodox in his views, though inclined to be radical on some ques- 
tions. He could handle both languages excellently. He was 
eloquent, aggressive, a good singer, and full of life. The church 
revived. Crowded houses greeted him wherever he went. His 
services were- demanded frequently at funerals and on other oc- 
casions. 

So far the story runs smoothly, but something happened. Bren- 
neman and Wisler were now both ministers in the same congrega- 
tion-^the Yellow Creek congregation, about ten miles south of 
Elkhart. The difficulty that arose between them is similar to that 

* Jacob Wisler was born in Lanoaster county, Pennsylvania, October 
31, 1808. In early life he moved to Ohio, vi^ere, in 1833, he was called 
to the ministry. In the spring- of ISdS he moved to Elkhart county, In- 
diana, where he became the flrst active Mennonite bishop in the state. 
He was an earnest advocate of the principles of the Mennonite Church, 
and but for the unfortunate circumstances which led to his withdrawal 
might have died in the church which commissioned him to preach. His 
greatest weakness in factional controversies seemed to have been m al- 
lowing himself to be led by men less peaceably inclined than himself, 
and this gave him the trouble In church trials. After the separation ho 
was an honored leader in his own church, and died at an advanced old 
age In XS89. 



340 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

which has existed between many other rival ministers. The friends 
of Wisler charged that Brenneman was vain of his populariti'. 
disrespectful to the bishop (Wisler), overbearing in his disposi- 
tion, and ambitious for place and power. The friends of Brenne- 
man charged that Wisler was envious because of his co-worker's 
superior ability and greater popularity. The fire thus started in- 
creased in intensity, until Jacob Wisler found himself outside of 
'the Mennonite Church, at the head of a small body which claimed 
to be the real church. 

There were numerous efforts made at reconciliation; but as 
the controversy advanced, questions of church policy entered, and 
rendered a settlement more difficult. Sometimes the trouble seem- 
ed settled, only to break out anew. 

Wisler had now determined to stamp out all "new things." 
"The agitation was unduly strained by Daniel Brenneman, who 
ventured out more than the 'Old Order' brethren could bear. 
Their leader, Jacob Wisler, took some radical steps to stop the 
'new movement". He finally took the posi- 
tion that those who brought in 'new things' 
Effort at Reconcilia- ^^^^^ abandon them, or be excommunicat- 
tion and Frnal Schism. , ^^ . ,...,__, 

ed. ine was given a church trial at Yel- 
low Creek by six bishops from Ohio, Indi- 
ana and Illinois, and his eldership taken. A year later, he at- 
tended the Ohio Conference at Leetonia, Ohio, but not finding the 
support he desired, he, with several ministers, withdrew, and call- 
ed a conference at Pre. Beery's home in Medina coUnty, Ohio, a 
few weeks later."* 

But the question had grown beyond personal matters. Wisler 
stood for conservatism, Brennema n for aggression. Without 
calling into question the motives of these bishops, there was a con- 
siderable portion of the church that sympathized with Wisler be- 
cause of the stand he took on church doctrine and policy. For a 
time his sympathizers were known as "Wisler Mennonites," while 
the rest of the brotherhood were called "Funk Mennonites." t 

• M. S. Stelner. 

t The name was derived from J. F. Punk, then editor of the "Herald 
of Truth," and one of the leading ministers in the district, and the 
stand he took in this controversy is what gave rise to the name. 



SCHISMS. 341 

In government statistics, however, the latter were known by 
the simple nam.e Mennonites, and at present it is only occasion- 
ally that the name of "Funk Mennonites" is heard. Wisler's fol- 
lowers were limited to a few fragments of congregations in In- 
diana and Ohio. But the ground-work was laid which served as 
a basis for schisms in other parts of the field. 

Some time after Wisler had been silenced, a Mennonite min- 
ister by the nam^e of Weaver took upon himself the authority of 
restoring him (Wisler), to his place, and he began at once in the 
organization of a new church. 

. The church is decidedly conservative. .\ny change in church 
policy is looked upon as drifting into worldliness. In doctrine 
they maintain the principles held b}"- the Mennonite Church. In 
policy they oppose Sunday schools, evening meetings, continued 

meetings, higher education, and exclude 
Privileges of the ^.s far as possible the English language 

Church. from their preaching. Thoug'h denying 

helps which might be the means of hold- 
ing many of their children, they have a zeal for the cause, and 
most of them lead consistent lives. From the fact that they make 
an especial effort to administer the affairs of their church as 
their fathers did, they call themselves "The Old Mennonites." 

In Canada the cause espoused by Jacob Wisler had some 
sympathizers; but there was no outward division until the year 
1886. Their excuse for leaving the church was that it tolerated 

Sunday schools, evening meeting, English 

preaching, falling-top buggies, and a num- 
"IVIartin" or "Wool- ber of Other things, which they believed to 
wich" Schism in Can- ^^ wrong. They are sometimes known as 
**'^' ^^^°- "Martin People," from the name of their 

leaders at the time of the schism, and 
"Woolwich People," because they are strongest in Woolwich 
township, Waterloo county, Ontario. 

In faith and practice, they are like the Wisler Mennonites of 
Indiana and Ohio, with whom they work in harmony. Their con- 
gregations are located in Waterloo, York and Lincoln counties. 



342 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

Ontario. In 1904 they had three bishops, ten ministers and seven 
congregations. 

In Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, a division occurred in 
1893, which started with a dispute about a pulpit. Bish. Jonas Mar- 
tin liad the oversight of the congregation in "Weaverland." He 
was conservative in his views, and self-willed in his government 
When the proposition to place a pulpit into 
the church came up, he strenuously oppos- 
"Martin" Schism in ed it. Irregularities became apparent, and 
Lancaster county. Pa., ^ committee was appointed to investigate. 
Before this committee could bring in its re- 
port, Martin became alarmed at the 
turn affairs had taken, and hastily withdrew. He, however, made 
certain accusations against the discipline of the church, and gave 
that as the reason for his withdrawal. By planting himself upon a 
platform of conservatism, he was able to hold about one-third 
of his congregation. It is the common conviction among the 
brotherhood that his hasty withdrawal was the result of a fear 
that his office would be taken from him. 

Not long after this schism occurred, a meeting was held be- 
tween the leaders of the "Wisler" and "Martin" factions. It was 
decided that minor points of difference be dropped, and that the 
two work together in harmony. 

Thus there are three bands of conservative brethren number- 
ing altogether about 2,500 members, who have seceded from the 
church at different times, and who are now working in harmony. 
They are, (i) The "Wisler People" of Indiana and Ohio; (2) 
The "Woolwich People," of Ontario, and (3) The Martin Peo- 
ple," of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania.* 

The minutes of the Indiana conference contain several notices 
of an attempt to get the "Wisler People" reconciled to the church, 
but all to no avail. God grant that the time may yet come when 
this schism may be blotted out, and when this and other prefixes 
and suffixes to the name Mennonite shall be known no more. 

* To this should be added a congregatloi) of about one hundred 
members which withdrew from the Mennonite Church of Rockingham 
county, Virginia, in 1901. The next year they were organized by a "Mar- 
tinite" bishop from Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, as a part of that 
church. 



Cf lAPTER XXXI. 

MENNONITE BRETHREN IN CHRIST. 

This church was first organized in T874 under the name, 

"Reformed Mennonites." Daniel Brenneman, * who in company 

with one or two others was a prominent party in the controversy 

which resulted in the Wisler schism in 1871, was the prime mover 

in its organization. His great personal 

_ . . magnetism, together with his power of 

Origin of the Church. 7 r , • , , , 

oratory, won for nmi more honor than he 

was able to bear. The triumph over Wis- 
ler led him to overestimate his influence in the church. When, 
therefore, he launched out in the line of aggressive work, he did 
it with such a bearing that the church failed to sustain him. Find- 
ing much of his popularity gone, a mingled feeling of disappoint- 
ment and disgust together with prospects for trouble if he con- 
tinued, as he had been doing, led him to leave the church and to 
Start one of his own. 

Brenneman at this time was living near Goshen, Indiana. He 
was given a trial by the Indiana conference, and found guilty on 
three charges : 

* Daniel Brenneman was born In Fairfield county, Ohio, June 18, 
1834. He united with the Mennonite Church in 1856, and in the same 
yesir was married to Susanna Keagy. ol' Rockingham county, Virginia, 
.and also ordained to the ministry. . He entered upon his work at once 
with great vigor, and soon , rose to prominence, his services being 
called for far" and near. In March, 1864, he moved to Elkhart county, 
Indiana where his ministry was noted for the intense interest stirred up 
among the people, and for his conflict with Jacob Wisler. The latter 
having withdrawn from the church. Brenneman soon found himself 
again in conflict with other church authorities, and was Anally expelled 
in 1874 Though this ended his connection with the church, his energy 
remained unchanged. A new church was organized, kijown as "Be- 
formed Mennonites." In 187S he established the "Gospel Banner," which 
has since been adopted as the organ of the church.. His life has been 
spent in furthering the interests of the cause he espoused, and his work 
marked with great zeal. At present (1905) he resides at Goshen, Indiana. 



344 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

1. For leaving tlic church and supporting an excommuni- 
cated minister. 

2. For teaching and preaching unscriptural customs. (I Tim. 
2:11, 12; I Cor. 14:3s, 35"). 

3. P'or causing dissensions and working disorderly at home 
and abroad. 

He was silenced on the following conditions : "It is how- 
ever distinctly understood that in this conclusion the conference 
is led by the more solemn convictions of duty, both towards God 
and the church, having no feeding of ill will toward the erring 
brother, but hereby pray and admonish him to return, acknow- 
ledging his error, and labor with us again in the vineyard of the 
Lord ; and that as soon as he shall acknowledge his error, recon- 
cile himself with this and other churches where he has been caus- 
ing offense, we s'hall willingly and heartily welcome him back 
again." Instead of acknowledging his errors and yielding to the 
entreaties of his brethren, he began at once in his work of or- 
ganizing a church of his own. 

It was a sad day, both for himself and for the cause, when he 
took the step. He was a man of commanding presence, forcible 
and eloquent in the pulpit, apt and aggressive in Christian work, 
a champion of church doctrines, and a good mi.Kcr among the peo- 
ple. The church had great need for such men. His excuse for 
leaving the church was that he could not remain in the church 
and be actively engaged in aggressive Christian work. 

He and a number of his sympathizers began at once to build 
up a new church. They manifested great zeal, and in places 
caused great excitement. At first they advocated rigid plainness 
of attire but this in time gave way to more flexible views. Thdr 
views on baptism, too, underwent a change, and as time passed 
on, immersion took the place of pouring as the Bible mode of 
baptism. It was not long until they looked about for union with 
other bodies of like faith and sympathies. 

In 1875, at a special meeting held in Bloomingdale church, 
Waterloo, county, Ontario, the "Reformed Mennonites" of Indi- 
ana united with the "New Mennonites" of Canada, under ttie 
name "United Mennonites." The "'New Mennonites" had severed 



SCHISMS. 345 

their connection from the Mennonite 
United Mennonites. Church on the ground that the church was 
not aggressive enough. 

At a special conference held in Blair, Ontario, in 1879, the 

"Evangelical Mennonites" of -Pennsylvania 

and the "United Mennonites" of Canada 

"Evangelical United and Indiana were merged into one organi- 

Mennor.ites." ^..^^j^^^ ^^^ ^.^^^j^ ^^^ ^^^^ "Evangelical 

United Mennonites." 

At another conference held at Jamton, Ohio, in 1883, the 

"Evangelical United Mennonites" united 

with the "Brethren in Christ" of Ohio, 

"Mennonite Brethren and assumed the name, "Mennonite Breth- 

in Christ." j.gjj jj^ Christ." This is the name which 

the church has borne since that time. 

In doctrine, this church has retained most of the tenets of 
faith held by the Mennonites. They have drifted from the faith 
with reference to attire, though they teach, and to some extent 
practice simplicity. They baptize by immersion, believe Strongly 
in the doctrine of a "second work of 
grace," and are pronounced advocates ^of 
the doctrine of Millennium. They take 
strong ground against war, secret soci- 
eties, life-insurance, and swearing of oaths. They are impul- 
sive and quite noisy in their work and worship, in this respect 
resembling the Free-M ethodist. They have a commendable 
missionary zeal, and are successful in winning converts. Their 
revival meetings are noted for having to work cold members over. 

The church has extended her labors since the beginning. H. 
S. Hallman, of Berlin, Ontario, editor of the "Gospel Banner," 
and secretary of their General Conference, furnishes the following 
statistics : 

"There are at present (1902) ~ five annual conferences — one 
in Canada, one in Michigan, one in Pennsylvania, one in Indiana 
and Ohio, and one in the Western States. 



346 MENNONITB CHURCH HISTORY. 

"There are at present (1902) twelve foreign missionaries 
in the field — two in Soudan, two in Ohili, 
Church Statistics. six in Turkey — and a number ready to 

All Awakening; go this fall or spring. 

'"There are sixty-seven sisters, who 
are mission workers in the different towns and cities. 
"Total membership in 1900, 5,020. 

"The church property consists of twenty-eight parsonages and 
one hundred ten churches ,valued at $128,850. 

"The work is fairly progressive, juiiging from the increase in 
membership during the last conference terrn: also the increase 
of church property; the last term of four years showing an in- 
crease of 1,151 in mem.bership, and $16,467, in church property. 
"Publications, 'Gospel Banner' (Weekly) 16 pp. 

" 'Youth's Banner' (Semi-Weekly) 4 pp. 
" 'Missionary' (Weekly) 4 pp." 




CHAPTER XXXII. , 
MISSIONS. 

In preceding' chapters we called attention to the active work 
of the church during: and after the days of Menno Simon. It is 
the purpose of this chapter to tell of more recent missionary ef- 
forts. 

For several centuries the missionary spirit among the brother- 
h®od lay comparatively dormant. The period of fiery persecution 
and aggressive Christian work was succeeded by an era of peace. 
People turned their attention to the natural pursuits ©f life, and 
the work of the church was gradually narrowed down to work 
among members and their children. 

It must not be understood, however, that the chitrch was 
wholly inactive during this time. The self-sacrificing efforts of 
many of our fathers may well be emulated by people of the pres- 
ent generation. In the e^rly days of the history of the church in 
America, it was no uncommon thing to see a preacher ride from 
fifty to dne hundred miles across mountains and streams and 
through wilderness and storms, without asking remuneration for 
expenses or time, that he might break the bread of life to hunger- 
ing souls. But the niembership as a rule did not enter into the spirit 
of aggressive Christian work, and the church as a body failed to 
grasp the importance of the Great Commission to go into all the 
world and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19, 20; Mark 
16:14; Luke 24:46, 47: Acts 1:8). Moreover, there were too 
many ministers who frowned upon missionary work as a danger- 
ous experiment that might lead to worldliness. 

But finally a change took place. The thoyght of millions in 
liealhendom going down to Christless graves without having 
heard the power of Christ to save ; the sight of many thousands in 
our own cities and country whose ignorance of God equalled that 



348 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

of the benighted heathen ; the idea of a so- 
An Awakening; called Christian nation wasting foolishly 

^^"^^®- many times more money than is spent 

in the promotion of God's kingdom on earth^ — the^e were things 
which stirred the hearts of many of our people. Turning to the 
Word, there was the command to go — preach — the — gospel — 
TO ALL NATIONS. How could wc facc a loving Father, claiming 
to have done all in our power, without having rwade an effort to 
keep this commandment? 

Such thoughts as these brought about a great awakening. It 
moved our people to go out into the mountains of Virginia, Penn- 
sylvania, and Maryland, and carry the Gospel to the people there. 
It .moved many of our pious ministers to visit among the congre- 
gations for the encouragement of the broth- 
er hood. It was a means of inspiring 

our people, as thev settled in new corn- 
Results. 

miinities, to set up places of worship im-, 

mediately, and to invite the neighbors in. 
It gave birth to the evangelistic wave which so wonderfully 
strengthened the cause, and called into existence the Mennonite 
Evangelizing and Benevolent Board now located at Elkhart, 
Indiana. It was the beginning of the present mission work of the 
church. 

With the revival of the missionary spirit there came the con- 
viction that mission stations should be established in our cities. 
The idea met with some opposition by some, because they wer« 
afraid of the experiment ; by others, because it meant expense ; by 
others, because it was "something new ;'" by others, because they 
did not believe the simplicity of the Gospel could be main- 
tained in the city ; and by still others, because they were opposed 
to the whole idea nf mission work. Still the Great Commission 
stared us in the face, and some of our brethren were moved to 
action. 



MISSIONS. 349 



THE CtriCAGO HOME MISSION. 

In 1892 a notable Sunday school conference was held near 
Middlebur)', Indiana. It was the first meeting of the kind 'held by 
our people in the United States, a Ithough the brethren in Canada 
had held such conferences prior to that 
time. This meeting proved to be spirit- 
ually uplifting, and sent a thrill of loyalty 
S. S. Conference near and spiritual fervor through the young 
Middleburg, Ind., 1892. people of our church. The idea of estab- 
lishing a mission in Chicago, met with 
much favor. The ^pioneer in this move- 
ment was M. .S. Steiner, who became 
t^c first minister there.* Among the most active supporters of 
the mission during its early days were J. S. Coffman, D. J. Jc>hn3, 
J. P. Schmucker, Noah Metzler and D. D. Miller, of Indiana, C. 
B. Brenneman ofOhio, Aaron Loucks of Pennsylvania and others. 
The place selected as a site was 145 West 18 St., Chicago. The first 
workers were M. S. Steiner, Supt. ; S. D. Ebersole, Secy, and 
Treas. ; C. C. Geiger, D. R. Good, W. B. Page, and, later on, 
Mary Denlinger, Melinda Ebersole, E. J. Berkey, S. F. Coffman, 
A. I. Yoder, Alice Thut, Mary Rhodes, 'A. D. Wenger, and 
others. 

This work was the beginning of real mission work in the 
church. It prospered for a while, but there were dark days 
ahead. People expected immediate results in conversions, but 
were disappointed. The expenses were greater than the first esti- 
mates, and after the first flush of generos- 
ity was over, the funds ran low. Bro. 
A Period of Steiner was called to Canton, Ohio, to take 

Discouragement. charge of a little congregation there. 

Eriends of the mission became discour- 
aged, and finally in March, 1S96, the mission was declared closed. 
In these dark days, the courage of E. J. Berkey, Mary Den- 
linger, and Melinda Ebersole stand out in bold relief. They 



at 



• -Rrother Steiner wa.-; appointed to superintend the work at Chicag-o, 
a Sunday school conference held near ElufCton, Ohio, September, 1893. 



350 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

could not bear to r-ee the worlc so nobly begun, close in this way. 
While the mission was declared closed, they did not cease their 
labors. At tlieir own expense, they carried on the work as best 
they could. They did not have to struggle in this way long, how- 
ever; for some friends returned to their assistance, and another 
mission station was opened at i68 W. i8th St., to be conducted 
under the auspices of the Mennonite Evangelizing and Bene- 
volent Board. Where are these missionaries now, do you ask? Bro. 
Berkey is a faithful minister in East Virginia, and the other two 
are still in mission work. They were tried in the fire and were 
found true to their Master. 

Among those who came to the mission soon after it reopened 
were A. H. Leaman, now Superintendent of the Mission; S. F. 
Coffman, now a faithful minister in Canada, and Amanda' Eby, 
now the wife of A. H. Leaman. 

