Who are the Anabaptists?

The Anabaptists (Greek anabaptismos, second baptism, or anabaptizein, to baptize again) were a more radical sect of the early sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation concentrated primarily in Switzerland, whose beliefs centered around the conscience baptism of the individual (in opposition to infant baptism). Anabaptists separated not only from the Catholic Church, but from the state in general. They considered themselves as free churches, consisting of simple associations of adult Christians meeting in homes rather than institutionalized churches. The movement began in Z�rich in 1525 by Conrad Grebel as a break from the leadership of Huldreich Zwingli, whose practices included nonresistance (Matthew 5:39), government by elders (Acts 14:23), communal living (Acts 4:32), and the banning of unrepentant brothers (Matthew 18:15-17). Their aim was at restoring the lives of Christian believers to the elementary principles of the early Church as outlined in the Book of Acts. Most groups of this sect were harshly persecuted by both Church and State (including persecution and beheading by Protestants). Sects of the Anabaptists include the Brethren, Mennonites, Hutterites, and Amish.

        "You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." (Matthew 5:38-45)


Founded by a Swiss Mennonite bishop named Jacob Amman (1644-?), the Amish were a faction of the Swiss Brethren in the late seventeenth century who felt strongly about banning those in their church who did not conform. Due to persecution, they migrated to North America in the eighteenth century and settled primarily in Pennsylvania, the midwestern U.S., and Ontario, Canada. The Old Order Amish, also known as the Plain People, comply with guidelines set forth in eighteenth century Dutch Pennsylvania, which still include black conservative dress, horse-drawn buggies and farm equiment, seventeenth century Swiss-German customs, agrarian lifestyles, compliance with the Ordnung (daily rules for living), private education in one-room schoolhouses through the eighth grade, speaking the Dutch Pennsylvania dialect of German, rejection of military service, a literal interpretation of the Bible, social avoidance of sinners (Meidung), and separation from the world. They are known for living simple lives -- without electricity, music, pictures, mirrors, or automobiles -- whose activities, such as barn raisings, quilting parties, threshing bees, and country auctions, have become tourist attractions. Church congregations consist of about 250 members and are headed by a bishop, preacher, and deacon. Services are held in homes, conducted in High German, and generally include chanted hymnals and foot washings. Married women wear a white prayer covering on their head and married men grow a beard. A smaller, more modern sect, known as the Beachy Amish or Church Amish, permit the use of cars and farm equiment and meet in church buildings. Today, the Amish number roughly 200,000 and are generally affiliated with the Mennonites.

National Committee For Amish Religious Freedom

"The National Committee for Amish Religious Freedom was founded in 1967 at the University of Chicago for the purpose of preserving the religious liberty of the Old Order Amish (and related Anabaptist groups, including Mennonites) -- and hence religious liberty for us all. The Amish are frequently threatened by laws and regulations made for modern industrialized society -- laws which could destroy the Amish religious community. Without realizing it, the Amish way of life could be wiped out by laws made to control a monolithic technological society. The Amish are at a disadvantage when it comes to defending themselves in courts or before legislative committees. They do no believe in going to court to settle human conflict, for the Bible says "Turn the other cheek," and they do not easily complain nor do they have lobbyists. The Constitution of the United States guarantees religious liberty, but without an advocate, the Amish cause is frequently misunderstood or the basic legal solutions are not raised in the courts. The National Committee for Amish Religious Freedom seeks to be that advocate."

The Pennsylvania Dutch Country - Amish

"The Amish are a religious group who live in settlements in 22 states and Ontario, Canada. The oldest group of Old Order Amish, about 16-18,000 people live in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The Amish stress humility, family and community, and separation from the world. Although Lancaster Amish are Pennsylvania Dutch, all Pennsylvania Dutch are not Amish. The Pennsylvania Dutch are natives of Central Pennsylvania, particularly Lancaster and its surrounding counties. Unlike the Amish, they are not all one religion. Instead, their common bond is a mainly German background (Pennsylvania Dutch is actually Pennsylvania Deutsch, or German). They also have Welsh, English, Scottish, Swiss, and French ancestry."

ReligiousTolerance.org - The Amish: Beliefs, Practices, and Conflicts

"On 2004-JAN-18, UPN , and CBS (who oversees UPN) announced a new reality show to be tentatively called "Amish in the City." The show involves five 16-year old Amish youth who will be matched up with five "mainstream young adults" chosen by UPN. They will live together in a house. The exact city has yet to be selected. The creators insist that the program will be "totally respectful" and is "not intended to insult." However, the show would appear to violate one of the fundamental practices of the Amish, the prohibition of graven images, including pictures, movies, or TV images."