The work was carried on at i68 W. i8th St. tintil 1900, when 
the M. E. and B. B. purchased a building at 145 W. i8th St. — the 
same building in which the mission was first started. Conver- 
sions have taken place from time to time, some of whom remain- 
ed while others found homes within the 

congregations in the country. In 1002 a 
Ai-. Era of Growth. ,. • j ^ ,1 ■ 

congregation was organized at the mis- 
sion by J. S. Shoemaker, and the congre- 
gation is now a part of the Illinois conference, which, conjointly 
with the M. E. and B. B., is responsible for the management of the 
mission. 

Among those who have been ordained to the ministry at this 
mission are S. F. Coffman, A.H. Leaman, I. W. Royer and G. J. 
Lapp. The congregation in 1905 had a membership of 32. The 
present workers ( 1905) are A. H. Leaman and wife, I. W. Royer 
Amos Eash,, Melinda Ebersole. 

WELSH. M0!;NTATN I.N'DUSTP.TAI. MIS.SION. 

This is one of the results of the Quarterly Mission Meeting 
held for a number of years in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. 
A number of brethren, becoming interested in the work in neglect- 
ed fields in the county, set about to do mere aggressive work. They 



MISSIONS. 351 

organized a number of mission Sunday 
schools, and held meetings quarterly to 
Quarterly Mission discuss ways and means of carrying on the 

Meeting. work. Success has crowned their efforts. 

Large crowds, intense interest, liberal con- 
tributions, rapidly expanding work — these are some of the fea- 
tures of these meetings. Connected with this Meeting are Isaac 
Eby, bishop in the district; John Mellinger, Supt. of the Meet- 
ings ; Noah H. Mack, Supt. of the Industrial Mission ; Amos A. 
Ressler, Treasurer; Isaac E. Hershey, Samuel Musselman, and 
a number of other stalwart workers. The Meeting exercises an 
ovcfsigh.t over the Mission Sunday schools of the district, also 
over the Philadelphia Mission and Welsh Mountain Mission. 

The last named institution is situated on the top of Welsh 
Mountain, formerly noted as a hiding place for worthless classes, 
who made their midnight raids upon the prosperous plantations 
in the valley, or sent out begging expeditions during the day. 
Their appearance before the courts was quite frequent, and peo- 
ple generally considered them a nuisance. 

Some of the brethren conceived the idea that to hold up the 
hope of saJvation and pro.spect for earning a living respectably 
would be more conducive to good citizenship than a sense of deg- 
radation and dread of punishment at the hands of the law. Ac- 
cordingly, they organized for the purpose 
of establishing an industrial mission. The 
Industrial Mission effort was successful beyond expectation. 

Started 1898. Noah H. Mack, tlie superintendent, has 

proven himself in every way worthy of the 
place, and the faithfulness manifested by himself, his assistants, 
and a number of prayerful, earnest brethren who are supporting 
the cause, is evidence that the spirit of God is in the work. 

The people were given an opportunity to work, and paid for 
their labor in dry goods, groceries, or exchange checks. Begging 
and thieving was almost entirely stopped, and industry and 



352 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

honesty took their place. Fields were cleared, and plant- 
ed in growing crops. A store was started 
to distribute supplies, and in 1899 a shirt 
factory, was erected. More land was pur- 
chased, dwellings put up, and three large 
carpet looms were started. The work has prospered and expanded 
from the beginning, but the mission is not yet self-sustaining. 
The Gospel is preached, and a flourishing Sunday school is another 
evidence of what may be done among the poor in neglected dis- 
tricts when money, workers and consecration are combined. 

PHILADELPHIA MISSION. 

This mission was established in 1899, the first sermon being 
preached there in July of this year. The object of this mission 
was two-fold : First, to provide a church home for our mem- 
bers already in the city : second, to bring the Gospel to neglect- 
ed children of the city. Sisters Mary Denlinger and Amanda 
Musselman, who had done faithful work in Chicago, were trans- 
ferred to this mission, and have since remained at their post of 
duty. The work is carried on under the auspices of the Quarterly 
Mission Meeting held in I .ancaster county, Pennsylvania. The ap- 
pointments are filled by ministers from Lancaster, Bucks, Mont- 
gomery and Berks counties. From the beginning the mission has 
been an active force for good, and promises to fulfill the object 
of its organization. The present workers (1905) are Mary Den- 
linger and Amanda Musselman, with Joseph Bechtel, as superin- 
tendent of the Sunday school. The Sunday school started with 
14 scholars and 4 visitors, and now numbers over 100 sdiolars 
and II teachers. 

OTHER MISSION STATIONS. 

For several years it was evident that a mission could profitably 

be conducted at Ft. Wayne, Indiana. This field has for years 

been in charge of the ministering brethren 

from Ohio. The Barnabas of this mission 

Ft. Wayne Mission was M. S. Steiner, who in the spring of 

Organized, 1903. ^^^, ^^.^^^ ^^ Chicago and brought back 

with him J. F. Bressler, who has since been 



MISSIONS. 353 

superintendent of the mission. Bro. Bressler has labored with 
great ■ faithfulness and the mission promises to be a success. 
There is now a membership of fifteen at this place. The present 
workers are J. F. Bressler and wife, B. F. King, and Malinda 
Mann. 

In May, 1904, both the Ohio conferences took action with 
reference to establishing a mission at Canton, Ohio. A joint com- 
mittee was appointed, and the work is to be 
Proposed Mission at carried on as means and workers are 
Canton, Ohio. ^^^^^^^ j^^ present workers are J. A. 

Lichty, Supt. ; Anna V. Yoder, Henry 
Smith,, and Eva Yoder. 

Thus the mission work has been gradually extended. Num- 
erous fields, home and foreign, are spoken of as inviting work of 
this kind. Time will tell how many of these fields will be opened. 
Of the work among the mountains of West Virginia, mention 
was made in the. chapter on the history of the Virginia confer- 
encci At its Annual Meeting in 1904, the Mennonite Board of 
Charitable Homes offered to come to the assistance of the Virginia 
brethren in their great work of sacrifice and love. 

INDIA MISSIONS. 

Meanwhile the mission wave was carried -beyond the bord- 
ers of our home-land. When the terrible famine of 1896-7 raged 
in India, the "hearts of our people responded in sympathy with 
the 'thousands of dying people in that stricken country. At Elk- 
hart, Indiana, a number of the brethren or- 
ganized what they called "The Home and 
Hon^e and Foreign Foreign ReHef Commission." This was 

Relief Commission supported by the various branches of Men- 

rganize . nonites. George Eambert, who had pre- 

viously made a tour around the globe., and 
who was m.ore or less familiar with conditions in India, was ap- 
pointed to accompany a ship-load of provisions for distribution 
in India. Remaining during the famine period, Bro. Lambert 
returned to America. Visiting the various congregations in 
America, he told of the terrible physical suffering that he witness- 



MISSIONS. 355 

r 
ed, and very fervently presented the more urgent need of break- 
ing to the viying hpathen the bread of eternal life. 

Other brethren lifted their voices in the same cause. Our 
people had been generous in contributing to the sustenance of the 
natural body. Why should we withhold the more necessary food 
for the soul? Sentiment was rapidly developing in favor of im- 
mediiite mission work in India. I^'Toney was contributed for this 
purpose. Volunteers appeared for the service. What was now 
needed was for the church to lav hands upon brethren and send 
thein forth to the work. 

At a mission meeting held in Elkhart, Indiana, in November, 
1898, there were fifteen bishops present. The spirit of God was 
plainly manifested in directing the course of the meeting. By 
unanimous impulse it was agreed that missionaries should be then 
aiid there appointed. Before these bishops 
came a number of brethren who had vol- 
J. A. Ressler and W. vmteered their services in case it was God's 
B. Page, First Menno- ^jn ^^^^^ jj^gy should go. It was a time 

iTcMa'^'^^'''"^'"'^^ *° of heart-searching prayer and fearful re- 
sponsibility. But the issue was not left in 
doubt. As the act of one man these bish- 
ops laid their hands upon J. A. Ressler to lead in the work, while 
W. B. Page was designated to assist.. The Holy Ghost said, 
' "Separate unto me J. A. Ressler and W. B. Page unto the work 
whereunto I have appointed them." The brethren visited congre- 
gations throug'hout the United States and Canada, and on the fol- 
lowing January set sail for India. After spending some months 
in studying their proposed field and work, they decided to open 
a mission at Dhamtari, C. P., as the most suitable place. This was 
done, when, on Nov. 22, 1890, a mission .station was opened at 
Sunderganj Station, near Dhamtari. 

The new mission started under favorable circumstances, 
though not without great hardships. At the beginning of their 
labors, the m.issionaries were encouraged by the assistance of A. 
D. Weneer, --A^ho was then making a tour around the globe, and 



356 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

who remained at the mission station for 
several months . The generous response 
Sunderganj Station, of the American MennoAites to the needs 
Dhamtari, India. of the starving poor of India, won the un- 

bounded confidence of the natives. But 
scarcely had the work begun before anoth- 
er terrible famine and plague visited the country. Amid great 
courage and suffering did our missionaries set to work to face 
the situation. The svipposed calamity proved to be God's oppor- 
tunity of impressing the simple and misguided natives with the 
reality of the Christian religion. The one sad feature connected 
with this phase of the history of the mission is the fact that-Bro. 
Page and wife were compelled to return to America on account" 
of failing health. 

Bro. Sessler was left alone for a few months when Jacob 
Burkhard and wife joined him in 1900. The next year Mahlon 
Lapp and wife arrived at the mission, and they were followed a 
year later by Irvin Detwiler and wife.'" The latest addition to 
the force of workers there was Lina Zook, now the wife of J. A. 
Ressler, and Anna Stalter and L\'dia Shertz, who followed a year 
later, and ]. N. Kaufman vi/ho sailed for India March 4th, 1905. 
The missionaries are very active, and the work has grown 
rapidly from the beginning. Another 
I station was opened at Rudri in 1902. Sev- 

Rudri Station, eral hundred orphans are cared for at the 

Opened 1902. j^^,^. stations, the one at Sunderganj 

being now exclusively for boys, while that 
at Rudri is set apart for girls. Besides, there is also a leper asy- 
luni stationed at Dhamtari, partly sup- 
ported by the Edinburg mission to lepers 
Number of IVlembers in India and the East, but in charge of our 
in 1904, over 400. missionaries. The hospital work is taken 

care of by Brother and Sister Lapp. At a 
communion service held in December, 1904, over four hundred 
members communed. 

• Brother and Sister Detwiler liave been obliged to return to 
America on account of Sister Detwller's health. 



MISSIONS. 357 

This is the beginning of modern foreign mission work by 
our people. That it may be the beginning of a work that will 
bring light and life to many hearts and homes among many nations 
is the unceasing prayer of many who have a desire to aid in the 
works of bringing the Gospel to all nations. 

KAN.SAS CITY MISSION. 

In the year 1904 the ]N'Jissouri-Iowa and Kansas-Nebraska 
conferences took action looking to the establishing of a mission m 
Kansas City. Within eight months a building was purchased in 
Kansas City, Kansas, and a mission started with John F. Brunk 
superintendent, assisted by four inission workers. 




CHAPTER XXXIII. 

MENN'ONITES AND EDUCATION. 

Although the Mennonites are supposed by many to oppose en- 
lightenment and put a premium on' ignorance, this view is far 
from being correct. WhereA'er there is a settlement of Mennon- 
ites, two things are provided for the benefit of their children: (i) 
Church services for religious instruction; (2) day-schools for 
instructions in the rudiments of education. Forty years before 
Robert Raikes started his noted Sunday School movement, the 
Mennonites had a school near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where 
their children received instruction in the 
"three R's," during the week, and in the 
Attitude Towards Word of God on Sunday. Menno Simon 

Education. ^^^ ^^ educated ex-Catholic priest, and 

lians Denck was one of the most learned 
men of his time. Contemporary with them were Hubmeier, Mantz, 
Blaurock, Reublin, and others noted for their scholarly attainrhents 
and spiritual power. Preceding chapters have alread}' dwelt upon 
the Mennonite schools of Europe, as well as schools in America 
built and controlled by progressive bodies of Mennonites. It 
now remains to be told what has been done and is being done by 
members of the main body of American Mennonites. 

It is true that many of our people are opposed to higher edu- 
cation. There is a reason for this. Some of our young people 
having acquired a liberal education, were, as a consequence puffed 
up with pride, and became valueless to the church, whether they 
retained their membership or not. Others 
were so completely educated away from 
Why Some Men- the faith that they became avowed skeptics. 

nonites Oppose Edu- Recognizing that a humble common man 
***'""" is worth more to the cause than a high- 

minded, intellectual giant, many of our 



MENNONl'TES AND EDUCATION. 359 

most thoughtful people have taken a decided stand against higher 
education. But whatever objections are urged against higher edu- 
cation, are not held against knowledge of the common branches. 
Nearly all Mennonites favor instruction in the common brandies, 
while many of them, recognizing the power which a finished 
education conferred upon such brethren as Paul, Denck, Hub- 
mcier. Dock, and others, have earnestly advocated a more extended 
education among our young people. 

For many years it was evident to some of the leading work- 
ers, that if the church would hold the young people of Mennonite 
parentage, some provisions must be made for higher education. 
Many went away to other schools and came home tainted with 
infidelity or Darwinism. Many others going to denominational 
schools became members of those denominations. One of the 
most ardent advocates of a church school was J. S. Cdffman, the 
noted Mennonite evangelist. His tongue and pen were used in 
urging the cause. Several meetings were called in the Reception 
R-xim of the Mennonite Publishing Company, at IClkhart, In- 
diana. J. S. Coiifman, J. F. and A. K. Funk, C. K. Hostetler, A. 
B. and A. C. Kclb, PI. A. Mumaw, Herman Yoder, F. W. Brunk, 
and J. S. Hartzier were present. All saw the^ advisability of a 
church school but thought that the large body of the church was 
not ready to nave a school controlled by conference. After some 

• Christopher Dock emigratea from Germany to Pennsylvania about 
the year 1714. Teaching: was his life-work. For ten years he taught 
school at Skippack, and then tried farming a while. Keturningr to the 
schoolroom, he opened schools at Skippack and at Salford. He taught 
the first place the first three days of the week,, and at the latter place 
the last three days, the two schools being about twenty miles apart. 
In character, lie was humble, peaceful, zealous and pure. In discipline 
he was mild and firm. In methods of teaching, he was thorough and 
practical. 

"Dock was a very modest man, and his peaceful community, com- 
posed of Mennonites, Dunkards and Quakers, were not given to adver- 
tising nevertheless his fame as a teacher spread, and Chr. Sauer, the 
Germantown publisher, induced him, through Dielman Kolb, a mutual 
friend to write a book ^describing his methods of teaching and school 
management. This work was formally published in 1770, with a long 
title and was generally known as 'Die Schulordnung.' It was the first 
Ame'rlcan work on the art of teaching, and gives us the only picture wo 
have of the colonial countr.v school. He also wrote a book containing 
'A Hundred Rules of Conduct,' the earliest work on manners and eti- 
quette published in this country. Date one evening in the year 1771, ho 
was found in his schoolroom, on his knees, dead, having been called 
awav while communing with his Maker, and prayinpr for strength and 
fnsriiration for the morrow's work, according to his daily custom.'— 
NslSingerich in "Herald of Truth," February 15, 1900. 



36o MEN HON IT E CHURCH HISTORY. 

encouragfement, H. A. Mumaw, a practicing physician, of Elk- 
hart, decided to open a pri^'ate school. 

This was done in the fall of T894. On the i6th of May, 1895,^ 
an association of brethren was organized to found a church school 
and steps were taken to raise funds to erect a building. 

In 1898 the association was incorporated under the laws of 

the State of Indiana as the Elkhart Insti- 
Eikhart Institute tute Association and the school placed un- 

Founded. der the control of nine directors. Grad- 

ually the school grew in the estimation of 
the people, became more liberally patronized, and assumed more 
and more the form of a denominational school. For years the 
faculty has been confined almost exclusively to members of the 
Mennonite Church, and Church Doctrine is one of the leading feat- 
ures of religious instruction. 

The first officers of the Association were H. A. Mumaw, 
President: J. S. Hartzler, Vice President; A. C. Kolb, Secretary; 
and Herman Yoder, Treasurer. The second vear T. S. Coffman 
was elected president and H. A. Mumaw secretary. The latter 
soon after resigned and J. S. Hartzler was appointed to fill the 
vacancy and still continues to hold that office, and is also prin- 
cipal of the Bible Department of the school. To his efforts largely 

are due the high moral and spiritual tone 

of the institution. ■'Bro. Coffman, as pres- 
Leading Men Connect- ident of the Board of Directors, worked 
ed with Elkliart In- ^^^^ untiring zeal in behalf of the institu- 
stitute. .,.,,. 

tion, until m 1899, his death put an end to 

his labors. He was succeeded in his po- 
sition by John Blosser, of Rawson, Ohio, who has since filled the 
place. In 1898 N. E. Byers became principal of the school, and 
has since filled that position. Bro. Byers is thoroughly educated 
and a thorough educator, and has done much to place the in- 
stitution upon a plane where it is recognized as one of the leading 
educational institutions in its district. 

Hardly had the Elkhart Institute been built before it was 
realized that the school needed but little growth- until its quarters 
would be too small to meet the demands of the school. At various 



362 MENNONJTE CHURCH HISTORY. 



times there was a looking about for more 
comfortable quarters; but no definite ac- 
Elkhart Institute Be- tion was taken until 1902, when a com- 
comes Goshen College, mjttee was appointed to inquire into the ad- 
visability of looking up another location. 
After much investigation and correspondr 
ence, it was decided to accept an offer from the City of Goshen, 
Indiana, to donate $10,000 to the institution in case the school 
should be moved to Goshen. During the summer of 1903, large 
buildings were erected upon a site chosen just south of the city 
hmits of Goshen. The school was opened in the rooms of the 
ladies' dormitory, September 29th, 1903, and the main college 
building dedicated Jantiary 8, 1904. 

The total enrollment for the year 1903-4 was 210, among 
Whom were twelve graduates of the full six years' course. 

We can only guess as to what will be the future education 
among the Mennonite people. Those who are vested with author^ 
ity along these lines, are laboring under a weighty responsibility. 
The students sent out from Goshen College, through the inr 
fluence of their lives, have the power to make the cause of educaf 
tion popular or otherwise among our people. 




CHAPTER XXXTV. 

MENNONITE GENERAL CONFERENCE. 

"In a multitude of counsellors there is safety." This state- 
ment is as true today as it was the day it found its way into the 
Inspired Volume. It wa.% because of this that many of our pious 
brethren in the past have wished that a 
Early Efforts for a General Conference might be established. 

General Conference. In the early sixties, Bishop Martin Burk- 
holder, of Virginia, started on a trip to 
Canada in the interest of organizing one. He got as far as 
Pennsylvania, and being convinced that the time had not arrived, 
returned to his home. The "'Herald of Truth," even from its in- 
fancy, had been an earnest advocate of a General Conference, 
and a number of its ablest contributors continued from time to 
time to point out the great necessity for an organization of this 
kind. Later on several conferences passed resolutions favoring the 
same. 

The reasons set forth in favor of a General Conference were 
as follows : 

First. The conferences held at Jerusalem (Acts 15), Dort 
(1632), and other places, had proven themselves to be a means 
of strength and unity for the brotherhood. 

Second. It would bring the brethren from 
Arguments in Favor different fields into closer contact with 
of a General Confer- g^^-jj other and cultivate a warmer sjmipa- 
*"'^®" thy and better understanding among them 

with reference to the needs and possibilities of the work in differ- 
ent places. 

Third. It would result in more uniform doctrine and dis- 
cipline. 



364 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

Fourth. It would multiply the power of the church for good. 
as "in union there is strength." 