        "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector." (Matthew 18:15-17)


Founded in 1708 by a miller named Alexander Mack (1679-1735) in Schwarzenau, Germany, the Brethren (originally known as the German Baptists) were an outcome of radical Anabaptist and Pietist beliefs based on a more personal relationship with Jesus Christ than the Catholic, Protestant, and Reformed churches promoted. The Brethren's practice of rebaptizing adults who had been infant baptized into established churches was considered illegal. Persecuted in Germany, they migrated to Switzerland and the Netherlands, then to Pennsylvania in 1719 under the leadership of Peter Beck. In 1729, many of the remaining Brethren in Europe under the leadership of Alexander Mack also emigrated to Pennsylvania. Although closely related in tradition and beliefs to the Mennonites, the Brethren rejected the shared confessions of organized Mennonite conferences in favor of the New Testament as their only creed. As a primitive Christian fellowship of believers, the Brethren avoided military service, political involvement, religious iconography, fashionable dress, musical instruments, and contact with the world outside their own rural communities. They promoted Christian unity (often addressing one another as "Brother" or "Sister"), self-discipline, social punishment (including shunning), obedience, and worldly non-conformity. As the Brethren grew and spread from the northeastern U.S. to the midwest throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, they began to modernize, industrialize, and evangelize. They also began to accept and insitgate higher education. Today, the Brethren as a whole comprise over 300,000 members within five main factions: Old German Baptist Brethren, Brethren Church, Dunkard Brethren, Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, and its largest group, Church of the Brethren.

Brethren in Christ of North America

"The Brethren in Christ Church began about 1780 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, when a group of Mennonites became dissatisfied with the lack of spiritual passion in the church. Then they met some "pietists" from Germany who had a warm-hearted relationship with God. This, they believed, was more in keeping with the personal-experience type of faith they knew from the scriptures. As Mennonites with "anabaptist" convictions, they already had developed a strong commitment to be radical disciples of Jesus, to be separated from the world's values, to live as a loving, spiritual community, to hold one another accountable in their walk with Christ, and to practice believers' baptism. Now they added the heart-felt devotion and joy of pietism. These "Brethren" were eventually called "River Brethren" because they lived near the Susquehanna River, but by the late 1800's they had become the "Brethren in Christ." About the turn of the century, the doctrine of Wesleyan holiness was embraced by the Brethren in Christ. It fit well with their anabaptist and pietistic roots, for it affirmed that the Holy Spirit's ministry of making all things new in the heart of the believer enabled them to say "no" to sin. Thus, they believed, it should be more normal for a Christian to be holy than to be unholy. Today the essentials of this doctrine are still taught: When we fully surrender our minds and hearts to God, we will overcome sin. The early anabaptists (who were actually reformers who felt that the Protestant Reformation didn't go far enough according to the Bible), also were pacifists. They believed that Jesus would not have taken up arms to fight in earthly battles and so they would not either. Today, this view is still part of our denomination's statement of faith, but it is not required for membership and other biblical views of military involvement are respected. Nevertheless, we still call all people at all times to "pursue peace" through promoting "forgiveness, understanding, reconciliation and non-violent resolution of conflict." Today the B.I.C. Church in North America (U.S. and Canada) is comprised of about 270 churches. Its headquarters is in Grantham, PA, just outside Messiah College - which was begun by the B.I.C. in 1909. Worldwide there are a total of 1100 churches in 23 countries with a combined membership of 80,000. (The largest B.I.C. church in the world is in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Africa, with 1800 attending.) The B.I.C. church also partners with the Mennonite Church through the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), which compassionately responds to social needs around the world in the name of Christ."