Fifth. It would lessen the danger of further schisms, for 
two reasons : First, because it would foster greater sympathy 
and love ; second, because ambitious men are not so liable to 
defy a whole church when well organized, as they are to defy a 
congregation or district conference, when they have hopes that 
possibly the church in other fields may take up their cause. 

Sixth. On questions of a general nature which affect the 
church in general, there ought to be a general body to take charge 
and give direction. 

In the spring of 1894., a circular letter was sent out from the 

Mennonite Publishing Company to the ministers and some other 

workers in the church, asking their opinions concerning the ad- . 

visability of holding a General Conference. 

Numerous re.sponses were given, nearly 
Committee Meetings. ,, . , . . ,,,-,,,• 

all m favor. A few months after this, a 

series of resolutions was passed through 
the Missouri conference. It was there proposed that each of our 
conferences appoint one brother to represent it on a committee to 
consider the advisability of holding a General Conference. In 
May, 1896, there was a meeting held in the Mennonite M. H., 
near Washington, Illinois, by the members of the committee al- 
ready appointed. There were present, representatives from the 
following conferences : 

Kansas-Nebraska — Albrecht Schilfler. 

Illinois — Emanuel Hartman. 

Indiana (Spring) — D. J. Johns. 

Southwestern Pennsylvania — J. N. Durr. 

Missouri — Daniel Kauffman. 

There were also several visitors present, among whom were 
J. S. Coffm.an, of Elkhart, Indiana, and John Smith, of Metamora, 
Illinois. 

After a prayerful consideration, an address was issued to 
the Mennonite Church, calling attention to the subject, and a call 
for another meeting of the committee to meet in Elkhart, Indiana, 
in November of the same year. 



MENNONITE GENERAL CONFERENCE. 365 

At this second meeting there were present, besides the com- 
mittee already named, representatives from the following confer- 
ences : 

Western District — John Smith, Joseph Schlegel. 

Nebraska (German) — Heinrich Fast. 

Indiana (Fall) — David Burkholder. 

Canada — Noah Staxififer. 

Ohio — C. B. Brenneman. 

The result of this meeting was another address to the church 
and a call for a preliminary General Conference meeting. 

Once the movement for a General Conference had taken def- 
inite shape, it developed, that there was some opposition to it. 
While the idea of a General Conference is nearly as old as the 
church, for the Mennonite Church of America, it was something 
nev/, and some of our leading members feared the result. The op- 
position was most pronounced in the East, although many in that 
section were favorable to it. As yet none of the conferences east 
of the Allegheny Mountains have given it official sanction. A few 
are opposed, while others are waiting to see what will come out 
of it. 

It was argued by some that it was something new. 

To this the reply was made that nothing 
Objections and Their "^^^ necessarily wrong because it was new. 
Answers. and even if it is something new now, there 

were General Conferences held in our 
church centuries ago. .Some advanced the idea that while a 
General Conference would have been helpful at one time, that 
that time was now past. The response to this was that if there 
is any ground for tliis claim, it is high time that we get together 
and see where we stand. 

One objection was the fear that the General Conference might 
usurp authority and interfere with the work of the local con- 
ferences. 

To clear up this impression, it was expressly stated by the 
General Conference, that it shall confine itself to questions of a 
general nature,, affecting the interests of the general church. That 
it shall not interfere with the affairs of a local conference on anv 



366 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

question unless asked to do so by the local conference itself. It 
is the general sentiment of the advocates of the General Confer- 
ence, however, that in case any conference should drift from the 
faith, it should be disowned by the General Conference. 

There was one objection which came from without our or- 
ganization. It was this: Since there is already in existence an 
organization known as "The General Conference of Mennonites 
of North America," why could we not 
Why Another General work in that body instead of organizing 
Conference of Menno- another? To this question the reply was 
nites was not Recog- made that before any real conference could 
"'^^''■' be held, there must be a basis for confer- 

ence. Some of the prime movers in the 
organization of that conference, notably, J. H. Oberholtzer, had 
refused to submit to the discipline of the Mennonite Church. Be- 
fore there can be a real union in conference, as is usually under- 
stood by a church conference, it is necessary to hold a conference 
looking to reconciliation. As further reason against taking such 
a course, it was pointed out that those who participated in that 
a)nference are not of one accord in faith, and not always in 
peace. There are several instances on record where congregations 
were torn asunder by strife, but still the fragments thereof all 
subscribe allegiance to this General Conference. In view of these 
facts, it was thought best, and the only proper thing to do, to or- 
ganize a General Conference within the organization that traces 
its lineage back through Germantown, to the Anabaptists, and 
as some suppose, through the Waldenses, back to the apostles, 
and on this basis .seek reconciliation with all who agree with us in 
faith and practice. "Fondly do we hope and fervently do we pray" 
that the time may come, when there will be but one Mennonite 
organization in America. 

According to previous arrangements, the preliminary meeting 
was held in the Pike Meeting House, Allen county, Ohio, in Nov- 
ember, 1897, and continued in session two days. J. N. Durr, of 



MENNONITE GENERAL CONFERENCE. 367 

Martinsburjy, Pennsylvania, was elected 
Preliminary General moderator, and D. H, Bender, of Tub, 
Conference Meeting Pennsylvania, and J. S. llartzler, of Elk- 
^' ■ hart, Indiana, were elected secretaries. 

Emanuel Hartman of Washington, Illinois, 
and Daniel Gra'ber, of Noble, Iowa, were added to the list as Ger- 
man secretaries. All the conferences west of the Allegheny Monn- 
tains, and the conference in Canada were represented, and there 
were also members present from (.Eastern Pennsylvania and Vir- 
ginia. There vrere a number of questions discussed, but the 
most absorbing question was: "Shall wc organize a General Con- 
ference?" The question was considered at great length. The 
various objections to it were brought up and carefully weighed. 
The reasons for haviiig it were also brought out. The thought up- 
permost in the minds of all, was, "What is best for the church?" 
It was if^h that an event of far-reaching importance was about to 
transpire. After weighing the question in all of its' phases, a vote 
was taken, and it was decided almost unanimously to call a Gen- 
eral Conference the following year. 

At the close of the first day's work, a committee of five had 
been appointed to prepare a call for a General Conference. It 
was the adoption of this report that settled the question. The re- 
port v/as a carefully prepared address to the Mennonite Church, 
embodying the following points • 

It reviewed the history and progress of the church; showed 
wherein we suffered for want of a strong central organization ; 
presented in brief the gravity of the questions confronting us, and 
tlie necessity of united, intelligent, prayerful action on the same. 
The General Conference was to be held not oftener than once in 
two years nor less than once in four years. All the bishops in the 
church were to be members of the conference. In addition to this, 
each conference has the privilege of sending one delegate for every 
five congregations, provided that no conference is to be limited 
to less than three delegates. Only those who are in harmony, in 
faith and practice, with the eighteen articles of faith adopted by 
the General Conference, held at Dort in 1632, are to be adm.itted 
to the conference. It is to liave general supervision over questions 



368 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

affecting the church in general, but shall not interfere with the 
work of local conferences in matters affecting said conferences 
only. 

A committee of three was appointed to select the time and 
place of holding the first meeting of the General Conference. 

The first meeting was held in the Holdeman M^ H., near 
Wak;u-usa, Indianaj in November, 1S98. The next, near Sterling, 
Illinois, in the Science Ridge, M. H., November 1900, and the 
next in the Pike M. H., near Elida, OhiOj_ November, 1902. All 
of these meetings were noted for their deep spiritual tone, and 
for their earnestness and hearty good will manifested among those 
in attendance. What we had before hoped, was now more than 
realized. No one present doubted that God 
was with us, and blessed these meetings 
to our mutual edification. The bond of 
fellowship had been (strengthened; 'anid 
that the general interests of the church can best be directed by a 
general body, representing the general church is no longer sup- 
posed, but is known to be a fact. Yet the General Conference has 
but made a beginning. It has not yet demonstrated its useful- 
ness to the extent that it will, after its workings and its mission 
will become more generally known among the brotherhood. That 
God may so direct that it may grow in usefulness and in the es- 
teem of the brotherhood ; that its work may be extended until all 
who are of "like precious faith" with us, may be one with us in 
the support of this institution, is the earnest prayer of the friends 
of the Mennonite Genera! Conference, 



^^4e«'^ 



CHAPTER XXXV. 

RETROSPECT AND PROSPECT. 

We have now traced the career of a remarkable people from 
the advent of our Savior to the present time. 

We followed the career of our Lord Jesus Christ from Beth- 
lehem to Calvary, from the tomb to the skies. We watched that 
band of one hundred and twenty worshipers tarrying at Jerusa- 
lem until they were "endued with j)ower from on high." Sud- 
denly that little band is transformed into a mighty congregation. 
Their teachings and growth make them the victims of persecution ; 
but "they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching 
the Word." We see the light spreading to Samaria, and the 
countries round about, and finally rolling westward, penetrating 
the Pagan strongholds of Europe. Many bitter persecutions are 
waged against the Christians; but "the blood of the mlartyr is 
the seed of the church," and the cause keeps on prospering.,; 

The wise men of the world see the power of this ever-increas- 
ing current, and hasten to court the favor of the church. In less 
than three centuries after Pentecost, Christianity had become the 
religion of state in Rom.e, and had gained a foothold in all parts of 
the empire. The church had suffered from two sources: First, 
the large number of Pagans who came into the church brought 
in some of their pagan views, and this had the effect of corrupting 
doctrine ; secondly, designing politicians, seeing the power of the 
church, embraced Christianity and succeeded in corrupting churdh 
policy. Long before Constantine made Christianity the religion 
of state, a degeneracy had set in which destroyed the spiritual 
power of the church. 

But there were evangelical bodies which refused to sanction 
this corruption. As the distinction between them and the main 
current, of wliat was then called Christianity, became more 



370 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

marked, their sufferings increased. As the state church became 
more corrupt, the true Christians were the more mercilessly per- 
secuted. Whole bodies were crushed and scattered, but it was 
impossible to destroy them. Thousands of them gave their lives 
as martyrs to the fa:ith, and their records were so completely de- 
stroyed that we know little of them, save the name which their 
enemies gave tlieni. Glimpses here and there, of their lives and 
works, give us an idea of their character. During the interval 
when persecutions were not so severe, we find these people col- 
lecting in congregations, asserting their faith, and spreading the 
light of the Gospel. Hence, we have meager accounts of Nova- 
tians, Catharists, and other evangelical bodies who stood for the 
Gospel of Christ in its purity. 

We watched the rise of the Waldenses, the spreading of 
their doctrine, and the numerous efforts made by the Catholic 
churdh to stamp out this "heresy." Though they suffered in- 
tensely, they succeeded in impressing the world, as no other of 
the evangelical bodies had succeeded in doing;^ and paved the way 
for that religious upheaval of the sixteenth century which gave 
Prostestantism a permanent foothold in Europe. 

The Reformation came. Wyclift'e in England, Huss in Bo- 
hemia, and others had dared to testify against the tyranny and 
corruption of Rome. I-ater on, Luther, Melancthon, Calvin, 
Zwingli and others led a movement which sheared the church of 
Rome of her power, and opened the way whereby the common 
people of the world might liave free access to the Gospel of Christ. 

But this did not bring immediate relief to the adherents of the 
non-resistant faith, now called Anabaptists. The Catholics per- 
secuted them, because they refused to become Catholics and de- 
nounced Catholic abuses in the severest terms. The Protes- 
tants persecuted them because they stood against the serai- 
Catholic practices of the Protestants, and against infant baptism, 
war, and tmion of church and state. Persecuted by both Catholics 
and Protestants, thev found themselves, as it were, between t^vo 
millstones, grinding them to powder. But the Lord was -with 
them. Through the labors of Menno Simon, Conrad Krebel, Felix 
Manz and many others, the Gospel of Christ was preached in its 



RETROSPECT AND PROSPECT. 371 

purity, and the cause, advanced, in spite of persecutions. While 
the persecutions raged, many were martyred, many sought safety 
in numerous hiding places, and others sought an as_vlum in 
America. There are now Mennonite congregations in Holland, 
in Russia, in Germany, and other countries of Europe. 

We watched the growth of the American Mennonite Church 
from its humble beginning at Gcrmantown in 1683. By coloni- 
zation the church extended her labors westward. Coming either 
direct from Europe, or from some established American colony, 
the bretliren formed settlements in central and western Pennsyl- 
vania, in 'v'^irginia, in Canada, in Ohio, in Maryland, and later 
in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and the West. By the middle of the 
nineteenth century, tlie church in America had grown to a num- 
ber, estimated by some "at a hundred thousand. But the progress 
of the church was arrested through the loss of the missionary spirit 
so that toward the close of the century the membership was but 
litile over half what it was earlier in the century''' 

During the shake-up which brought the Mennonite Church to 
where she is todny, we watched a number of factions leaving the 
church — some drifting in the direction of conservatism, and others . 
drifting in the direction of liberalism. That God may so overrule 
that the twentieth century may witness the welding together of 
the numerous schisms of the nin^eenth, is the sincere prayer of 
many a heart.. 

During the latter part of the nineteenth century, there has 
been an awakening which promises much for the church. Through 
the introduction of Sunday schools, continued meetings, Bible 
classes, and other helps, many have been interested in the cause 
of Christ, and our membership is again growing. From the forty- 
three thousand Mennonites (all classes), which the census of 

t "In a letter to the editor from Shem Zook, who is well Informed in 
the religious statistics of the Mennonites, he says, when speaking of the 
Mennonites- 'Their number In the United States has been computed at 
120 000 '- The estimate, we think, is too high. So far as we can ascer- 
tain they have about ninetj'-flve minister Pennsylvania, one hundred 
and eighty places of worship. In Maryland, Ohio, Indiana and New York 
DFobably etehty-flve ministers, and one hundred and thirty places of 
worship In all America, about two hundred and thirty or forty min- 
isters and rising of four hundred places of public worship, and between 
fiftv and sixty thousand members. The whole Mennonite population 
mav orobably exceed 120,000, but they have not that number of com- 
municant members." — ^History of Kelislous Denominations, P. 501 (Pub- 
lished In 1844). 



372 MEN N ON IT E CHURCH HISTORY. 

1S90 credited to the United States, the total membership has 
grown until now it is not far from sixty-five thousand. At the 
present time (1905) there seems to be a wave of religious fervor 
going over the church, which is rapidly swelling the ranks. 

The next question we meet is, Do the events of the past and 
the signs of the present indicate what the future of the Mennonite 
Church shall be? Never before has there been such wonderful 
activity. Workers are out in the field, missions are being started, 
literature is being distributed, the membership is growing. But. 
while the church is active as it has not been for generations, world- 
liness in various forms, is knocking at the door for admission. 
Will the power of the Holy Ghost, working through the church, 
ultimately melt the whole liTennonite Church into one solid body7 
free from worldliness, and waging an aggressive fight against sin, 
or will the church become saturated with -worldliness, the Spirit- 
grieved avray, and the need for the Mennonite Church cease to 
exist! Never has the church been in better position to take her 
stand for Christ as an aggressive force in His earthly kingdom, 
than at present. She has won the respect of her neighbors. Those 
principles of freedom, w'hich the church espoused in the days when 
the same meant persecution, have long been recognized by all civil- 
ized nations as being among the fundamental principles of free 
government. Even her doctrine on simplicity, on non-resistance, 
and the ordinances of the Lord's house, do not meet the opposition 
they once did. God forbid that the Mennonite Church, like other 
bodies gone before, should surrender to the world, just at the 
time when she may be used as a mighty force in the hands of 
God to save the world from sin. 

With the events of the past to profit by in the work of the 
future, let none forsake the Gospel of Christ, and let all be will- 
ing to bear the cross, fight the good fight of faith, looking to God 
for present comfort and ultimate glory. " 



BOOKS CONSULTED IN THE PREPARATION OF THIS WORK. 

( 

[;■ 

Abbott — Church History. 

Mosheim: — History of Christianity. 

Fisher — History of the Christian Church. 
,, Armitage — History of the Baptists. 

Chambers — Encyclopaedia. 

Encyclopaedia Britannica. 

Johnson — Encyclopaedia. 

Van Bracht — Martyr's Mirror. 

Conybeare — Christian Fathers. 

Thorndike — Anglo-Catholic Theology. 

Hausser — Period of Reformation. 

Menno Simon — Complete Works. 

Ridpath — History of the World. 

Montgomery — History of France. 

Faber — On the Ancient V'aldenses and Albigenses. 

Prochet — Evangelization Work in Italy through the Walden- 
sian Church. 

Rostan — The Waldensian Church and Pier Work of Evan- 
gelization. 

Keller — Hans Denck. 

Fera — Good News from Valsesia. 

Vogt — Die Vorgeschichte des Bauern-krieges. 

Gerbert — Geschichte zur zeit der Reformation. 

Nitsche — Geschichte der Wiedertaufer in der Schweitz. 

Bachman — Niclas Storch. 

Kramer — Het Leven en de V'errigtingen van Menno Simons. 

Frank— Chronica (i539)- 

Starck — Geschichte der Taufe and Taufgesinnten. Laipzig 

(1789). 



374 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

Bullinger — Der Wiedertauffen Ursprung, etc. (Zurich is6i)j 

Buesslin — Beitrage. (Zurich 174T.) 

Egli — Acten — Samnilung zur Geschichte der Zeucher Refor- 
mation. 

Otto zur Linden's — Melchior Hoffman. 

Beck — ^Wiedertaufer. 

Cornelius — Aufruhr in Munster. 

Hottinger und Vogeli — Bullinger's Reformations — ^ge- 
schichte. 

Merx — Thomas Munzer und H. Pfeiffer, 

Muller — Geschichte der Bernsche Taufer. 

Keller — Die Reformation. 

Keller— Altevangelischen Gemeinden. 

Keller — Die Waldenser. 

Keller — Wiedertaufer. 

Bax — The Rise >ind Fall of the Anabaptists. 

Kirchmair — Denkwurdigkeiten seiner zeit 1519-53. 

Ausbundt — Das ist Elliche schone Lieder. 

Wakefield — Christian ITieology. 

Ray — Baptist Succession. 

Cassell — History of the Mennonites. 

Wenger — Six Months in Bible Lands. 

Eby — History of the Mennonites. 

Wedel^Geschichte der Mennoniten. 

Van der Smissen — Geschichte und Glaubenslehre der Men- 
noniten. 

Krehbiel — History of the Mennonite General Conference.. . 

Funk — Mennonite Church and Her Accusers. 

Funk Family History. 

Eby Family Historj'. 

Hertzler Genealogy. 

Wenger Family History. 




Bppenbiy. 



MENNONITE CONFESSION OF FAITH. 



ADOPTED AT DORJ-RECKT, HOLLAND, IN 1632. 



ARTICIiB I. 
Concerning God and the Creation of Ali Things. 

Whereas it is declared, that "without faith it is impossible to 
please God" (Beb. ii :('.), and that "he that cometh to God must 
believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently 
seek him," therefore we confess with, the mouth, and believe with 
the heart, together with all the pious, according to the Holy 
Scriptures, that there is one eternal, almighty, and incompre- 
hensible God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and none more and 
none other, before whom no God existed, neither will exist after 
Him. For from him, through him, and in him are all things. To 
him be blessing, praise, and honor, for ever and ever. Gen. 17:1 ; 
Deut. 6 4 ; Isaiah 46 :9 ; 1 John 5 7. 

In this one God, who "worketh all in all," we believe. Him 
we confess as the Creator of all things, visible and invisible ; who 
in six days created and prepared "heaven and earth, and the 
sea, and all things that are therein." And we further believe, that 
this God still governs and preserves the same, togetiier with all 
his works, through his wisdom, his might, and the "word of his 
power." Gen. 5:1,2; Acts 14 :i5 ; I Cor. 12 :6 ; Heb. i :3. 