The Brethren Church

"The roots of the Brethren movement are to be found in Germany in the early 1700's. The people who would make up the eight founding members of the Brethren, including their outstanding leader, Alexander Mack, Sr., were originally part of a movement known as Radical Pietism. This movement called people to experience a life-changing spiritual awakening and to separate themselves from the established churches, particularly the Lutheran and Reformed churches, because they were viewed as having departed from true commitment to Jesus Christ. However, Radical Pietists saw no need for external expressions of the faith such as baptism and communion. Mack and other radicals experienced opposition from the state authorities for their beliefs, and therefore sought refuge in the county of Wittgenstein in the small town of Schwarzenau. Here Mack and a small group of fellow radicals came to the conviction in 1708 that full obedience to Jesus Christ and the Word required that they observe the practices of baptism, communion, and discipline. Their act of believer baptism in 1708 founded a new Christian fellowship. Zealous evangelism of their fellow radicals, the established churches, and the Mennonites spread their faith to several other locations in Germany. But this activity also brought persecution on the Brethren from the authorities in Germany including exile, confiscation of property, imprisonment, and service as a galley slave in one case. In 1719 about twenty Brethren families, from the congregation in Krefeld, Germany, were the first Brethren to emigrate to America. Under the leadership of Peter Becker, they settled in Germantown, Pennsylvania, in the colony that William Penn had opened up as a haven for religious dissenters in Europe. In 1720 Alexander Mack led the Schwarzenau group to Surhuisterveen in West Friesland in the Netherlands. This move was probably occasioned both by continuing governmental pressure on the Brethren and economic hardships. Then in 1729 Mack led about 120 Brethren to America, who settled in Pennsylvania as well. Few Brethren remained in Europe after these emigrations; those who did tended to join other Pietistic groups or similar groups like the Mennonites."

Brethren Revival Fellowship

"What are the specific concerns of BRF?
  • the fact that many within the Church of the Brethren have set aside a firm belief in the trustworthiness and authority of the Bible, and knowingly or unknowingly have embraced the historical-critical views of Biblical interpretation.
  • the drift from a balanced Biblical-Anabaptist-Pietist and Brethren-oriented understanding of church and state, war and peace, church discipline, and New Testament ordinances (such as the three-part Love Feast).
  • the turn from preaching the Gospel of reconciliation of the individual to God through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, to a human centered program of political involvement.
  • the diminishing membership and the need for revival and evangelism within the Church of the Brethren.
  • the content of Church of the Brethren produced materials which so often call for the acceptance of more diversity, and give evidence of more drift toward a broad inclusiveness that embraces even those who practice a sexually immoral lifestyle.
  • our denomination's participation in the National and World Councils of Churches (and their local affiliates) with their slant toward syncretism, and their reimagining God and allowing room for multiple gods and goddesses.
  • saving the Church of the Brethren and not fragmenting it by splintering into many small independent groups. We encourage evangelical members of the denomination to stay in the Church of the Brethren and witness there."

Church of the Brethren Network

"Puzzled by all the Brethren denominations? There are so many Christian groups using the term Brethren, that questions frequently arise concerning their relationship with each other. The purpose of this exercise is to acquaint you with a basic, non-theological outline of denominations using the word Brethren, and hopefully give you an overview of how we all fit together. One very common denominator which usually holds true for most Brethren groups is that each progenitive body originated in central Europe during the Fifteenth to Eighteenth centuries under mild to severe religious persecution. There are eight main Brethren groups, and each sub-group is listed under their progenitor. When possible, links have been included to other web sites that offer additional material, that will hopefully increase the understanding of a specific group. Reasonable consideration should therefore be exercised that opinions expressed are solely the responsibility of the editors of that site, and may not represent an official position of the governing denominational body." (by Ronald J. Gordon)

Church of the Brethren

"Eighteenth century Europe was a time of strong governmental control of the church and low tolerance for religious diversity. Nevertheless, there were religious dissenters who lived their faith in spite of the threat of persecution. Some of these dissenters found refuge in the town of Schwarzenau, Germany. Among them was Alexander Mack, a miller who had been influenced by both Pietism and Anabaptism. In August 1708 five men and three women gathered at the Eder River in Schwarzenau for baptism, an illegal act since all had been baptized as infants. They understood this baptism as an outward symbol of their new faith and as a commitment to living that faith in community. An anonymous member of the group first baptized Mack. He, in turn, baptized the other seven. This new group simply called themselves �brethren.� Though the early Brethren shared many beliefs with other Protestants, a number of issues separated them from the state churches. Relying on the New Testament as their guide, these men and women believed that Jesus had intended for his followers a different kind of life�one based on peaceful action, plain and compassionate living, and a shared search for truth. They also shared their faith enthusiastically with others, sending evangelists to other parts of Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands."

Church of the United Brethren in Christ, USA

"It was 1767, and an inter-denominational renewal movement was sweeping through the colonies. Back then, Christians would gather in what they called �Great Meetings.� These were lively affairs. Several hundred people from all over might spend several days hearing a string of stirring speakers. Isaac Long hosted a Great Meeting at his big barn in Lancaster, Pa. Martin Boehm, a Mennonite preacher, told his story of becoming a Christian and a minister. It deeply moved William Otterbein, a German Reformed pastor. Otterbein left his seat, embraced Boehm, and said loud enough for everyone to hear, �Wir sind bruder.� (Oh--we spoke German back then.) Otterbein�s words meant, �We are brethren.� Out of this revival movement came a new denomination, and it took its name from Otterbein�s words: United Brethren in Christ... We start the clock in 1767, there in Long�s Barn (which makes us 230 years old). But it was a loose movement for many years. As time wore on, they saw the need for some organization and standards. The movement spread to include a bunch of German speaking churches in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and Ohio. In time, the loose movement saw the need for organization. In 1800, they began holding a yearly conference for business and inspiration--the forerunner of today�s �General Conference,� our highest decision-making body... The United Brethren church has the distinction of being the first denomination to actually begin in the United States. Other denominations existed at the time (Lutheran, Reformed, Mennonite, and others), but they were transplants from Europe. The United Brethren church was truly Made in America."

Dunkard Brethren Church

"Be it known unto all men: That there is a people who, as little children (LUKE 18:17), accept the Word of the New Testament as a message from heaven (HEB 1:1,2), and teach it in full (2 TIM 4:1 , MAT 28:20). They baptize believers by trine immersion (MAT 28:19), with a forward action (ROM 6:5) for the remission of sins (ACTS 2:38), and lay hands on those baptized, asking upon them the gift of God's Spirit (ACT 19:5,6). They follow the command and example of washing one another's feet (JOHN 13;14,17). They take the Lords' Supper at night (JOHN 13:30) at one and the same time, tarrying one for another (1 COR 11:33,34). They take the communion at night, after supper, as did the Lord (LUKE 22:19,20). They greet one another with a holy kiss (ACT 20:37; ROM 16:16 ; 1 PET 5:14). They anoint and lay hands on the sick (JAMES 5:14,15; MAR 6:13). They teach all the doctrines of Christ, peace (HEB 12:14), love (1 COR 13:1), unity (EPH 4), both faith and works (JAMES 2:17,20). Sisters cover and brethren uncover their heads in worship (1 CO 11:3, 10). They labor for nonconformity to the world in its vain and wicked customs (ROM 12:2; 1 TI 2: 9,10; 1 PE 3:3,5). They refrain from going to law (1 CO 6:1,8). Musical instruments are not used in worship (EPH 5:19; COL 3:16; AMOS 6:5). They advocate nonswearing (MAT 5:34,37), and anti-secretism (2 CO 6:14,17; MAT 24:26), opposition to war (JOHN 18:36), doing good unto all men (MAT 5:44,46). Dear reader, for the above we contend earnestly, and you are entreated to hear and accept it as the word and the faith once delivered to the saints (JUDE 1:3)."

Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches

"The story of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches (FGBC) begins with the Pietists in the 18th century. These German Christians reacted against the dead orthodoxy that had taken over the great Reformation churches. Pastors had only to sign the right creed to serve. Theologians viciously wrangled over words. Membership in the parish church was enough to say that you were a Christian. However, the Pietists proclaimed that Christianity was a faith to be lived and experienced. They rejected creeds as the products of men, elevated over the Bible. They wanted preaching that applied the Scriptures to LIFE. The Pietists did not want to create a new denomination but hoped to reform the dead state churches. Alexander Mack, the founder of the Brethren movement, was greatly impacted by these Pietists. The story also begins with the Anabaptists. The Anabaptists had lived in Germany for almost two hundred years. They were seen as the radicals of the Reformation who did not want to simply reform the existing church, but instead create a New Testament church from the ground up. In addition to believer's baptism, they rejected swearing oaths and participation in the military. They advanced a strong sense of community in the local church. Alexander Mack was also influenced by these Anabaptists. The crisis for Mack and his small group of fellow Bible students came when they studied Matthew 18:15-17. They discovered that they could not practice that passage correctly if there was not a church made up of believers committed and accountable to each other. Their continued study of the Bible led them to the creation of a local congregation. Out of this study they concluded that as believers they needed to be baptized by triune immersion and practice a threefold communion service. Out in the forest, this small group of eight souls conducted a baptismal service after reading Luke 14:25-27. The Grace Brethren movement traces its roots from that small seed of faith planted in 1708. Persecution brought the Brethren to Pennsylvania. In a state church system, dissenters are seen as disloyal and unpatriotic. William Penn invited many Anabaptist groups, including the Brethren, to become productive citizens of his new colony. By 1729, virtually the entire Brethren membership had moved in with their German Anabaptist neighbors. Earnest efforts were made to plant new churches. The first Sunday School in the colonies was started by the Brethren in Philadelphia. The first European language Bible published in North America came off the press of a Brethren named Christopher Sauer. There was energy and a progressive spirit in these early Brethren. However, the legalism of the eastern Pennsylvania Anabaptists eventually took over the movement. This was a time when annual meetings debated the right meat to have at the Love Feast or the worldliness of carpet in the parlor. When the Second Great Awakening swept the United States, the Brethren had isolated themselves from the mainstream of American religious life and missed out on a great opportunity to reach people with the Gospel and to plant new churches. But this was not the end of the story...."