When he liad finished his works and,according to his good 
pleasure, had ordained and prepared each of them, so that they 
were right and good according to their nature, being and quality, 
he created the first man, Adam, the father of all of us, gave him 



378 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

a body formed "of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his 
nostrils the breath of life," so that he "became a living soul," 
created by God in his own image and likeness," in "righteousness 
and true holiness" unto eternal life. He also gave him a place 
above all other creatures and endowed him with many high and 
excellent gifts, put him into the garden of Eden, and gave him 
a commandment and an interdiction. Thereupon he took a rib 
from the side of Adam, made a woman out of it, brought her to 
him, and gaive her to him as a helpmeet and housewife. Conse- 
quently he has caused, that from this first man, Adam, all men 
who "dwell on the face of the earth," have been begotten and have 
descended. Gen. 1 127 ; 2 :7, 15, 17, 22 ; 5 :i ; Acts 17 126. 

ARTICLE II. 
The Fall of Man. 

We believe and confess, that, according to the purport of tiie 
Holy Scriptures, out first parents, Adam and Eve, did not long re- 
main in the happy state in which they were created; but did, 
after being seduced by the deceit and "subtility" of the serpent, 
and envy of the devil, violate the high command of God, and be- 
came disobedient to their Creator; through which disobedience 
"sin entered into the world, and death by sin ;" so that "death 
passed upon all men, for that all have sinned," and thereby in- 
curred the wrath of God and condemnation. For which reason 
our first parents were, by God, driven out of Paradise, to cultivate 
the earth, to maintain themselve's thereon in sorrow, and to "eat 
their bread in the sweat of their face," until they "returned to the 
ground, from which they were taken." And that they did, there- 
fore, through this one sin, so far apostatize, depart, and estrange 
themselves from God, that they could neither help themselves, nor 
be helped by any of their descendants, nor by angels, nor by any 
other creature in heaven or on earth, nor be redeemed or recon- 
ciled to God ; but would have had to be lost forever, had hot God, 
who pitied his creatures, in mercy, interposed in their behalf, and 
made provisions for their restoration. Gen. 3 ;6, 23 ; Rom. 5 :i2 — 
19 ; Psalm 47 :8, g ; Rev. 5 :3 ; John 3 :i6. 



CONFESSION OF FAITH. 379 

ARTICfLE III. 

The Restoration of Man Through the Promise of the Coming of Christ. 

Regarding the restoration of our first parents and their des- 
cendants, we believe and confess : That God, notwithstanding their 
fall, transgression and sin, and although they had no power to 
help themselves, he was nevertheless not willing that they should 
be cast oft entirely, or be eternally lost; but again called them 
unto him, comforted them, and showed them that there were yet 
means with him for their reconciliation ; namely, the immaculaite 
Lamb, the Son of God ; who "was fore-ordained" to this purpose 
"before the foundation of the world," and who was promised to 
them and all their descendants, while they (our first parents) were 
yet in paradise, for their comfort, redemption, and salvation ; yea, 
who was given to them thenceforward, through faith, as their 
own; after which all the pious patriarchs, to whom this promise 
was often renewed, longed and searched, beholding it through faith 
at a distance, and expecting its fulfillment — expecting that he 
(the Son of God), would, at his coming, again redeem and deliver 
the fallen race of man irom their sins, their guilt, and unright- 
eousness. John 1 :29 ; 11:27; i Pet. i rig ; Gen. 3 : [5 ; i John 2 :i, 
2;3:8;Gal.4:4, 5- 

ARTICIvB IV. 
The Advent of Christ into this World and the Reason of His Coming. 

Wc believe and confess further : That "when the fullness of 
the time was come," after which all the pious patriarchs so ar- 
dently longed, and which they so anxiously awaited— the pre- 
viously promised Messiah, Redeemer, and Savior, proceeded from 
God, being sent by. him, and, according to the prediction of the 
prophets and the testimony of the evangelists, came into the 
world, yea, into the flesh, so that the Word itself thus became 
flesh and man ; and that he was conceived by the Virgin Mary 
(who was espoused to a man named Joseph, of the house of 
David), and that she bare him as her first-born son at Bethlehem, 
^'wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger." 



38o MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

John 4:25; 16:28; I Tim. 3:16; Matt, i :2i ; John 1:14; Luke 2 7. 

Further, we believe and confess, that this is the same One/ 
"whose goings forth have 'been from of old, from everlasting;" 
who has "neither beginning of days, nor end of life." Of whopi 
it is testified, that he is "Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the 
end, the first and the last." That this is also he — and none othei^ 
who was chosen, promised, and sent; who came into the world; 
and who is God's only, first, and proper Son ; who was before John 
the Baptist, before Abraham, before the world; yea, who was 
David's Lord, and who is God of the ''whole earth," "the first- 
born of every creature ;" who was sent into the world, and him- 
self delivered up the body prepared for him, as "an offering and 
a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor;" yea, for the com- 
fort, redemption, and salvation of all — of the human race. Micah 
S -.2 ; Heb. 7 13 ; Rev. i ;8 ; John 3 -.16 ; Rom. 8 :32 ; Col. i :i5.; Heb. 
10:5. 

But how, or in what manner, this worthy body was prepared, 
or how the Word became flesh, and he himself man, we content 
ourselves with the declaration which the faithful evangelists have 
given and left in their description thereof; according to which 
we confess with all the saints, that he is the Son of the living God, 
in whom exists all our hope, comfort, redemption, and salvation, 
and which we are to seek in no one else. Luke i :3i — 35; John 

30:31- 

Further, we believe and confess by authority of scripture, 
that when he had ended his course, and "finished" the work for 
which he was sent into the world, he was, by the providence of 
God, delivered into the hands of the unrighteous ; suffered under 
the goverrior, Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, was buried, rose 
again from the dead on the third day, and ascended into heaven, 
where he now sits at the right hand of the Majesty of God on 
high ;'■' from whence he will come again to judge the living and 
the dead. Luke 23 :i ; 23 153 ; 24 -.5, 6, 51. 

Thus we believe the Son of God died — "tasted death for every 
man," shed his precious blood, and thereby bruised the head of 
the serpent, destroyed the works of the devil, "blotted out the 
handwriting," and purchased redemption for the Whole human 



CONFESSION OP FAITH. 381 

race; and thus he became the source of eternal salvation to all 
who from the time of Adam to the end of the world, shall have 
believed in him, and obeyed him. Gen. ,3:15; i John 3:8; Col. 
2:14; Rom. 5:18., 

ARTTClfE V. 
The Law of Christ, Which is the Holy Gospel, or the New Testament. 

We also believe and confess, that Christ, before his ascension^ 
establis'hed and instituted his New Testament and left it to his 
followers, to be and remain an everlasting testament, whidh he 
confirmed and sealed with his own precious blood ; and in which 
he has so highly commended to them, that neither men nor angels 
may change it, neither take therefrom nor add there'to. Jer. 31 :3i ; 
Heb. 9:15—17; Matt. 26:28; Gal. 1:8; i Tim. 6:3; Rev. 22:18, 
19 ; Matt. 5 :i8 ; Luke 21 :33. 

And that he has caused this Testament (in which the whole 
counsel and will of his heavenly Father, so far as these are neces- 
sary to the salvation of man, are comprehended), to be proclaimed, 
in his name, through his beloved apostles, messengers, and ser- 
vants (whom he chose and sent into all the world for this purpose) 
— to all nations, people and tongues ; these apostles preaching re- 
pentance and remission of sins; and that he, in said Testament, 
caused it to be declared, that all men without distinction, if they 
are obedient, throug'h faith, follow, fulfill and live according to 
the precepts of the same, are his children, and rightful heirs ; hav- 
ing thus excluded none from the precious inheritance of eternal 
salvation, except the unbelieving and disobedient, the headstrong 
and unconverted ; who despise such salvation ; and thus by their 
own actions incur guilt by refusing the same, and "judge them- 
selves unworthy of everlasting life." Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46, 
47 ; Rom. 8 :I7 ; Acts 13 :46. 

ARTIGL.B VI. 
Repentance and Amendment of Life. 
We believe and confess, that, as the "imagination of man's 
heart is evil from his youth," and consequently inclined to all un- 



382 MENNQNITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

righteousness, sin and wickedness, that, therefore, the first doc- 
trine of the precious New Testament of the Son of God is, Re- 
pentance and amendment of life. Gen. 8:21 ; Mark I :i5. There 
fore those who have ears to hear, and hearts to understand, must 
"bring forth fruits meet for repentance," amend their lives, believe 
the gospel, ''depart from evil and do good," desist from wro/ig 
and cease from sinning, "'put oft' the old man with 
his deeds and put on the new man, which after God 
is created in 1 ighteousness and true holiness." For neither 
Baptism, Sacrament, nor Church-F ellotvship, nor any other'ex- 
ternal ceremony, can, without faith, the new birth, and a change 
or renewal of life, help, or qualify us, that we may please God, or 
receive any consolation or promise of salvation from him. Luke 
3 :8 ; Eph. 4 :22, 24 ; Col. 3 .g, 10. lUit on the contrary, we must 
go to God "with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith," and 
believe in Jesus Christ, as the scriptures speak and testify of him. 
Through which faith we obtain the pardon of our sins, become 
sanctified, justified, and children of God ; yea, partakers of his 
mind, nature and image, as we are born again of God through 
liis incorruptible seed from above. Heb. 10:21, 22; John 7:38; 
2 Pet. 1 :4. 

ARTICLE VII. 

Holy Baptism. 

Regarding baptism, we confess that all penitent believers, 
who through faith, the new birth and renewal of the Holy Ghost, 
have become united with God, and whose names are recorded in 
heaven, must, on 'such scriptural confession of their faith, and 
renewal of life, according to the command and doctrine of Christ, 
and the example and custom of the apostles, be baptized with water 
in the ever adorable name of the Fatlier, and of the S'on and of 
the Holy Ghost, to the burying of their sins, and thus to become 
incorporated into the communion of the saints; whereupon they 
must learn! to observe all things whatever the Son of God taught, 
left on record, and commanded his followers to do. Matt. 3:15; 
28:19, 20; Mark 16:15, 16; Acts 2:38; 8:12, 38; 9:19; 10:47; 
16:33; Rom. 6:3, 4; Col. 2:12. 



CONFESSION OF FAITH. 383 

ARTICLE Vin. 

The Church of Christ. 

We believe in and confess a visible Church of Gad, consisting 
of those, who, as before remarked, have truly repented, and rightly 
believed; who are rightly baptized, united with God in heaven, 
and incorporated into the communion of the saints on eardi. i Cor. 
12 :i3. And these, we confess, are a "chosen generation, a royal 
priesthood, an holy nation," who have the testimony that they 
are the "bride" 01 Christ; yea, that they are children 
and heirs of eternal life — a "habitation of God through the 
Spirit," biiilt on the foundation of tlae apostles and prophets, of 
which "Christ himself is the chief corner stone"^ — the foundation 
on which his church is built. John 3:29; Matt. 16:18; Eph. 2:19 
— 21 ; Tit. 3:7; I Pet. i :i8, 19; 2:9. This church of the living 
God, which he has purchased and redeemed through his own 
precious blood, and with which he will be — according to his own 
promise— for her comfort and protection, "always, even unto the 
end of the world;" yea,, will dwell and walk with her, and pre- 
serve her, that no "winds" nor "floods," yea, ndt even the "gates 
of hell shall prevail against her" — may be known by her evangeli- 
cal faith, doctrine, love, and godly conversation ; also by her pure 
walk and practice, and her observance of the true ordinances of 
Christ, which he has strictly enjoined on his followers. Matt. 
.7:25; 16:18; 28:20; 2 Cor. 6:16. 

ARTICLE IX. 

The Office of Teachers and IVIinisters — IMale and Female — in tlie Church. 

Regarding the offices, and election of persons to the same, in 
the church, we believe and confess: That, as tiie church cannot 
exist and prosper, nor continue in its structure, without offices 
and regulations, that therefore the Lord Jesus has himself (as a 
father in his house), appointed and prescribed his offices and or- 
dinances, and has given commandments concerning the same, 
as to how each one sihould walk therein, give heed to his own work 
and calling, and do it as it becomes him to do. Eph. 4:11, 12. 



3B4 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

For he himself, as the faithful and great Shepherd, and Bishop 
of our souls, was sent into the world, not to wound, to break, or 
destroy the souls of men, but to heal them ; to seek iiat which is 
lost, and to pull down the hedges and partition wall, so as to make 
out of many, one; thus collecting out of Jews and heathen, yea, I 
out of all nations, a church in his name ; for which (so that no one/ 
might go astray or be lost) he laid down his own life, and thus 
procured for them salvation, made them free and redeemed themj 
to which blessing no one could help them, or be of service in obr 
taining it. i Pet. 2:25; Matt. 18:11 ; Eph. 2:13, 14; John 10:9, 

". I5- ! 

And that he, besides this, left his dhurch before his departure, 
provided with faithful ministers, apostles, evangelists, pastorg, 
and teachers, whom he had chosen by prayer and supplication 
through the Holy Spirit, so that they might govern the church, 
feed his flock, watch over, maintain, and care for the same ; yea, 
do in all things as he left them an example ; taught them, and 
commanded themi to do ; and likewise to teach the church to ob- 
serve all things whatsoever he commanded them. Eph. 4:11 ; Luke 
6:12, 13; 10:1; Matt. 28:20. 

Also that the apostles were afterwards, as faithful followers 
of Christ and leaders of the church, diligent in these matters, 
namely, in choosing through prayer and supplication to God, 
brethren who were to provide all the churches in the cities and 
circuits, with bishops, pastors, and leaders, and to ordain to 
these offices such men as took "heed unto themselves and unto the 
doctrine," and also unto the flock; who were sound in the faith, 
pious in their life and conversation and who had — as well within 
the church as "'without" — a good reputation and a good report; 
so that they might be a light and example in all godliness and 
good works ; might worthily administer the Lord's ordinances — 
baptism and sacrament— and that they (the brethren sent by the 
apostles) might also, at all places, where such were to be had, 
appoint faithful men as elders, who were able to teach others, 
confirm them in the name of tlie Lord "with the laying on of 
hands," and who (the elders) were to take care of all things' 
of which the church stood in need ; so that they, as faithful ser- 



CONFESSION Of FAITH. 385 

vaiits, might well "occupy" their Lord's money, gain thereby, and 
thus "save themselves and those who hear them." iTim. 3 a ; 
4 -.14-16 ; Acts 1 :23, 24 ; Tit. i :5 ; Luke 19 :.i 3. 

That they should also take good care (particularly each one 
of the charge over which, he had the oversight), that all the cir- 
cuits should be well provided with almoners, who should have 
the care and oversight of the poor, and who were to receive gifts 
and alms, and again faithfully to distribute them amongst thv. 
poor saints who were in need, and this in all honesty, as is be- 
coming. Acts 6:3 — 6. 

Also that honorable old widows sliould be chosen as servants, 
who, besides the almoner.=;, are to visit, comfort, and take care of 
the poor, the weak, the afflicted, and the needy, as also to visit, 
comfort, and take care of widows and orphans ; and further to 
assist in taking care of any matters in the churdh that properly 
come within their sphere, according to their best ability.- i Tim. 
5:9, 10; Rom. 16 :t, 2. 

And as it further regards the almoners, that they (particularly 
if they are fit persons, and chosen and ordained thereto by the 
church), may also in aid and relief of the bishops, exhort the 
church (being, as already remarked, chosen thereto), and thus 
assist in word and doctrine ; so that each one may serve the 
other from love, with the gift which he has received from the 
Lord ; so that through the common service and assistance of each 
member, according to his ability, the body of Christ may be edi- 
fied, and the Lord's vineyard and church be preserved in its 
growth and structure. 2 Tim. 2 :2. 

ARTICLE X. 
The Lord's Supper. 

We also believe in and observe the breaking of bread, or 
the Lord's Supper, as the Lord Jesus instituted the same (with 
bread and wine) before his sufferings, and also observed and ate 
it with the apostles, and also commanded it to be observed to his 
remembrance, as also the apostles subsequently taug'ht and ob- 
■served the same in the church, and commanded it to be observed 



386 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

by believers in commemoration of the death and sufferings of the 
Lord — ^the brealcing of his worthy body and the shedding of his , 
precious blood — for the whole human race. So is the observance/ 
of this sacrament also to remind ns of the benefit of the said deat 
and sufferings of Qirist, namely, the redemption and eternal salr 
vation which he purchased thereby, and the great love thus showb 
to sinful man; wheieby we are earnestly exhorted also to loye 
one another — to love our neighbor — to forgive and absolve him 
— even ns Christ has done unto us — and also to endeavor to main- 
tain and keep alive the union and communion w^hich we have with 
God, and amongst one another, which is thus shown and repre- 
sented to us by the aforesaid breaking of bread. Matt. 26:26; 
Mark 14:22; Luke 22:!9: Acts 2:42, 46'. i Cor. 10:16: 11:23-26. 

ARTtCLB XI. 
The Washing of the Saints' Feet. 

We also confess a washing of the feet of the saints, as the 
Lord Jesus did not only institute and command the same, but did 
also hinjself wash the feet of the apostles, although he was their 
Lord and master ; thereby giving an example that they also should 
wash one another's feet, and thus do to one another as he did 
to them ; which they also afterwards taught believers to observe, 
and ail this as a sign of true humiliation : but yet more particularly 
as a sign to remind us of the true washing — the washing and 
purification of the soul in the blood of Christ. John 13:4 — 17; 
I Tim. 5 :io. 

ARTICLE XII. 

Matrimony. 

We also confess that there is in the church of God an "honor- 
able" state of matrimony between two believers of the different 
sexes, as God first instituted the same in paradise between Adam 
and Eve, and as the Lord Jesus reformed it by removing all abus- 
es which had crept into it, and restoring it to its first order. Gen. 
1 :27; 2:18, 22, 24. 

In this manner the apostle Paul also taught and permitted 
matrimony in the church, leaving it to each one's own choice to 



CONFESSION OF FAITH. 387 

enter into matrimony with any person who would unite with him 
in such state, provided that it was done "in the Lord," according 
to the primitive order ; the words "in the Lord," to be understood, 
according to our opinion, tliat just as the patriarchs had to marry 
a'mongst their own kindred or generation, so there is also no 
other liberty allowed to believers under the New Testament Dis- 
pensation, than to marry amongst the "chosen generation," or the 
spiritual kindred of Christ; that is, to such — and none others — 
as are already, previous to their marriage, united to the church 
in heart and soul, have received the same baptism, belong to the 
same church, are of the same faith and doctrine, and lead the 
same course of life, with themselves. 1 Cor. 7; 9:s;*Gen. 24:4; 
28 :6 ; Num. 36 :6 — 9. Such are then, as already remarked, united 
by God and the church according to the primitive order, and this 
is then called, "Marrying in the Lord." i Cor. 7 -.29' 

ARTICLE XIII. 
The Office of Civil Government. 

We also believe and confess, that God has instituted civil gov- 
ernment, for the punishment of the wicked and the protection 
of the pious ; and also further, for the purpose of governing the 
world — governing countries and cities ; and also to preserve its 
subjects in good order and under good regulations. Wherefore 
we are not permitted to despise, blaspheme, or resist the same; 
but are to acknowledge it as a minister of God and be subject 
and obedient to it, in all things that do not militate against the 
law, will,, and commandments of God : yea, "to be ready to every 
good work ;" also faithfidly to pay it custom, tax, and tribute ; 
thus giving it what is its due ; as Jesus Christ taught, did himself, 
and commanded his followers to do. That we are also to pray to 
the Lord earnestly for the government and its welfare, and in 
behalf of our country, so that we may live under its protection, 
maintain ourselves, and "lead a quiet and peaceable life in all 
godliness and honesty." And further, that the Lord would 
recompense them (our rulers), here and in eternity, for all the 
benefits, liberties, and favors which we enjoy under their laudable 



388 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

administration. Roin. 13:1 — 7; Tit. 3:1, 2; i Pet. 2:17; Matt. 
17 :27 ; 22 :2i ; I Tim. :? ;.: ,2. 