        "Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust." (Acts 14:23)


Founded by Jacob Hutter (1500-1536), an Anabaptist leader and hat maker from Southern Tyrol, Italy, during the sixteenth century who was burned at the stake as a heretic, the Hutterites (Bruderhof, "Society of Brothers" or Hutterian Brethren) were persecuted for their separatist faith and driven from Austria and Northern Italy to Moravia. In 1622, all Hutterites were expelled from Moravia and many emigrated to Russia. In 1874, a group of Hutterites emigrated to South Dakota in the U.S. Now primarily located in the northern U.S., from Washington to Minnesota, and Canada, from Alberta to Manitoba, the Hutterites number about 40,000 and have retained much of their initial beliefs, along with their original European dress -- black pants, coats, and hats for the men and ankle length dresses, aprons, and long coats for the women. Hutterites are traditionally Christian, with emphasis on separation of church and state, non-violence, adult baptism, and the Lord's Supper. Staunchly pacifist, the Hutterites live communally and share ownership in all property and material goods (Acts 2:44-47, 4:32-35). Each colony consists of between 60 to 160 people and is lead by a minister and an advisory board. Hutterites, whose modern mode of livelihood includes agriculture, livestock, and manufacturing, have a reputation as hard workers and all are assigned jobs within the colony. They speak both English and a Tyrolean dialect of German, the original language of their sermons and religious literature. Unlike the Amish, they have adapted to the use of modern technology. The three primary groups of Hutterites in North America include the Schmiedeleut, Dariusleut, and Lehrerleut.

The Hutterian Brethren

"The founders of the Hutterian Brethren were refugees from the Anabaptists from Switzerland, Germany, and the Tyrol (Northern Italy and Southern Austria) who settled in Moravia. In 1528 Jacob Wiederman became their leader. Also in 1528 they placed all their worldly goods together and started the communal way of life. In 1529 Jacob Hutter from the Tyrol with a group of refugees visited the colonies in Moravia. The two groups were united under Hutter's leadership. In 1533 Jacob Hutter was chosen leader of this united group. Hutter, a good organizer, forged the emergence of our Hutterian church. At this time our creed was established and has remained relatively unchanged since. Jacob Hutter was burned at the stake in Innsbruck, Austria, in 1536 for refusing to renounce his faith. Peter Riedeman was another very important founding member of our church. His Confession of Faith is still an accepted authority for our beliefs and practices. The four most important points are adult baptism of believers, community of goods, non resistance and the separation of church and state."

        "All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need." (Acts 4:32-35)


Founded by Menno Simons (1492-1559), a former Roman Catholic priest, the Mennonites (originally known as Mennists) were a Dutch sect of Anabaptists in Holland and Northern Germany begun in the sixteenth century. The largest of the Anabaptist movements, Mennonite beliefs are characterized by separation of church and state, freedom of conscience, voluntary church membership, rejection of all war and violence, love and non-resistance, brotherhood of the church, practical holiness, and literally following the teachings of Christ.

Bible Views - A Mennonite-Anabaptist Witness to Bible Teachings

"This Christian Internet site seeks to present articles, books, confessions, etc., that reflect Bible views on both doctrinal and practical areas of discipleship. These are written in a clear and simple style, supported by abundant Scripture, so the Lord can use His Word to tell His own story. Let us explain about our church background. Although we have connections to churches coming out of the Swiss and Dutch state churches during the Reformation, we do not wish to give the impression that this site is only denominational in nature. We recognize that no denomination is fully faithful to the Bible's teachings. What is important is to present strong, biblically oriented writings. Most of our articles are written by people of Anabaptist persuasion. The important fact, however, is that all of our contributing writers seek to be biblically based in their writings. These Bible-practicing Christians were tagged with the Anabaptist name because they rebaptized those who had been baptized as infants or as unbelievers by the state churches. This allowed the state to persecute and put the Anabaptist believers to death under an A.D. 529 Roman law. These disciples never used the term Anabaptist themselves, and they objected to the term because of the criminal character associated with it. They would have preferred to be called Brethren or Bible Christians, but their enemies' derogatory nickname stuck. Later some of them were called Mennonites after a prominent servant in this restored church, Menno Simons."

The Canadaian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches

"Many people had been converted to personal faith in Jesus in several villages of the Molotschna Mennonite colony in the Ukraine. The �brethren,� as they called themselves, met regularly in homes for Bible study and prayer. These home Bible studies were the cradle for the birth of the Mennonite Brethren Church. Two developments brought about a break with the old church. First, several small groups of the brethren (which also included sisters) requested a sympathetic elder of the Mennonite church to serve them the Lord�s Supper in their own home, according to Acts 2:46-47. They wanted to celebrate communion more frequently, but their request was also a reaction to taking communion with people who had made no open profession of faith. The elder refused their request on the basis that private communion was without historical precedent, would foster spiritual pride, and could cause disunity in the church. In November of 1859 the brethren decided to take the Lord�s Supper in a home without the elders� sanction. Second, church meetings were held to decide how to discipline the renegade revivalists. It appeared that reconciliation would be possible. Unfortunately, a few unsympathetic opponents verbally attacked the leaders of the house Bible study movement. More shouts followed. About 25 members were lost to the house church movement. On Epiphany, January 6, 1860, a group of brethren met in a home for a �brotherhood� meeting. This gathering proved to be the charter meeting of the Mennonite Brethren Church. They examined a letter of secession that explained their differences with the mother church. The letter affirmed their agreement with the teaching of Menno Simons and addressed abuses they saw in baptism, the Lord�s Supper, church discipline, pastoral leadership and lifestyle. Eighteen men signed the document. Within two weeks an additional nine men signed the letter of secession. Since each signature stood for a household, the charter membership of the Mennonite Brethren Church consisted of more than 50 people."

The Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies

"The Center's historical library, which forms a part of the Hiebert Library collection, contains published material (books, periodicals and audio-visuals) relating to the Anabaptist/Mennonite story. In addition to its primary holdings in the area of Anabaptist/Mennonite history, the library also holds material produced by Mennonites relating to biblical studies, theology, missions, education, art, literature and other topics. While the primary collection focus of the historical library is the Mennonite Brethren Church, it also holds a wide range of materials relating to other Mennonite groups in North America and around the world, including the Amish and Hutterites. The Center's library includes over 16,500 volumes."

Mennonite Church Canada

"Today, you won�t recognize most Mennonites by how they dress. But you will find vibrant Mennonite congregations scattered throughout rural areas, small towns and large cities across Canada, and throughout the world. Mennonites believe in Jesus Christ as the One sent by God to bring reconciliation to a broken world, and believe in the Bible as the central source of inspiration for faithful living. Mennonites share essential core beliefs with Christians of Catholic and Protestant communities. We emphasize the connections between faith, words and actions. We believe baptism should be voluntary and should be accompanied by a lifestyle that reflects the teachings of Jesus. Inside each of us there is a yearning to understand why we are here. Mennonites believe the answer lies in both believing in and following Jesus, and that peacebuilding is an achievable way of life. Mennonites seek to live out Jesus� teachings by being active members of church communities. We believe that peace and wholeness are real possibilities. It�s how God intends us to live here and now. We use the tools God has given us as we strive for wholeness through our faith in Jesus Christ. Living as peacebuilders when war comes is not easy because many in our society believe it is foolish to refuse to defend oneself and one�s country in the face of aggression."

Mennonite Historical Society of British Columbia

"The Mennonite Historical Society of BC was formed in 1972 as a non-profit society to: collect and preserve valuable historical records; foster awareness of Mennonite history and culture; fund research projects related to Mennonite history; sponsor programs and events which communicate our history and culture; assist in publishing writings and books related to the above."

Mennonite Historical Society of Canada

"Follow this path for an introduction to the Mennonite community in Canada. What do all Mennonites believe? Why are there differences between various Mennonite groups? Where are the largest Mennonite communities in Canada? What's the difference between "Russian" Mennonites and "Swiss" Mennonites? Does one need to be born into a Mennonite community to become a Mennonite? Are the Amish related to the Mennonites? What about the Hutterites?"

        "Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more. Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody." (1 Thessalonians 4:9-12)

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