ARTICLE XIV. 
Defense by Force. 

Regarding revenge, whereby we resist our enemies with the 
sword, we believe and confess that the Lord Jesus has forbidden his 
disciples and followers all revenge and resistance, and has thereby 
commanded them not to "return evi! for evil, nor railing for rail- 
ing;" but 'to "put up the sword into the sheath," or, as the 
prophets foretold, "beat than into ploughshares." Matt. 5 .39, 
44 ; Rom. 12 :i4 ; i Pet 3 19 ; Isaiah 2 -.4 ; Micah 4 13. 

From this we see, that, according to the example, life, and 
doctrine of Christ, we are not to do wrong, or cause offense or 
vexation to any one;but to seek the welfare and salvation of 
all men ; also, if necessity should require it, to flee, for the 
Lord's sake, from one cit\- or cotmtry to another, and suffer the 
"spoiling of our goods," rather than give occasion of offense to 
any one; and if we arc struck on our "right cheek, ratlier to 
turn the other also," than revenge ourselves, or return the blow. 
Matt. 5:30: 10:23; Rom. 12 ■.19. 

And that we are, besides this, also to pray for our enemies, 
comfort and feed them, when they are hungry or thirsty, and 
thus by well-doing convince them and overcome the evil with 
good. Rom. 12:20, 21. 

tmally, that we are to do good in all respects, "commending 
ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God," and 
according to the law of Christ, do nothing to others that we 
would not wish them to do unto us. 2 Cor. 4:2; Matt. 7:r2; 
Luke 6:31. 

ARTIOLiE XV. 

The Swearing of Oaths. 

Regarding the swearing of oaths, we believe and confess, 
that the Lord Jesus ha-- dissuaded his followers from and for- 
bidden them the same; that is, that he commanded them to 



CONFESSION OF FAITH. 389 

"swear not at all ;" but that their "Yea" should be "yea," and 
their "Nay, nay." From which we understand that all oaths, high 
and low, are forbidden ; and that instead of them we are to con- 
firm all our promises and covenants, declarations and testimonies 
of all matters, merely with "Yea that is yea," and "Nay that is 
nay ;" and that we are to perform and fulfill at all times, and in 
all things, to every one, every promise and obligation to which 
we thus affirm, as faithfully as if we had. confirmed it with the 
most solemn oath. And if we thus do, we have the confidence that 
no one — not even the government itself — will have just cause to 
require more of us. Matt. 5 :34-37; James 5 :i2 ; 2 Cor. i -.ly. 

AilTlOLE XVI. 
Excommunicaticn or Expulsion from the Church. 

We also believe in and acknowledge the ban, or excommuni- 
cation, a separation or spiritual punishment by the church, for 
amendment, and not for the destruction, of offenders ; so that 
which is pure may be separated from that which is impure. That 
is, if a person, after having been enlightened, and received the 
knowledge of the truth, and has been received into the com- 
munion of the saints, does wilfully, or out of presumption, sin 
against God, or commit some other "sin unto death," thereby fall- 
ing into such unfruitful works of darkness, that he becomes 
separated from (jod,and is debarred from his kingdom — that such 
an one — when his works are become manifest, and sufficiently 
known to the church — cannot remain in the "congregation of 
the righteous ;" but must, as an offensive member and open sinner, 
be excluded from the church, "rebuked before all," and "purged 
out as a leaven," and thus remain until his amendment, as an 
example and warning to others, and also that the church may be 
kept pure from such "spots" and "blemishes;" so that not for 
the want of this, the name of the Lord be blasphemed, the church 
dishonored, and a stumbling-block thrown in the way of those 
"without," and finally, that the offender may not be condemned 
with the world, but that he may again be convinced of the error 
of his ways, and brought to repentance and amendment of life. 
Isaiah 59:2; i Cor. 5:5, 6, ;i2; i Tmi. 5:20: 2 Cor. 1,^:10. 



390 MENNONJTE CHURCH HISTORY. 

Regarding the brotherly admonition, as also the instruction 
of the erring, '.ve are to give ail diligence" to watch over them, 
and exhort them in all iTieekness to the amendment of their 
ways (James 5:19, 20) ; and in case any should remain obstinate 
and unconverted, to reprove them as the case may require. In 
short, the church must "'put away from among herself him that 
is wicked/' whether it be in doctrine or life. 

ARTICLE XVII. 
The Shunning of Those Who are Expelled. 

As regards the withdrawing- from, or the shunning of, those 
who are expelled, we believe and confess, that if any one, wheth- 
er it be through a wicked life or perverse doctrine — is so far fall- 
en as to be separated from God, and consequently rebuked 
by, and expelled from, the church, he must also, according to the 
doctrine of Christ and hi.^ apostles, be shunned and -avoided by 
all the members of the church (particularly by those to whom 
his misdeeds are known'), whether it be in eating or drinking, or 
other such like social matters. In short, that we are to have noth- 
ing to do with him ; so that we may not become defiled by in- 
tercourse with him, and partakers of his sins ; but that he may 
be made ashamed, be affected in his mind, convinced in his con- 
science, and thereby induced to amend his ways. iCor. 5:9 — 11; 
Rom. 16:17; 2 Thess. 3:14; Tit. 3:10. 

That nevertheless, as well in shunning as in reproving such 
offender, such moderation and Christian discretion be used, that 
such shunning and reproof may not be conducive to his ruin, but 
be serviceable to his amendment. For should he be in need, 
hungr}', thirsty, naked, sicli or visited by some other affliction, 
we are in duty bound, according to the doctrine and practice of 
Christ and his apostles, to render him aid and assistance, as 
necessity mav require; otherwise the shunning of him might be 
rather conducive to his ruin than to his amendment, i Thess. 5 :i4. 

Therefore we must not treat such oft'enders as enemies, but 
exhort them as brethren, in order thereby to bring them to a 
knowledge of their sins and to repentance ; so that they may again 



CONFESSION OF FAITH. 391 

become reconciled to God and the church, and be received and 
admitted into the same — thus exercising love towards them, as 
is becoming. 2 Thess. 3:15. 

ARTICLiE XVIII. 
The Resurrection of the Dead and the Last Judgment. 

Regarding the resurrection of the dead, we confess with the 
mouth, and believe with the heart, that according to the scriptures 
— all men who shall have died or "fallen asleep," will — through 
the incomprehensible power of God — at the day of judgment, be 
"raised up" and made alive ; and that these, together with all 
those who then remain alive, and who shall be "changed in a 
moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump," shall 
"appear before the judgment-seat of Christ," where the good 
shall be separated from the evil, and where "every one shall 
receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath 
done, whether it be gooc' or bad ;" and that the good or pious 
shall then further, as the blessed of their Father, be received 
by Qirist into eternal life where they shall receive that joy which 
"eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath entered into the heart 
of man." Yea, where they shall reign and triumph with Christ 
forever and ever. Matt. 22 130, 31 ; 25 : 31 : Dan. 12 :2 : Job 19 :2s, 
26; John 5:28, 29; 1 Cor. 15; 1 Thess. 4:13. 

And that, on the contrary, the wicked or impious, shall, as 
the accursed of God, be cast into "outer darkness ;" yea, into eter- 
nal hellish torments ; "where their Vv-orm_ dieth not, and the fire is 
not quenched ;" and where— according to Holy Scripture— they 
can expect no comfort nor redemption throughout eternity. Isaiah 
66 :24 ; Matt. 25 :46 ; Mark 9 :46 ; Rev. 14 :i i. 

May the Lord through his grace make us all fit and worthy, 
that no such cakmity may befall any of us ; but that we may be 
diligent, and so take heed to ourselves, that we may be found of 
him in peace, without spot, and blameless. Amen. 



392 



MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY, 



Now these are, as before mentioned, the chief articles of our 
general Christian Faith, which we everywhere teach in our con 
gregations and families, and according to which we profess to 
live; and which, n.ccording to our convictions, contain the only 
true Christian Faith, which the apostles in their time believed and 
taught ; yea, which they testified to by their lives and confirmed 
by their deaths ; in which we will also, according to our weakness, 
gladly abide, live, and die, that at last, together with the apostles 
and all the pious we may obtain the salvation of our souls through 
the grace of God. 

Thus were the foregoing articles of faith adopted and con- 
cluded by our united churches in the city of Dort, in Holland, 
on tlie 2ist day of April, in the year of our Lord 1632, and signed 
by the following ministers and teachers. 



DORT. 

Isaac Koenig, 
Johann Cobryssen, 
Jan Jacobs, 
Jacius Terwen, 
Claes Dirksen, 
Mels Gysbaerts, 
Adrian Cornells. 

FLISSINGEN. 

Dillaert Willeborts, 
Jacob T'ennen, 
Lieven Marymehr. 

AMSTERDAM. 

Tobias Goverts, 
Peter Jansen Mayer, 
Abram Dirks, 
David ter Haer, 
Peter Tan von Zingel. 

MIDDLEBURG. 

Bastian Willemsen, 
Jan Winkelmans. 



HARLEM. 

John Doom, 

Peter Gryspeer, 

Dirk Wouters Kolenkamp, 

iPeter Joosten. 

HOMMEL. 

Wilhelm Jan von Exselt, 
Gispert Spiering. 

ROTTERDAM. 

Balten Centen Schumacher, 
Michael Michiels, 
Israel von Halmael, 
Heinrich Dirkse Apeldoren, 
Andreas Lucken. 

SCHIEDAM. 

Cornells Bom, 
Lambrecht Paeldink. 

LEYDEN. 

Christian de Kopink, 
Jan Weyns. 



CONFESSION OF FAITH. 393 

ELOCKZYL. CREVEI.DT. 

Claes Claesson, Herman op den Graff. 

Peter Peterson. Wilhelm Kreynen. 



ZIRICZEE. 



ZEALAND. 



Anton Cornelis, Cornelis de Moir, 

Peter Jan Zimmerman. Isaac C:iaes. 

UTRFCHT. GORCUM. 

Herman Segers, Jacob ^on Sebrecht, 

Jan Heinrich Hochfeld, Jan J. von Kruysen. 
Daniel Horens, arnkeim. 

Abraham Spronk, Cornelis Jans, 

Wilhelm von Brockhiiysen. Dirk Renderson. 

FROM THE UPPER COUNTRY. 

Peter von Borsel, Anton Hans. 

Besides this confession being adopted by so many churchea. 
and signed by their ministers, all the churches in Alsace and 
Germany afterwards adopted it unanimously. Wherefore it was 
translated from the Holland into the languages of these countries 
— into French and German — for the use of the churches there, 
and for others, of which this ma)- serve as a notice. 

Tlie following attestation was signed by the brethren in 
Alsace, who examined this confession and adopted it as their own. 

We, the undersigned, ministers of the word of God, and el- 
ders of the church in Alsace, hereby declare and make known, 
that being assembled this 4th of Feb. in the year of our Lord 
1660, at Ohnenheim, on account of the Confession of Faith, which 
was adopted at the Peace Convention in the city of Dort, on the 
2ist day of April in the year 1632: and having examined the 
same, and found it, according to our judgment, in agreement 
with the word of God, we have entirely adopted it as our own. 
Which we, in testimony of the truth, and a firm faith, have 
signed with our own hands, as follows : 



OHNENHEIM. ' 

Ulrich Husser, 
Jacob Gochnauer. 

JEPSENHElAf. 

John Rudolph Bumen. 

DUERRSANZENHEIM. 



394 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

MINISTERS. ELDERS. 

MAGENHEIM. MARKIRCH. 

John Miller. Jacob Schmidt, 

Bertram Habich. 

HEIDELHEIM. 

John Ringer. 

BALDENHEIM. 

Jacob Schobly. 

ISENHEFM. 

Henry Schneider. 

KUNENHEJM. 

Rudolph Egli. Jacob Schneider. 

MARKIRCH. KUNENHEIM. 

Adolph Schmidt. Henry Frick. 

POSTSCRIPT TO THE FOREGOING l8 ARTICLES. 

From an authentic circular letter of the year 1557, from the 
Highland to the Netherland churches, it appears that from the 
Eyfelt to Moravia there were 50 churches, of whidi some con- 
sisted of from 500 to 600 brethren. And that there were about 
that time, at a conference at Strasburg, about 50 preachers and 
elders present, who discoursed about matters concerning the wel- 
fare of the churdhes. 

These leaders of the non-resistant Christians endeavored 
earnestly to propagate the truth ; so that like a "grain of mustard 
seed," of small beginning, it grew against all bloody persecution, 
to the height in w^hich it is to be seen in so many large churches 
in Germany, Prussia, the. Principality of Cleves, &c., and partic- 
ularly in the United Netherlands. 

But, finally, alas! there arose disunion amongst them about 
matters of faith, which so deeply grieved the peaceably disposed 
amongst them, that they not only thought about- means to heal 
the schism, and restore union, but did also take the matter in 



CONFESSION OF FAITH. 395 

hand, and concluded at Cologne, in the year 1591, a laudable peace 
between the Highland and Netherland churches. Still the schism 
was not fully healed. Consequently in the years 1628 and 1630, 
it was deemed necessary at a certain conference, by some lovers 
of peace to appoint another conference, in order to see whether 
they could come to an understanding, and the schism be fully 
healed. Consequently, in order to attain this object in the most 
effectual manner, there assembled at Dort, from many of the 
churches in Holland, on the 21st of April. 1632, fifty-one ministers 
of the word of God, appointed for said purpose ;who deemed it 
advisable that a scriptural confession of faith should be drawn 
up, to which all parties should adhere, and on which this peace 
convention and the intended union should be founded and built. 
Whidh was then accordingl}- drawn up, publicly adopted, con- 
firmed, signed, the so much wished for peace obtained, and the 
light again put on the candlestick, to the honor of the non-resistant 
Christianity. 




>W^^U< 



MENNONITES PROTEST AGAINST SLAVERY (1688). 



The following protest against slavery speaks for itself. It 
was sent to a meeting of Friends on April i8, 1688, by Gerherd 
Hendricks, Dirk Op den Graeff, Francis Daniel Pastorius, and 
Abraham Op den Graeff, and is said to be the first public protest 
ever made against slaves. 

This is to Ye Monthly Meeting Held at Rigert Worrells. 

"These are the reasons why we are against the traffick of men- 
body, as followeth. Is there any that would be done or handled 
at this manner ? viz. to he sold or made a slave for all the time of hSs 
life? How fearful & faint-hearted are many on sea, when they 
see a strange vessel being afraid it should be a Turck, and they 
should be tacken and sold for Slaves in Turckey. Now what is 
this better done as Turcks doe? yea rather is it worse for them, 
wch say they are Christians; for we hear that ye most part of 
such Negers are brought heither against their will & consent, and 
that many of them are stollen. Now, tho' they are black, we can- 
not conceive there is more liberty to have them slaves, as it is to 
have other white ones. There is a saying, that we shall doe to all 
men, licke as we will be done ourselves; macking no difference 
of what generation, descent or Colour they are. And those who 
steal or robb men, and those who buy or purchase them, are they 
not all alicke? Here is liberty of Conscience, wch is right & 
reasonable, here ought to be likewise liberty of ye body, except of 
evildoers, wch is an other case. But to bring men hither, or to 
robb and sell them against their will, we stand against. In Europe 



PR O TEST A GAINST SLA VER Y. 397 

there are many oppressed for Conscience sacke ; and here there 
are those oppressed wch are of a blaclc Colour. And we who know 
that men must not comitt adultery, some doe comitt adultery, in 
others, separating wifes from their housbands, and giving them 
to others and some sell the children of those poor Creatures to 
other men. Oh ! doe consider well this things, you who doe it, 
if you would be done at this manner ? and if it is done according 
Christianity- you surpass Holland & Germany in this thing 
This m'ackes an ill report in all those Countries of Europe, where 
they hear off, that ye Quackers do here handel men, Licke they 
handle there ye cattle ; and for that reason some have no mind or 
inclination to come hither. An'd all who shall maintaine this your 
cause, or plaid for it? Truely we cannot do so except you 
all inform us better hereoff, viz. that chris'tians have liberty to 
practise this things. Pray ! what thing in the world can be done 
w^orse towarts us then if men should robb or steal us away & sell 
us for slaves to strange Countries ; separating housbands from 
their wife & Oiildren. Being now this is not done at that manner 
we will be done at, therefore we contradict & are against this 
traffick of men-body. And we who profess that it is not lawful! 
to steal, must lickewise avoid to purchase such things as are 
stolen, but rather help to stop this robbing and stejding if pos- 
sible and such men ought to be delivred out of ye hands of ye Rob- 
bers and set free as well as in liurope. Then is Pensilvania to 
have a good report, in stead it hath now a bad one for this sacke 
in other Countries. Especially whereas ye Europeans are desirous 
to know in what manner ye Quackers doe rule in their Province 
& most of them doe loock upon us with an envious eye. But if 
this is done well, what shall we say, is don evil ? 

"If once these slaves (wch they say are so wicked and stubbern 
men"! should joint themselves, fight for their freedom, and handle 
their masters & mas'trissess, as they did handel them] before ; will 
these masters & mastrisses tacke the sword at hand & warr against 
these poor slaves, like we are able to belive, some will not refuse 
to do? Or have these negers not as much right to fight for their 
freedom, as you have to keep them slaves? 



398 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

"Now consider well this thing, if it is good or bad? and in 
case you find it to be good to handel these blacks at that manner, we 
desire & require you hereby lovingly that you may informe us 
herein, which at this time never was done, viz. that Christians 
have Liberty to do so, to the end we shall be satisfied in this point, 
arid satisfie lickewise our good friends & acquaintances in 
our natif Country, to whose it is a terrour, or fairfull thing that 
men should be handeld so in Pensilvania. 

"This was is from our meeting at Germantown hold ye i8 of 
the 2 month 1688 to be delivred to the monthly meeting at Rich- 
ard Warrel's. 

gerret hendericks 
derick op de graeff 
Francis daniell Pastorius 
Abraham op den graef. 

"At our monthly meeting at Dublin, ye 30 2 mo. 1688, we 
having inspected ye matter, above mentioned & considered of it 
we finde it so weighty that we think it not E;«pedient for us to 
meddle with it here, but do Rather comit it to ye consideration 
of ye Quarterly meeting, ye tennor of it being nearly related to ye 
truth. 

on behalfe of ye monthly meeting. 

signed, pr. Jo. HART." 

"This above mentioned was Read in our Quarterly meeting at 
Philadelphia, the 4 of ye 4 mo. "88, and was from thence recom- 
mended to the Yearly Meeting, and the above — said Derick, and 
the other two mentioned therein, to. present the same to ye aiboye- 
said meeting, it being a thing of too great a weight for this meet- 
ing to determine. 

Signed by order of ye meeting, 

ANTHONY MORRIS.' 



DEED TO FIRST MENNONITE CHURCH AT GERMANTOWN. 



TO ALL PEOPLE to whom these presents shall come I 
Henry Sellen of Kriesheim in the Germantownship in the County 
of Philadelphia & province of Pensilvania Yeoman fend greeting. 
WHEREAS Arnold van Vofsen of Bebbers-township in the sd 
County Husbandman & Mary his wife by their Indenture duly 
executed bearing date of the Sixth day of September Annog. domi 
1714, for the consideration therein mentioned did Grant and Con- 
vey unto me the sd Henry Sellen, & to John Neus late of German- 
town deceased, a certain piece of Land fcituate lying & being in 
Germantown in the sd County, Containing thirty-five perches of 
land, to hold the sd piece of land, with the appurtenances, unto us 
the sd Henry Sellen & John Neus, and to the furvivor of us & to 
the heirs and afsigns of the furvifor of us forever, as by the sd 
Indenture may at Large appear. Which sd land & premfses were- 
80 as aforesd convey'd tmto us by the direction & appointment 
of the Inhabitants in & about Germantown aforesd belonging to 
the Meeting of the people called Mennonist ( :alias Menisten:) 
AND the above recited Indenture was fo made or Intended to us 
in trust to the Intent only that we or either of us as should be 
& continue in unity & religious fellowship with the sd people & re- 
main m.embers of the meeting of the sd Mennonists ( rWhereunto 
we did & I now do belong:) should stand & be feized of the 
sd land & premises in and by the sd Indenture granlted. To the 
uses & Intents herein after mentioned & declared & under the 
conditions provisos & restrictions herein after limitted & ex- 
prefsed & to no other use Intent or purpose whatsoever, that is to 
say, FOR a place to erect a meeting house for the use and service 
of the sd Mennonists ( ralias Menisten :) and for a place to bury 
their dead, PROVIDED always that neither I nor my heirs nor 
any other person or persons succeeding me in this trust, who 



400 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

shall be declared by the members of sd Meeting for the time being 
to be out of unity with them shall be capable to execute this trust 
or ftand feized to the uses aforesd, nor have any right or Intrest 
in the sd premifses while I or they fhall fo remain. BUT that in 
all such cases as also when I or any fucceeding me in the trust 
aforesd shall happen to depart this life, than it shall & may be 
lawfull to & for the sd Members of the sd Meeting as often as 
Occasion shall require to make choice of others to manage & ex- 
ecute the sd trust in stead of such as shall so fall away or be de- 
ceased. AND UPON this further trust & confidence that we & 
the furvivor of us and the heirs of such furvivors should upon 
the request of the members of the meeting of the sd Mennonists 
either afsign over th sd trust or convey and settle the sd piece of 
land and premifses to such person or persons as the members of 
the sd meeting shall order or appoint, to and for the uses Intents 
and fervices herein before mentioned. 

NO"V\" KNOW YE, that I the sd Henry Sellen do hereby 
acknowledge, that I and the sd John Neus deceased were nomi- 
nated in the sd recited Indenture by and on the behalf of the sd 
people called Mennonists ( ralias Menisten:) and that we were, 
and by furvivorship I now am therein trusted only by and for 
the members of the sd meeting of Mennonists. And that I do 
not claim to have any right or Interest in the sd land & premifses 
or any part thereof to my own use & benefit by the sd Indenture 
or Conveyance so made to us as aforesaid or otherwise howsoever, 
BUT only to and for the use Intent & service herein before men- 
tioned under the Limitation and restriction above expreffed and 
reserved, And to no other use Intent or fervice whatsoever. In 
witnefs whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal, dated the 
Eight day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand seven 
hundred & twenty four. 

HENDRICK SELLEN L. S. 

Signed sealed and delivered 

in the presence of 

Martin Kolb 

Dirck Keyser 



TWO INTERESTING LETTERS. 

The following letters are inserted here because of their his- 
torical value and because of the deep, fervent piety for which, 
these letters are remarkable. It gives us a glimpse of the spirit 
of the times. Rudolph Landes was the first deacon in the Deep 
Run Mennonite congregation, Bucks county, Pennsylvania. 

Heppenheim, near Altzey, 

April 15th, 1786. 
Dear Worthy Friends : ' 

1 desire to express my heartfelt wish for your true welfare 
in all pertaining to the thriving of body and soul. The letter 
from you dear friends, Abraham and Rudolph Landes dated April 
J 2, 1784, we received on the 17th of August, 1784, with great 
pleasure, and through it ascertained as to your general health. We 
wish to announce that all who are still living of us are, praise the 
Lord, in good bodily health. Yet it has pleased the Lord, who 
alone is Ruler over life and death, to demand from us Elizabeth 
Burkyen in the month of May as also Christian Schmitt on the 
14th of June, 1784. They were called out of this toilsome world 
and transformed to Eternity, where in accordance with the 
Christian Faith they will increase the inhabitants of the other 
world. May the Almighty in his mercy prepare us for^a joyful 
following. I also announce that the youngest daughter, Christina, 
of Elizabeth Burkyen, deceased, was wedded to Rudolph Forrer 
also of "Wersheimer Hof ," and is in possession of the farm of her 
father, Jacob Burkyen, deceased. Futhermore I give you without 
concealment the information that within the past three or four 
years many of the families from this and other neighborhoods 
have moved into the kingdom of Poland. This journey of over 
four hundred hours was made by my brother John, leaving on the 
loth of October, 1784, as also my brother Henry, who wedded 



402 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

CatHerine BrolHn, reformed religion, from Harxheim, on June 
13th, 1785, they together with Jacob Muller of Rudelsheim, with 
his son-in-law, Jacob Bursched of Harxheim. The journey was 
partly by water, but mostly overland. They went to improve their 
condition. The country is very fertile and does not belong to tfhe 
Kingdom of Poland any more. It is called now Mehro-Gallicia, 
which came into possession of the Roman Empire Majesty Joseph 
II, during the war times. Through his glorious and more than 
wise government, many colonists have settled there, as also 
Estates of Nobility and church. They are furnished with good 
new homesteads with about fifty acres of land without any cost, 
also cattle, implements, house utensils, just as farmers need, 
also several free years without taxation. They have as yet not been 
assigned to places but hope to shortly. If they haven't been, they 
will certainly before long as they receive support until they are 
assigned their land. The favours which these people receive from 
the wise Joseph, is more than great. Not alone this, he is also a 
philanthrppist whose equal cannot be found among the crowned 
heads. He permits all religionf, which before his time was not 
permitted. I wrote you a letter which I presume you received 
in the fall of '84, through my brother-in-law, Jacob Rupp, who 
visited us from Pennsylvania, at that time, which contained a 
description of former times. Further I wish to acquaint you with 
the fact that the year '84 was such a complete failure that the 
oldest persons remember none such ; fruits, vegetables and crops of 
all kinds were very scarce, causing great hardship at the begin- 
ning of '85. The pen caimot "describe it at all. Now every thing is 
again blest and cheaper than in inany long years and the growing 
crops look well with us. We live in hopes of soon> getting a letter 
from you. Information is asked if Casper Hardt, brother of 
Jacob Hardt, did not come to you about 12 years ago. 

Mrs. Landes, her children, T and mine send you many greet- 
ings. Remember us in ycur prayers, we are willing to do likewise 
with God's sanction. With compliments and under the pro- 
tection of the Almighty, I am 

Your true and sincere friend. 

JACOB RUPP. 



TH'O INTERESTING LETTERS. 403 

P- S. — The above greetings include tiie entire circle of friend- 
ship—the Landes family, I must particularl}' mention Frederick 
Landes, who is just my age. I would like also to receive a few 
lines from him some time. 

Adieu. 



Reply of .Rudolph Landes. 

April 13, 1787, Bticks County. 
Bedminster Township at Deep Run. 
Worthy Friends : 

The Lord be with you through His holy, righteous Spirit, 
guide you through His sincere grace, love and mercy to the path 
of love and peace. This I wish you upon your friendly greetings, 
may the Lord and God of all grace give us and you all, strength 
to follow HinT on the path upon which He, preceded us through 
pure love to our eternal salvation and happiness, and loved not 
life unto death — ^His alone be praise, honor and commendation in 
all eternity. Amen. 

Beloved friend and Cousin Rupp, your writing of April 15, 
1786, we received and through it perceived that you were in part 
well, which was very pleasing to us. Also that some of our friends 
departed this life, and I hope that God in His mercy through 
Jesus Christ has receiver! and taken them into life eternal, that 
we may with the wise virgins be prepared, and that our light may 
be kept burning and our lamps not extinguished ; that adorned in 
the unsoiled wedding robe, we may, like unto mankind, wait for 
the Lord — that the Friend, the Lord, the Bridegroom may come 
when He pleases and would not then become alarmed, but would 
be joyful and enter with Hira to tlie nuptials — may our good Lord 
help us thereto through Jesus Christ. Amen. 

In regard to how we are getting on, we can say as far as 
bodily health is concerned, we are presumably well, thanks to 
the Lord, and we have also full and plenty to eat. Nor are we 
alarmed with war. although they are troubled inland with little 
warfares. What will come of it, only God knows. It is mostly 



404 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

on account of the money demands. A large portion of the Penn- 
sylvania inhabitants cannot become reconciled to this, and the 
humbling of the Lord's name does not please many. They have 
as yet been unaccustomed to it in this country. Yet again there 
are those who use the name of the Lord to greedily fill their 
hands and pod<ets with the farmer's possessions, and as they are 
no better than others, it causes indignation. Christs' followers 
have only to give attention to the Lord's commands. He saith, 
give unto the king whatspever belongeth to the ldng,.and to God 
what is his, and to love thine enemies and to plead with the of- 
fender, that you may be children of your Father in heaven, says 
Christ. 

It is asked if Casper Hardt had not come to this country. 1 
answer yes, and is still here as much as I know — away up country 
somewhere. I wrote about him to you last year, about him and 
Jacob Zimmerman, as they came to this country. Jacob Hardt 
is still living, as far as I know. He lives thirty hours trip from 
here. Furthermore you write that your brother had moved into 
the kingdom of Poland, regarding this I should like to hear more, 
providing it is not asking too much of you. Regarding the re- 
maining friends, the other letters will inform me. I heard that your 
brother-in-law, Jacob Rupp, had been in good health this winter. 
Also the- same of the widow and children of Jacob Landes. I and 
my housewife and children again send their heartfelt greetings, 
and to remember one another in prayers is my wish. The beloved 
God who has brought us this far and aided us will, I hope, help us 
lay our wearj' heads into the dust of the earth to rest until the 
Lord shall awaken us to the glory, comfort and happiness of yon- 
der life. As this goes beyond all thought, may the Lord therefore 
give us the strength to lead such lives that we may there look 
upon one another in eternal joy and splendor. This I wish you and 
us all through Jesus Christ. Amen. I would like to know if Cousin 
Landes' daughters, Magdalen and Grette, are still living. I send 
them and theirs hearty greetings, as also all our friends in this, 
writing^which has been done in simplicity and love. 
From vour friend, 

RUDOLPH LANDES. 



TWO INTERESTING LETTERS. 405 

It has frequently-come to my mind that I would like to know 
if old Christian Weber, William Kramer, Jacob Dahlem and John 
Haan are still living or any of them or who is in charge of the 
household of our Mennonite communit}- in Upper Florschheim 
where I was received in great poverty and ill health and taken up 
in the congregation of Jesus Christ. Which now being nearly 
38 years ago comes to my thoughts that though we wrote 
to one another from time to time, I fear the time at hand when we 
mortals will sink or have sunken to sleep and soon to hear "a 
cry at midnight, and behold the Bridegroom cometh," Now as the 
one to make the cry is not revealed to us, we should call to one 
another and be on guard as the enemy is watching and it is said 
goes about us like a roaring lion to devour us. Oh, that we may 
withstand him through (nu- belief- -though we are strangers by 
sight I hope that in iinited belief and united hope and in love, the 
Lord may strengthen our foundation that we may go on from 
strength to strengtli, from might to might, until we reach God in 
Zion, to this may God help us through Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Remember us also in your prayers. T am willing so far as 
the Lord aids me in my weakness to do likewise. Take this up 
in love as it is done in love. 

To a heartfelt friendly and brotherly greeting in the Lord 
from 

RUDOLPH LANDES. 

N. B. — Cousin Rupp, I trust you will execute the wishes ex- 
pressed, and hope you will write and if we live and the Lord is 
willing, we will continue our correspondence. 




THE ADDRESS TO THE CHURCH BY THE PRELIMINARY GEN- 
ERAL CONFERENCE MEETING (1897). 



We, as bishops, ministers and delegatesi assembled in a pre- 
liminary general conference meeting, after having carefully and 
prayerfully considered the important question as to whether a gen- 
eral conference would be upbuilding to the Mennonite Church of 
America and conducive to the spiritual prosperity of our people, 
have decided that such would be the case, and have therefore con- 
cluded to issue the following 

CALL FOE A GENERAL CONFFERENCE. 

I. The object of this conference shall be : 

T. To bring about a closer tinity of sentiment on Gospel 
principles. 

The primary object of a general conference is not the bring- 
ing about of a union of our denominational name. Whether we 
belong to one division or the other of our Mennonite Church is of 
little consequence so long as we can work as one body in carrying 
out the principles of the Gospel. 

That God wishes to see His children work togellier in one 
body, united on Gospel principles, there can be no doubt (John 
17:21, 22). That we become solidly united on the principles by 
coming together in love and conferring together concerning them 
and their applications in the Christian work, is equally clear. 
(Mai. 3:16 — 18; Heb. 10:24, 25.) We learn from those with 
whom we associate. A lack of frequent intercourse allows outside 
influences to mould our convictions of right concerning questions 
that are not settled by a direct "thus saitli the Lord" from the 
Bible. A lack of frequent spiritual intercourse is largely to blame 



ADDRESS TO THE CHURCH. 407 

for the fact that there are at present so many branches of the 
Mennonite family. A lack of frequent spiritual intercourse ac- 
counts for the differences of opinion among some of our people 
concerning the best means of carrying on the Gospel work. Unite 
in a general conference, conducted according to the teaching of 
the Gospel, and we believe that most of these differences will dis- 
appear. A unity on Gospel principles means a weeding out of 
heretical doctrines, and the consequent purity of the church. 

2. To bring about a closer bond of sympathy among the 
congregations in various parts of our brotherhood. 

An association in work in which we have a common interest 
brings us closer together. United in a work in Whidh we have a 
common interest, the bond of sympathy and of love becomes 
stronger, and the danger of the enemy sowing his seeds of dissen- 
sion and causing divisions becomes correspondingly less. 

3. To establish confidence among the different conferences 
and the ministers in their respective fields of labor. 

Confidence grows as the bond of sympathy becomes stronger, 
and a knowledge of one another's work becomes more perfect. A 
feeling of distrust is often removed when we once thoroughly un- 
derstand the motives and the character of the work of those whom 
we had mistrusted. 

4. To form a body the object of which is to direct the work 
that is of common interest to all our congregatons. 

How can we as a church have a position on any question un- 
less there is a body to take that position ? 

5. To further promote the prosperity of the church. 

In unity there is strength. By uniting in a general conference 
the power of the church to direct the work that concerns the 
general welfare of the church is proportionately increased. 

At this preliminary meeting it has become apparent that in 
the West and other places where the congregations are smaller 
and farther separated from one another, the sentiment for a gen- 
eral conference is the strongest. The reason for this is that in 
these weaker districts and isolated congregations the brotherhood 
is surrounded by worldly influences and the worldly example of 
many Who profess to be Christians while their lives are very 



4o8 MENNONITE CHURCH HISTORY. 

inconsistent. In this and jn other ways they are subjected to 
trials that frequently threaten to drive them away from the teach- 
ings of the scripture and the doctrines of the church. This causes 
them to feel the need of the assistance and fellowship of the strong- 
er and larger congregalions to assist and strengthen them in the 
conflict. Thus when the whole power of the church can be ex- 
erted at the weaker places, it will confer an element of strength 
that can be had in no other way. (Rom. 1.5 : 1-7.) 

II. Work of the General Conference. 

1. The general conference is to take a position on all the 
doctrines now generally held by our sixteen Mennonite and 
Amish Mennonite conferences, and which were adopted by the ■ 
general conference held at Dort in i()32. 

2. It should insist that all our church institutions, such as 
Orphans' Homes, Old People's Homes, Missions, Publishing 
houses, etc., shall be conducted according to the principles of oun 
church, but shall have no power to assume any control of these 
institutions so long as they are conducted according to the prin- 
ciples of our church, unless requested to do so by these institu- 
tions themselves. 

3. It shall have power to direct all work. 

4. It shall consider such advisory measures as may be 
brought before it. It shall not interfere with the workings of any 
of our district conferences, nor legislate on local questions except 
when requested by the district conference affected by such action- 

5. It shall refuse admission to any conference or congre- 
gation that is not in harmony with the principles and practices of 
our sixteen Mennonite or Amish Mennonite ccmferences. When- 
ever any of the conferences or congregations depart from these 
principles their connection with the general conference is severed. 

III. Plans, Manner of Representation, etc. 

I. The g'eneral conference shall be composed of those who 
are in harmony with the eighteen articles of faith adopted by the 
general conference held at Dort in 1632, who agree, and are in 
harmony with the doctrines, teachings, ordinances and rules of 
order maintained and practiced by the sixteen conferences of the 



ADDRESS TO THE CHURCH. 409 

United States and Canada, represented by the Herald of Truth, 
and who will voluntarily take action favoring the conference. 

2. It shall hold its first session at a time and place decided 
upon by a committee appointed for that purpose. 

3. The questions to be discussed at the general conference 
shall be first submitted to a committee consisting of one bishop 
or minister from each conference district. 

4. The business of the conference shall be transacted by the 
bishops of our sixteen or more district conferences, together with 
such delegates as may be chosen by our district conferences. The 
district conference s;hall be entitled to one delegate for every five 
congregations (or fraction thereof) within the district, but no 
district conference shaii be limited to less than three delegates 
besides the bishops. Single congregations not connected with any 
of our sixteen or more district conferences, but who are in har- 
mony with them in faith and practice, may send one delegate. 

Should any district conferences fail to unite with the others 
in a general conference, its relation to the other district confer- 
ences shall be considered as heretofore, the same as if no general 
conference had been organized. 

Believing that a general conference, as provided for in this 
report, and conducted according to the principles of the Gospel, 
would bring about the results as herein set forth, and hoping that 
our church in all sections of our country — east, west, north, south 
— ^will unite in its support, we submit this report for the considera- 
tion of all concerned. Let the important questions which should 
receive treatment by a whole, united phurch, receive our most 
prayerful consideration. Let us stand together in the great work 
to which we are called, laboring for the work which sincerity, 
unity, and fidelity to God are stire to accomplish, and leave the re- 
sults in the hand of God. 

Signed by twenty-three bishops; forty-one ministers; six 
deacons. 



ITnbej'. 



lAgape, 40. 
Early practice, 40. 
TertuUian's explanation, 40. 
Pliny's testimony, 40. 
lAggressive work — 
In Canada, 245. 
In Ohio, 252, 268. 
In Penmsylvania, 1S3, 185, 234, 
252. 

In Virginia, 215. 
In Indiana, 28i2, 287. 
In Illinois, 292. 
"West of the Mississdppi, 296, 297, 

302, 308. 
Alba's work, Ihike, 93. 
Albigenses, 57, 58. 
The name, '58. 

Fisher's and Faber's views, 58. 
Simon de Montfort's "Holy 

war," '59. 
flesults of forsaking nonHresls- 

tance, 59. 
!E\)ur things to be remembered, 

'59, 60. 
Amishj^Mennonites, 100, 136 
Founded by Jacob 'Ammon, 100. 
Cause for contention, lOO. 
Mennonites too^ much embitter- 
ed to permit a reconciliation,. 

101. 
Those in Europe at present, 117. 
First settlement in 'America, 

135, 136. 
First Amish Mennonite bishop in 

America, 136. 
Noted characters in the Early 

ChurcTi, 138. 
Trials of Revolutionary period, 

'139. 
Settlements in other states, 139- 

144. 
'Schisms, 145, 147. 
A general conference, 146. 
■District Conference, 146. 



Amlsh Mennonites — 

"Old Amish" or "'Old Order," 146. 

Progressive (?) element, 147. 

Table of 'Old Order," 151-158. 

Tables of the conservative 

branch, see pages 254, 25i5, 288, 
289, 310^312. 
Ammon, Jacob, 100, 136. 
Amstutz, D. €., 131. 
Anabaptists, 68, 370. 

The name, 68. 

Three classes, 70, 71. 

Confession of faith, 71. 

Views on the import of bap- 
tism, 72. 

Mode of baptism, 69. 

Public discussion with Zwingli, 
72. 

Edicts against them, 73, 74. 

'Persecutions suffered, 73, 74, 76. 

Spread of doctrine, 75, 76. 

Views of other authors, 72, 73, 
76, 77. 
Anlioch, Church at, ('Syria), 17. 
Antonjus Pius, Emperor, 28. 
Apostles' 'Creed, 40. 
lAristides, 28 

Augustine and his writings, 48, 49. 
Aurilius, (Emperor Marcus, 29. 
Babe of Bethlehem, 15. 
'Baer, J. B., 332. 
Ban, The, 92, 100. 
Bamshment under military escort. 

lO'O. 
Bailey, Yost, 291. 
Baptism, 95, 285. 

Jesus baptized, 15. 

First recorded instance not found 
in the Biblei 18. 

Clement and infant baptism, 22. 

Bishop Victor on baptism, 55. 

Petrobrussians immersionists ,57, 

rWaMenses and infant baptism, 
65. 



,412 



INDEX. 



Baptism 

Analjaptists and infant baptism, 
72. 

(Mode of baptism practiced by the 
Anabaptists, 69. 

iMenno Simon on infant baptism, 
86; on the true import of bap- 
tism, 87. 

Menno Simon not am immersion- 
is.t, 87. 
Baptists, 77, 97. 

Bar4Cocob, The impostor, 27, 28. 
Barnabas, 17. 
Basllides, 28. 
Battenburg, 92. 
Baumam, A. iS., 918. 
Beasley, Richard, 239. 
Bechtel, Joseph, 238. 
Beloved Disciple, 24. 
Bender, D. H., 234, 277, 367. 
Bender, G. (L., 269, 279, 280, 281. 
Berkey, E. J., 349. 
Betzner, Samuel, 238. 
Bible lOonferences, 234, 253, 292, 

2S8, 308. 
Bishops distinict from elders, 39, 43. 
Bishops, (EJarly American, 127, 136, 

178', 205. 
Bixler, Joseph, 227. 
Blaetter, Mennonitische, 120. 
Blauch, Jonas, 231. 
Blauch, Jacob, 226. 
Blauch, -H. H., 225, 230. 
Blaurock, George J., 69, 70, 74, 75. 
Bloody Ford, 199. 
Blosser, John, 266, 281, 860. 
Blosser, N. O., 266. ' 
Boehm, Martin, 177. 
Borelli's inquisition, 63. 
Bontrager, E. A., 287. 
Bowman, 'S. 'S., 246. 
Bowman, 'Moses, 245 
Brenneman, iDaniel, 234, 267, 275. 

Biographical sketch, 343. 

HJis abilities, 339. 

Church trial, 344. 
Brenneman, George, 267. 
Brenneman, John (M., 257. 

Biographical sketch, 265. 

His trials in aggressive work, 
267, 268. 

His interest in church literature, 
276. 
Bressler, J. 'F., 352. 
Brethren in Christ, 345. 



Brilhart, J. A., 234. 
Brubacher, Jacob, N. 

Biographical sketch, 185. 

His abilities, 185. 

His work in other conferences, 
193, 225. 
Brubaker; Jacob, 178. 
Brubaker, John, 231. 
Brueder Gemeinde, 134. 

Some of her doctrines. 134, 314. 
Brundage, Daniel, 294, 301. 
Brunk, G. R., 302, 303. 
Brunk, J. F., 298. 
Euchwalter, I. J., 263. 
Buller, Jacob, 133. 
Bullinger, 79. 

Burkholder, Martin, 205, 363. 
iBurkholder, Peter, 205 
Byers, N. E., 360. 
'Calvin, John, 110, 370. 
Canada, Conference, see Conferen- 
ces, Canada. 
Canon, Scripturo, 39. 
iCatharists, 54, 370. 

Their "doctrine, 54. 

Bishop Victor, 55. 

Bishop Cyril, 55. 

Persecutions suffered, 54. 

Their literature, 54. 

False Catharist.s, 55. 

CJatholic views of the Catharist^ 
55. 
Channel of Grace, The, 47. 
Chicago Home iMdssion, 349, (see 

missions), 
rtiristian Alliance, 148. 
Christianity a Crime, 25. 
Chri&tianit:", 'Motives for accept- 
ing, 47. 
Christophel, Jacob, 274. 
Chjvch and State, 4!5, 369. 
Cliurch at the Close of the First 

Century, The. 23. 
Church, Degrees in the, 44. 
Church Government, 32, a8, 44, 52. 
Chuich IdoiJ/'ed, The, 43. 
Church, Its growth and scattering, 

IC. 
Cliurch of God in Christ, ^36. 

Organization. n?6. 

dobn Holdeman, the founder, 33S. 

Cburch Dj.:Uines, 337. 

Holdeman's labors among the 
Russians. 3?" 

j-jcation and size of church, 338. 



INDEX. 



413 



Church trouliles, see Schisiv-'J. 
Clemect, hishop of Rome, 22, 23, 25. 
Clement, Fla-v'us. 22. 
Clergy, The, 43. 
Coffman, John. S. 
'Biographical sketch, 279. 
Evangelistic efforts and abilities, 
215, 221, 233, 245, 208, 292, 23G. 
His connectian with the Men- 
nonite Book and Tract iSoci- 
fty, 269, 2S1. 
His connection with the Elkhart 
Institute, 359, IlGO. 
Coffman, Samuel, 208, 216 221. 
Coffman, S. F., 2?.S, 245 317. 
Comforter, The, 16. 
Oonununion instituted, 16. 

CONFERENCES. 

Canada Conference, 237. 

Early settlements, 237-239. 

Poor titles for lands, 239, 

Great trials, 240. 

First session of conference, 242. 

Discord, 242; 243. 

Sunday School Conference, 244. 

Times of Awakening, 24i5. 

Table, 247-249. 
Eastern Amish IVlennonite Confer- 
ence, 250. 

Early Settlements, 135-139. 

Organization of conference, 250. 

Its growth and name, 250, 251. 

Early trials, 251. 

.A.ggressive work and workers, 
252. 

Table, 254, 255. 
Franconia Conference, 160. 

ESarly settlements, 125. 

Education and literature. 129, 

161. 

Various ccmgregations organiz- 
ed, l«3i 164. 

Christian Funck schism, lb6. 

Oberholtzer schism, 166. 

Methods of work, 168, 169. 

Table, 170, 171. 
Illincis 'Conference, 290. 

First settlements 290, 291. 

Conference organized, 290. 

Progress, 292. 

Workers and results, 292. 

Bible anid Sunday School Confer- 
ences, 252. 

Table, 293. 



Indiana-Michigan (A. M.) Confer- 
ence, 285. 

lEarly settlements, 141. 
Early troubles, 285. 
Conference organized, 286. 
Extension of conference work, 

287. 
Between the two extremes, 286. 
Evangelistic work, 287. 
Table, 288-289. 

Indiana-Michigan 'Conference, 273. 

Early settlers, 273. 

Early church leaders, 274. 

First session of conference, 275. 

Troublesome tim^s, 275. 

Mennonite Publishing Co., and 
its publications, 276, 277. 

Mennonite Aid Plan, 278. 

J. F. Funk, see Funk, J. F. 

J. 'S. Coffman, see Coffman, J. S. 

Mennonite Evangelizing and 
(Benevolent Board, 278 

Home and Foreign Relief Com- 
mission, 380. 

Elkhart Institute, 280. 

Mennonite Book and Tract So- 
ciety, 281. 

Some Modem History-Makers; 
281. 

Extension of the work, 282. 

Table, 283-284. 

Kansas-Nebraska Conference. 
'Early settlements, 300. 
Hard times, 30O, 302. 
Congregations organized, 30il. 
Growth of church beyond these 

states, 302. 
(Leading Workers, 30i3. 
Table, 304, 305. 

iLancaster iCounty Conference, 172. 

Early settlements, 129, 130. 

Extent of territory, 17'2, 178-182. 

Cause for large membership, 173. 

Herr family, 174. (See Herr fam- 
ily.) 

Hershey family, 176. (See Hersh- 
ey family.) 

Eiby family, 176. (iSee Eby fami- 
ly.) 

Hardships of Revolutionary per- 
iod, 176. 

Martin Boehm and the United 
Brethren 'Church, 177. 



414 



INDEX. 



Lancaster iCounty Conference — 

John Herr and the 'Reformed 
IMennonite Church, 177. 

(Schisms, 182, 184. 

Aggressive work, 183, 185. 

Jacob N. Brubacher, 1S&. (See 
Brubacher, Jacob N.) 

Table, 186-190. 
Missouri-Iowa Conference, 294. 

Early settlements and their 
trials, 295. 

Conference orgamized, 294. 

Early leaders, 294. 

(Life renewed and work ejctend- 
ed, 296, 297. 

Local Mission Board and Kan- 
sas City Mission, 298. 

Bible and Sunday School Confer- 
ences, 298. 

Table, 299. 
INebraska-iMinnesota iConference, 

313. 

Henry Epp and Isaac iPeters 
among the first settlers, 313. 

A schism, cause, 313. 

A new conference organized, 
cause, 314. 

Characteristics of the members, 
314. 

Their literature, 315. 

Table, 315. 
Northwestern Canada Conference, 

317. 

Early settlements, 317. 

S. P. Ooffman's work, 317. 

'Conference organized, 318. 

Table, 318. 
Ohio Conference, 256. 

EarlT Mennonite settlements, 
257, 259, 2e0, 261, 264, 265, 266. 

First Mennonite minister, 257. 

■Araish Mennonite settlements in 
■Ohio, 257, 238, 259, 261, 262, 
203. 

Swiss Mennonites in Ohio, 261. 

'Schisms, 262. 

IConference organized, 262. 

Lenity of efeort, effect, 268. 269. 

IMennonite Book and Tract 'So- 
ciety, 269. 

Literature and mission spirit, 269. 

Homes for the helpless, 270. 

Table, 271, 272. 
Southwestern Pennsylvania, 225. 

Early settlers, 226. 227, 228, 231. 



Southwestern Pennsylvania — 

Conferenoe organized, 225. 

Extent of jurisdiction, 226-232. 

Sunday School, 227. 

Sunday School 'Conference, 227. 

A line of bishops, 227, 2:28. 

J. N. I>urr ordained, effect, 225. 

Aaron Loucks ordained, effect, 
228. 

Decline and growth of the church 
at Meyersdale, 230'. 

A reti'ospective view, 233. 

First foreign missionary, 234. 

Table, 235-236. 
Virginia 'Conference, 198. 

Early settlers, 198, 201. 

Murder of the Rhodes family,. 199 

Title to land, 200. 

Places for worship, 201, 202. 

Language in worship, 2031. 

Conference organized, 204. 

Church troubles, 20'5. 

Trials during the Civil War, 206. 

■Brethren in Libby Prison, 210. 

'Aggressive work, 215. 

The West Virginia field, 316. 

Loss of membership, 218. 

Extinct congregations, 220. 

Table, 222-224. 
Washington 'Co., Md. and PYanklin 

'Co., Pa. Conference, 191. 

Eaily settlements, 191, 192. 

First bishop, 191. 

First meeting houses, 192. 

Under Lancaster county bishops;, 
193. 

George S. Keener ordained bish- 
op, 193. 

Trials during the Civil War, 194. 

New methods, 195. 

Table, 197. 
Western District Amish Mennonite 

Conference, 306. 

Early settlements, 141, 142, 143, 
144. 

'Organization of conference. 306. 

First session, 308. 

Condition of the congregatiins, 
306. 

Three questions, 306, 307. 

'Attitude of Mennonites and Am- 
ish Mennonites, 308. 

IBlesslngs upon conference, 308. 

^Aggressive work, 308. 

Some leading workers, 30'9. 



INDEX. 



415 



Western District 'Amish Meimonite 
Conference — 

Table, 310-312. 
Confessions of Faith, Mennonite. 

Dortrecht iConlession, lOS, 122, 
, 367. 

Burkholder Oomfession, 206. 
Constantlne, the Emperor, 45, 46, 

47, 369. 
Constantine, the Paulician, see 

Paulicians. 
Cornelius, bishop of Rome, 53. 
Couuicils, Origin of, 39. 
Council at Jerusalem, 17. 
Council at Iconium, 31, 32. 
Ooimcil at Nice, 45. 
Cumberland County, (Pa.), 181. 
Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, 32. 

iHis views on the church and its 
government, 32, 44, S2, 53. 
Debates by the LA.nabaptists, 7'2. 
Debates by the Mennomites, 102. 
Decius, the Emperor, 35. 
Decline of the Western 'Empire, 46. 
Defenseless Memonites, 142. 

(Henry Egll, the founder, 147. 

Reasons given for the new or- 
ganization, 147. 

Strict discipline, 148. 

Spreading of the movement, 148. 

Schisms among them, 148. 

Number of members and minis- 
ters, 149. 
Deffenbaugh, Christian, 228. 
Degrees in tlie Church,* 44. 
Delaware Bay, Mennonite settle- 
ment on, 125. 
(Demetrius, bishop of Alexandria, 

34. 
De Motfort, ISimon, 59. 
Denner, Jacob, 96. 
Denck, Hans, 111. 

His character, 70. 

I-Iis orthodoxy, 70. 
Detwiler, I. R., 356. 
Diocletian, the Emperor, 38. 
Dlonysius, bishop of Alexandria, 36. 
Dionysius, bishop of Corinth, 27. 
Dock, Christopher, 127, 161. 

iBiographlcal sketch, 359. 

Die' Schulordnnng, 359. 

Bis abilities, 359. 

His death, 359. 
Domitilla, Plavia, 22. 
Domitian, Emperor, 21, 26. 



Driver, D. ¥., 296. i ; • 

Driver, Jos. N., 217. 
Duko Alba's work, 93. 
iDurr, John N., 225, 228, 23 1. 
Early literature in America, 161. 
Eastern Amish Mennonite Confer- 
ence, see 'Conferences, Eastern 
(Amish Mennonite. 
EbiOKites, 20. 

Eby, Christian, 176. ': 

Eby Family, 176. 

Peter Eby, 176, 178. 

Isaac Eby, 276. 

Eenjamin Eby, 240. 
Eby, Matthias, 290. 
Eby, Theodorus, 176. 
Edicts — 

Against the early Christians, 32, 
33. 

Against the Albigenses, 58. 

Against the Anabaptists, 74. 

Againtit Menno Bimon, 83. 
Education, Mennonites and', 95, 358. 
Effect of Napoleonic wars, 105. 
Egli, (Henry, 147, 148, 265. 
Elders, bishops distinct from, 39. 
Elkhart Institute, 280, 360. 

Opened as a private school, 360. 

Elkhart Institute Association 
formed, 360. 

Causes for its organization, 359. 

First officers, 360. 

'Leading men connected with it, 
360. 

Goshen College, 362. 
EJphesus, 21. 
Epp, Henry, 313. 
Evangelistic work — 

IBy the Apostles, 17, 21, 24. 

iBy those of the Succession, 53, 
'65, 67, 72, 75. 

(By Menno Simon, 82. 

(By Mennonites in Europe, 118. 

By Mennonites in America, 183. 
216, 217, 234, 245, 252, 278, 287, 
292, 297, 303, 306. 
Euseblus, 19, 22. 
Ewert, H. H., 334. 
Excommunication, 38. 
Excommunicated penitents, 44. 
Extinct congregations in Virgrinla, 

220. 
(Fairfax, Lord, 200. 
Fall of Jerusalem, 19. 
Fast, Missionary, 115. 



4i6 



INDEX. 



First converts not mentioned in 

the Bible, 18. 
■Flavia Domitilla, 22. 
Flavius Cdement, 22. 
Forms of worship 23, 
Franconia Conference, see Confer- 
ences, Franconia Conference. 
Freed, Jacob, 274. 
Freedom of worship, lOS. 
Funick, Christian, l'©5. 
Funk, A. K., 277. 
Funk, David, 229. 
Funik, Heinrich, 163, 164. 

■Biographical sketch, 163. 

Translation of Martyr's Mirror, 
XQZ. 

His writings, 163. 
Funk, J. F., 281, 359. 

Biographical sketch, 276. 

[Editor of "Herald of Truth" and 
head of Mennonlte Publishing 
Company, 267, 276. 

His aid in Russian immigration, 
133. 

lA pioneer in evangelistic work, 
234. 
Callus, the Emperor, 35. 
Garber, David, 270, 30i2, 308. 
Geil, John, 166. 
Gelnett, H. M., 232. 
Gerig, Benjamin, 252. 
Gerig, J. IS., 252. 
Gerig, Sebastian, 309. 
General Coniterenoe, A, 146, 250. 
Gercral Conference, Mennonlte, 

149, 363. — 

Eaily efforts, 363. 

Reasons for a General Confer- 
ence, 3C3. 

'First definite step, 364. 

Delegates at first committee 
meeting, 364. 

Second committee meeting, 365. 

Objections, 365. 

Preliminary meeting. 367. 

Report to the church, 367. 

First meeting, 368. 

'Subsequent meetings, 368. 
General Conference Mennonites of 

North America, 326, 366. 

Misunderstandings — John. H. 
Oberholtzer and the West 
Swamp Church, 326. 

Organization of conference, 327. 

"Religioeser Botschafter" and 



"Chrlstliches Volksihlatt," 327. 

An effort at reconciliation, 327. 

A movement toward a general 
conference, 327. 

(First session of conference, 3-28. 

The basis of unity questionable, 
329. 

Church extension, 330. 

Publishing Intereeta, 330, 335. 

Conferences, 331, 332. 

Missions, 3'32. 

Schools and colleges, 330 333, 
334. 
German hospitality, 119. 
Germantown settlement, 125, 160. 

Another name, 127. 
Gnostics, 20, 39, 40. 
Goerz, David, 332. 

Biographical sketch, 332. 

Interest in missions, 332. 

Business manager of Bethel Col- 
lege, 334. 

'Author, 3.S5. 
Goldschmidt, Josepih, 141. 
'Good, John, 294v 
Goshen College, 362. 
Gospel, Effect of the, 41. 
Grace, The 'Channel of, 47. 
GrayblU, CKrebiel) John and Jacob, 

182. 
Grebel, Conrad, 69, 111, 370'. 

His attack on Munzer 70. 
Grubb, N. B., 127, 331. 
Guengerich, S. D., 13'5, 151. 
Guengerich, -Daniel P., 142. 
Hadrian, Emperor, 27, 28. 
Haldeman, Abram, 182. 
Hallman, E. iS., 245. 
Hartman, Emanuel, 292. 
Hartzler, J. J., 309. 
Hartzler, J. 'K., 133, 146. 
Hartzler, J. IS., 286, 359, 360. 
Haury, John, 332. 
Heatwole, L. J., 198. 
Heatwole, R. J., 30'3. 
Hege, Christian, IIS. 
Hege,. Jacob, 118. 
Heuricans, 57. 
Hermagoras, 18. 
Herr, Abram, 174. 
Herr, Amos, 174. 
Herr, Benjamin, 174. 
Herr, Christian, 172, 173, 178. 
Herr family, 174. 
Herr, Hans, 129, 174, 324. 



INDEX. 



417 



Herr, John, 177. 
Biographical sketch, 324. 
Cause for his actions, 324. 
(His energetic work, 3'24. 

Her&hey family, 176. 

Three brothers ministers, 176. 

One in the West, 294. 
Hershey, J. <H., 233. 
Hertzler, Jacob, 136. 

Biographical sketch, 136. 

Emigrated from France to lAmer- 
ica, 136. 

■First Amish Mennonite bishop in 
America, 136. 
liotzer, ILudwig, 75. 
Hierarchy, 43. 
Hilty, David, 263. 
Hoch, Daniel, 242, 327, 333. 
Holdeman, John, 336. 

Biographical sketch, 336. 

IFounder of the Church of God 
in Christ, 336. 
Holding office, 160. 
Hoover, Martin, 27». 
Homer, J. S., 287. 

Home and Foreign Relief Commis- 
sion, 280, 353. 
Horsch, John, 281. 
Horst, -Michael, (HVrdO, 195. 
Horst, (Michael, (Ohio), 263. 
Hostetler, C. K., 279, 280, 281, 359. 
Hubmeier, Balthazar, 69, 70. 

His views on right govern- 
ment, 70. 
Him sicker, Henry, 166. 
Huss, John, 370. 
Hutterites in Moravia, lOl. 
Iconium, 'Council at, 31, 32. 
Ignatius, second bishop at Anti- 
och, 26. 

His writings, 26, 27. 

His views on the Sabbath, 26. 
Illinois Conference of Mennonitea, 
1149. 

Formerly a part of the Amish 
Mennonite General iConference, 
149. 

Joseph Stuckey the most promi- 
nent minister and bishop, 149. 

(Doctrines, 150. 

Numbers, 150. 
India Missions, see Missions. 
Indulgences, 49, SO, 51. 
Infant baptism, 22, 32, 65, 72, 86. 



Interpretations of the Scriptures, 

45. 
Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons, 27, 32, 

42. 
Jacob Ammon and Amish Men- 

nonltes, 100. ('See Amish Men- 

nonites.) 
Jewish Temple, 18. 
Jerusalem, 'Church at, IC, 20. 
Jerusalem, iCouncil at, 17. 
Jerusalem destroyed, 18, 19. 
Jesus, His birth, ministry, death, 

and resurrection, 16, 16. 
Jewish temple, 18. 
Jewish wars, 18, 2fl, 28. 
John, The Apostle, 21, 26, 30. 
His work ajt Ephesius 21. 
His teachings, 21. 
.Tohn, to Constantine. 25. 
Johns, D. J., 268, 286, 287. 
Johnson, Nicholas, 225. 
Joris, 92. 

Justin Martyr and his writings, 29. 
Kauftman, Daniel, 364. 
Kauffman, D. D., 295. 
Kauffman, John E., 252. 
Kauffman, J. N., 232i, 234. 
Keener, George S., 193, 194. 
Keim, David, 231. 
Keim, Teter, 275. 
King, John P., 252. 
Klassen, John, 115. 
Kolb, Dielman, 163. 
Biographical sketch, 163. 
Prominence as a minister and 

worker, 163. 
Kolb, Martin, 163. 
Kratz, Valentine, 237. 
Krebiel (Graybill), John, 182i 
Krebiel (Graybill), Jacob, 182. 
Krehblel, Christian, 133, 330, 332. 
Krehbiel, Daniel, 328, 333. 
Krehbiel, H. P., 329, 335. 
Kreider, J. M., (Ohio), 264. 
Kreider, J. M., (Mo.), 297. 
Kulp, Isaac, Xi., 164. 
Kunders, Thomas, 161. 
Kurtz, Jonathan, 268, 286, 287. 
Lambert, George, 280, 363.- 
(Lancaster County Conference, see 

'Conferences, lAncaster County. 
'Lapp, Martin, 294. 
I-app, IS. G., 297. 
Leaman, A. H., 350. 
Lehman, Daniel, IM, 192. 



4i8 



INDEX. 



Lehman, J. S., 280. 

•Lehman, L. J., 292. 

Leo, Pope, 38, 43. 

Leonists, 60, 61. 

"Letter Party," 205. 

Libby Prison, Brethren in, 210. 

Liberty, Religious, 94. 

Its effects, 94. 
Lichty. J. A., 253, 353; 
LiOuckB, Aaron, 229, 234. 
Luther, Martin, 70, 110, 370. 
Mack, N. H., 3'51. 
Mani, 37, 38. 

Manichaeans, 37, 38, 56, 58, 60, ,61. 
Mantz, Felix, 69, 74, 370. 

iHis activity, 74. 

'His death, 74. 
iMarcon, 28. 
Marcus Aurelius, 29. 
Marriage, 41, 94. 
Martin, A. D., 230, 281. 
Martin, Henry, 178. 
Martin, Jonas, 186, 341, 342. 
Martin People, see Wisler iMennon- 

ites. 
Martyr, Justin, 29, 42. 
Martyr'a Mirror translated, 161, 276. 
Mast, B. A., 287. 
Mast, Fred, 252. 
Mast, Moses, 252. 
Maxentius, 45. 
Maximinus, 34, 3'5. 
Meeting house jn Maryland, First 

Mennonite, 192. 
Meeting house in Virginia, First 

Mennionite, 202. 
Melancthon, 370. 
Mennonitische Blaetter, 120. 
Menno Simon, 78. 

His birth and education, 78, 123. 

Martyrdom of Sioke Snyder, 79. 

The Munsteritea, 79. 

His conversion and renunciation 
of Romanism, 82. 

(His baptism, 104. 

■Pastor, bishop and organizer, 82. 

'Persecutions, 83. 

Decrees for his arrest, 83. 

iHis writings, 83-88. 

His relation to the earlier sects, 
90. 

His leadership, 91. 

His death, 88. 
Mennonite s — 

The name, 91. 



Mennonites — 

Mennonltes in Europe, 90, 113. 

In the Netherlands, 91, 122. 

In France, 114. 

In Germany, 118. 

In Switzerland, 97, 114. 

In the Palatinate, 102. 

In Prussia, 104. 

In Russia, 106, 116, 117. 

In America, 125 — . ' 

iThe AVaterlanders, 93. 

Hutterites in Moravia, lOL 

[Debates and points in dispute, 
102, 103; 105. 

Their attitude toward education; 
95. 

Their attitude toward the Quak- 
ers, 96, 111. 

lOhurch discipline, 96. 

Mennonite principles and seclu- 
sion, 108, 109. 

Their confession of faith, 109, 
122, 206. 

Their influence on world thought, 
111. 
Mennonite General Conference, 149, 
363. 

Early efforts, 363. 

Reasons for a General Confer- 
ence, 363. 

First definite step, 364. 

■Delegates at first committee 
meeting, 364. 

Second committee meeting, 365. 

Objections, 365. 

Preliminary meeting, 367. 

Report to the church, 367. 

First meeting, 368. 

Subsequent meetings, 368. 

Origin of the church, 343. 

Prime mover, 343. 

Brennieman's church trial, 344. 

Union of various bodies, 345. 

(Doctrines, 345. 

Progress, 346. 

(Publications, 346. 
Mennonite library, 122. 
Mennonite Aid Plan, 278. 
Mennonite Book and Tract Society, 

269, 281. 
Mennonite Brethren in Christ, 343. 
Mennonite Evangelizing and Benev- 
olent Board, 278. 
Mennonite Publishing Company, 
27-6. 



INDEX. 



419 



Metzler, Abram, 234. 
'Millenium doctrine, 30, 31. 
Miller, D. D., 287. 
Miller, Ed., 231. 
Miller, G-. (D., 231. 
Miller, Henry, 274. 
Miller, Jacob, 258. 
Miller, Joseph, 140. 
Miller, J. P., 282. 
Miller, L. J., 309. 
Miller, S. C, 303. 
Milner, 22. 

Minister at Germantown, First, 127. 
Ministry exempt from taxes, 46. 
Ministry, Qualifications of, 41. 
Missions, 115, 18i5, 215, 234, '298, 347. 
The church not alive to mission 

work, 347. 
Cause for change, 348. 
Chicago, Home Mission, 349. 
Its dark days, 349, 350. 
Its growth, 350. 
Workers, 3i50. 
Welsh Mountain Mission, 350. 
Its rise, 351, 
,ats object, 351. 
Results, 351. 
iPhiladelphia Mission, 352. 
Time, 352. 
Object, 352. 
Workers, 352. 
Fort Wayne Mission, 352. 

Workers, 358. 
Canton Mission, 353. 

Workers, 353. 
Kansas CityMission, 357. 

Workers, 357. 
India' Missions, 35'3. 

How the famine aided, 353. 
First missionaries there, 355. 
Two stations, 356. 
Number of members, 356. 
Mission spirit among the German 

Mennonites, 118. 
Monastacism, 35, 47. 
Montanus, 31. 
Montanlsts, 31, 32, 34. 
Moser, John, 330. 
Mnmaw, H. A., 359, 360. 
Munsterites, 70. 
Mraizerites, 70. 
Munzer, Thomas, 68, 69. 
Nazarenes, 20. 
Nero and his reign, 17. 
His persecutions, 18. 



Nerva, Emperor, 22, 25. 
New Testament Canon, 39. 
Nicolaitanes, 20i. 
Nice, Henry, 
Biographical sketch, 290. 
Manner of work, 290. 
Nice, John, 292. 
Nissley, Christian, 178. 
Nissley, Samuel, 178. 
Nold, Jacob, 260. 
Non-resistance. 
Taught by iChrist, 64. 
Practiced by some of the Albigen- 

ses, 58. 
A doctrine of the Waldenses, 64. 
Anabaptists divided on the sub- 
ject, 70, 71. 
Menno 'Simon's teachings, 88. 
Sufferings because of, 83, 93, 98, 

101, 103, 206-214. 
A cause for emigration, 105, 106, 

10«. 
Mennonites compared with oth- 
ers, 111. 
Position of Mennonites in Ameri- 
ca, 176, 193. 
Novatians. 
Cause of controversy, 52. 
Novatus and Cyprian, 53. 
Novatian elected bishop, 53. 
Their work in Africa and Asia 

Minor, 53. 
Church discipline, 53. 
They exist four centuries, 54. 
Nunemaker, John M., 302. 
Nussbaum, John, 274. 
Oath. 
Avoided by the Waldenses, 62. 
A barrier to holding civil office, 

71. 
Mcide a test, 74, 75. 
Mennonites excused from, 104. 
Oberholtzer, John, H., 166, 328, 333, 
335, 366. 
Biographical sketch, 326. 
Strength and weakness of the 

man. 166, 326. 
BfEect upon the church, lp6, 167. 
His publications, 327. 
Ohio-Pennsylvania lOonference, see 
(Eastern Amish Mennonite Con- 
ference. 
Old People's Home, 270. 



4-20 



INDEX. 



Origen. 

His early life, 33. 

His scholarship, 33. 

His writings and travels, 34. 

His death, 34. 
Orphanages, 149, 270. 
Page, W. B., 355. 
Papias, bishop of Hieropolis, 30. 
Paper mill, First, 127. 
Pardon tickets, 50. 
iPastorius, 'Frances D., 126, 161. 
Paul, also called Saul, 17. 

His conversion, 17. 

His three missionary journeys, 17. 

(His death, 18. 

Paul, 'dement, co-laborer of, 22. 
Paul of Antioch, (260 'A. D.), 36. 
Pauliciams, 36, 37, 56. 

Their origin, 56 

Their doctrine, 56 

Persecutions suffered, 57. 
Paulinists, 36, 37. 
Pella, Christian's at, 20'. 
P©nn, William, 126. 
Penner, J. A., 3i32, 333. 
Pennsylvania, First Mennonite set- 
tlement in, 125. 
Persecutions, by — 

Nero, 18. 

Trajan, 26. 

Bar-'CkJcob, 28. 

Marcus Aurilius, 29. 

iSeverus, 32. 

Maximinus, 35. 

'Decius and Gallus, 3S. 

Valerian, 36. 

(Borelli, 63. 

Duke Alba, 93, 94. 

Protestants,, 98, 99, lOO. 
Peters, Isaac, 313. 
Petrobrussians, 57. 
Philadelphia Mission, see Missions. 
Phillips, Dirk, 104. 
Phillips, Ubbo, 104. 
Plank, David, 252. 
Pliny, 25, 41... 
Plockhoy, 'Oomelius, 12'5. 
Pole, Matthew, 114. 
.Polycarp, 26, 29, 30, 31. 
Pope, Leo, 38. 
Pope Symmachus, 46. 
Preaching by Mennonites in Vir- 
ginia, First English, 203'. 



Protestant persecutions, see Perse- 
cutions. 
Protest against slavery. First Amer- 
ican, 127. 
Protest of the States^ General, 99. 
Public services, 42. 
Purgatory, 49. 

Quadratus, bishop of Athens, 2S. 
Quakers and Mennonites, 96, 111. 
Beformed Mennonites (Herrites). 

Views with regard to shunning, 
323. 

Cause for organization, 323, 324. 

John Herr, the founder, 324, 

Faith and practiice, 324, 325. 

Attitude toward other denomina- 
tions, 325. 

Their stronghold, 325. 
'Reformed Mennonites of Indiana, 

344. 
Heist, Hans, 100. 

Religious liberty and its effects, 94. 
Removal of the scriptures from 

places of worship, 48. 
Ressler, J. A. 

His work in Sonthwestem Penn- 
sylvania, 230i 

First Mennonite Missionary to In- 
dia, 234. 

Trials in I'ndia, 356. 
■Rhodes family murdered, 199. 
Rittenhuysen, (Rittenjhonse), Wil- 
liam, 127. 

Biographical sketch, 127. 

First Mennonite bishop in Amer- 
ica, 127. 
Romans 'Conquer Jerusalem, 19. 
Romanism, 37, 43. 
Rome, Carnage in, 38. 
Rupp, Benjamin, 149. 
Rnpp, Henry, 181. 
Russian Mennonites, 313-315. 

Nationality, 132. 

Reasons for going to Russia, 13'2. 

Reasons for coming to America, 
13'2. 

Aid received, 133. 

Settlements in America, 133. 

Bchisms, 133. 

Ooniference relations, 134, 313-315. 
Sabbath, 27. 
'Sabellius, 36. 
iSabellianism, 36. 
Saturnius, 28. 
Saul of Tarsus, see Paul. 



INDEX. 



421 



'Schisms, 28, 36, 52» 92, 100, 14i5. 
148, 165, 166. 177. 182. 184. 206, 
243, 258, 262, 276, 313. 319. 

. Oauses, 319, 320. 

Bchiffler, Albrecht. 301. 

ScMeithelm Confession of 3PaiOi. Tl. 
109. 

iScMegel, Josepii, (Kan.) 308. 

Schlegel, Joseph, (Neb.) 309. 

(Scripture Canon, 39. 

Scripture interpreters, 45. 

'Scriptures remoyed from the 
churches, 48. 

'Seven deacons, 16. 

Severus, Emperor, 32, 33, 

Shank, iAndrew, 207. 

Sihank, OEtenry, first bishop of Vir- 
ginia, 205. 

Shaum, John, 275. 

Shenandoah "Valley raided, 212, 

'Shetler, B. G„ 234. 

Sheridan's Raid, '212. 

Shoemaker, J. S., 292. 

iSkippack, First settlement on tiie. 
129. 

Smith, John, 309. 
(Smith, 'C. H., 90. 
Smucker, J. P., 286. 
(Sommer, i: A., 330. 
Southwestern Pennsylvania Confer- 
ence, see Conferencesi, South- 
western Pennsylvania. 
Speicher, John, 27i5. 
iSprunger, iS. F., 330, 335. 
States General's protest, 99. 
StaufCer, Jacob, 337. 
Steiner, C. P., 265, 267. 
(Stemen, Henry. 

■First Mennonite minister ordain- 
ed in Ohio, 257. 

His activities, 257. 

General Harrison's prophecy, 257. 

Ordained bishop, 257. 
Steiner, M. ®., 256, 269, 281, 362. 
Stephen, 16. 
Stork, Nicholas, 68. 
Strite, C. R., 196. 
iStuckey, Joseph, 149. 

■Biographical sketch, 149. 
Succession, In the, 52. 
Sufferings during the Civil "Wiar, 

194, 206, 208, 2a0. 
Sunday Schools, 169, 186, 194, 215, 
227, 230, 244, 275. 



Sunday School conferences, 227, 
234, 244, 270, 287. 292. 298. 30(8. 
Swiss iMennonitea, 131, 2'61. 
Reasons for leaving Switzerlan*. 

331. 
Some of their characteristics, 131. 
Settlements in Ohio, 131. 
At Berne, Indiana, 131. 
Farther West, 131. 
Symeon, bishop at Jerusalem, 25. 
Symmachus, Pope, 46. 
Tables, 24, 151-159, 170-171, 186-190. 
197, 222-2i24, 235-236, 247-249, 
254-255, 271-272, 283-284, 288- 
289, 293, 299, 304-305, 310-312, 
315, 318. 
Taxes, The ministry exempt from, 

46. 
Telner, Jacob, 125. 
Tertullian, 42. 
iHls doctrine, 31. 
His writings, 33. 

His !Eixplanation of the Agape. 40. 
Titus as general and emperor, 18, 

19. 
Taufer and Taufgesinte, 97. 

Trajan, 25, 26, 27, 41. 
Treaty of Westphalia, 98. 
Trials of the Revolutionary period. 

176, 177. 
Trials of the War of 1812, 240. 
Trials of the Civil War, 194, 206-214. 
United Brethren Church, 177. 
Valerian, Emperor, 32, 36. 
Van der Smissen, Heinrioh, 120. 
Vespasian as general and emperor. 

18, 19. 
Virginia Conference, see Conferen- 
ces, Virginia. 
Vise used as an instrument of tor- 
ture, 121. 
Voth, H. R., 332. 
WaJdo, Peter, 61, 66. 
Waldenses, 60, 370. 
Italian Waldenses, 60. 
French Waldenses, 65. 
'Their theology, 62i, 66. 
Their views on infant baptism, 65. 
Their rapid increase, 66. 
Borelli's inquistion, 63. 
Waldenses in Italy at present, 67. 
In America, 68. 
Sacco's view, 60. 
Scyssel's view, 61. 
(Wall, Aaron, 314. 



422 



INDEX. 



Wall, C. M., 315. 

Waterlanders, 93i. 

Weliiiey, Samuel, 18i2 

Welsh. OVDountaln (Misisaon, see IMils- 

Bions. 
Wenger, A, D., Ill, 232, 245, 281, 

349, 355. 
Wenger, M. D., 278, 281. 
Westphalia, Treaty of, 98. 
West Virginia field, 216. 
Widrner, Michael, 114. 
William"" of Orange, 93. 
Wisler, Jacob. 276. 

Biograpliical sketchy 339. 

Controversy, 339. 

His abilities!, 339. 
Wisler Mennonltes, 185, 243. 



Wisler SMJennonites — 

Cause for the separation, 340. 

Various names, 342'. 

Efforts at reconciliation, 342. 

Present policy of the church, 341. 
Wltmarsum, 78, 122. 
Woolwich people, (see Wisler Men- 

, nonites). 
Worship, Freedom of, 19. 

Forms, 23, 38, 42. 
Yoder, A. I.. 34«. 
Voder, C. K., 268. 
Yoder, Jonas, 263. 
Zion's iPilger, 114. 
Zook, John, 252. 
Zwingli, 70, 110, 370. 

Effect of his death, 98. 



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