Who are the Moravians?

The Moravian Church was initially a branch of the United Brethren Church founded by Jan Hus (1369-1415) in fifteenth century Czechoslovakia, commonly known as the Bohemian Brethren. Although originally intended as a reformation movement within the Catholic Church, it became one of the earliest Protestant reformation movements -- about sixty years before Martin Luther's reformation. These early Brethren later organized in Bohemia and Moravia as the Unitas Fratrum (Unity of Brethren) and began to ordain their own ministers. They then spread to Poland, Prussia, and Hungary, but were forced underground during the Counter Reformation period of the sixteenth century. By the eighteenth century, a remnant had escaped from Moravia to Germany where, in 1722, they formed a community called Herrnhut on the estate of Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf, a pietist nobleman in Saxony. Five years later, they formed an organization based on Pietist beliefs called the Renewed Unitas Fratrum, later to become the modern day Moravian Church. Beginning in 1735, Moravians settled in the American state of Georgia for the purposes of escaping potential European persecution and to convert the North American Indians. Due to the British and Spanish War, they were forced to relocate to Pennsylvania in 1741, where they settled Bethlehem, then to North Carolina in 1776, where they settled Winston-Salem. The basic pietist principles of the Moravian Church include reading the Bible (the only rule of faith and practice), Scriptural discipline, good works, sharing the faith on a personal level, turning from worldly activities, industrial independence, small fellowships of believers, daily devotions and prayer (published in a book called the Daily Texts), missionary evangelization aimed at small groups of people, and world missions. Moravians are generally more concerned with the Christian experience than with any Christian doctrines. The Moravian Church primarily covers five provinces, known as the Continental European, Czechoslovak, British, American Province North, and American Province South. These are independently governed and united by conferences, or synods.

The following statement of faith, called "The Ground of the Unity" of the Unitas Fratrum, was taken from the website of the Moravian Church's world missions website (http://www.moravianmission.org/groundunity.htm):

The Ground of the Unity

The Lord Jesus Christ calls His Church into being so that it may serve Him on earth until He comes. The Unitas Fratrum is, therefore, aware of its being called in faith to serve humanity by proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It recognizes this call to be the source of its being and the inspiration of its service. As is the source, so is the aim and end of its being based upon the will of its Lord.

The Belief of the Church
With the whole of Christendom we share faith in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We believe and confess that God has revealed Himself once and for all in His Son Jesus Christ; that our Lord has redeemed us with the whole of humanity by His death and His resurrection; and that there is no salvation apart from Him. We believe that He is present with us in the Word and the Sacrament; that He directs and unites us through His Spirit and thus forms us into a Church. We hear Him summoning us to follow Him, and pray Him to use us in His service. He joins us together mutually, so that knowing ourselves to be members of His body we become willing to serve each other. In the light of divine grace, we recognize ourselves to be a Church of sinners. We require forgiveness daily, and live only through the mercy of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. He redeems us from our isolation and unites us into a living Church of Jesus Christ.

Personal Belief
The belief of the Church is effected and preserved through the testimony of Jesus Christ and through the work of the Holy Spirit. This testimony calls each individual personally, and leads each one to the recognition of sin and to the acceptance of the redemption achieved by Christ. In fellowship with Him the love of Christ becomes more and more the power of the new life, power which penetrates and shapes the entire person. As God's Spirit so effects living belief in the hearts of individuals, He grants them the privilege to share in the fruits of Christ's salvation and membership in His body.

God's Word and Doctrine
The Triune God as revealed in the Holy Scripture of the Old and New Testaments is the only source of our life and salvation; and this Scripture is the sole standard of the doctrine and faith of the Unitas Fratrum and therefore shapes our life. The Unitas Fratrum recognizes the Word of the Cross as the center of Holy Scripture and of all preaching of the Gospel, and it sees its primary mission, and its reason for being, to consist in bearing witness to this joyful message. We ask our Lord for power never to stray from this. The Unitas Fratrum takes part in the continual search for sound doctrine. In interpreting Scripture and in the communication of doctrine in the Church, we look to two millennia of ecumenical Christian tradition and the wisdom of our Moravian forebears in the faith to guide us as we pray for fuller understanding and ever clearer proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But just as the Holy Scripture does not contain any doctrinal system, so the Unitas Fratrum also has not developed any of its own because it knows that the mystery of Jesus Christ, which is attested to in the Bible, cannot be comprehended completely by any human mind or expressed completely in any human statement. Also it is true that through the Holy Spirit the recognition of God's will for salvation in the Bible is revealed completely and clearly.

Creeds and Confessions
The Unitas Fratrum recognizes in the creeds of the Church the thankful acclaim of the Body of Christ. These creeds aid the Church in formulating a Scriptural confession, in marking the boundary of heresies, and in exhorting believers to an obedient and fearless testimony in every age. The Unitas Fratrum maintains that all creeds formulated by the Christian Church stand in need of constant testing in the light of the Holy Scriptures. It acknowledges as such true professions of faith the early Christian witness: "Jesus Christ is Lord!" and also especially the ancient Christian creeds and the fundamental creeds of the Reformation.* * Note: In the various Provinces of the Renewed Unitas Fratrum the following creeds in particular gained special importance, because in them the main doctrines of the Christian faith find clear and simple expression:

  • The Apostles' Creed
  • The Athanasian Creed
  • The Nicene Creed
  • The Confession of the Unity of the Bohemian Brethren (1535)
  • The Twenty-One Articles of the unaltered Augsburg Confession
  • The Shorter Catechism of Martin Luther
  • The Synod of Berne of 1532
  • The Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England
  • The Theological Declaration of Barmen of 1934
  • The Heidelberg Catechism
  • The Unitas Fratrum as a Unity

We believe in and confess the Unity of the Church given in the one Lord Jesus Christ as God and Savior. He died that He might unite the scattered children of God. As the living Lord and Shepherd, He is leading His flock toward such unity. The Unitas Fratrum espoused such unity when it took over the name of the Old Bohemian Brethren's Church, "Unitas Fratrum" (Unity of Brethren). Nor can we ever forget the powerful unifying experience granted by the crucified and risen Lord to our ancestors in Herrnhut on the occasion of the Holy Communion of August 13, 1727, in Bethelsdorf. It is the Lord's will that Christendom should give evidence of and seek unity in Him with zeal and love. In our own midst we see how such unity has been promised us and laid upon us as a charge. We recognize that through the grace of Christ the different churches have received many gifts. It is our desire that we may learn from each other and rejoice together in the riches of the love of Christ and the manifold wisdom of God. We confess our share in the guilt which is manifest in the severed and divided state of Christendom. By means of such divisions we ourselves hinder the message and power of the Gospel. We recognize the danger of self-righteousness and judging others without love. Since we together with all Christendom are pilgrims on the way to meet our coming Lord, we welcome every step that brings us nearer the goal of unity in Him. He himself invites us to communion in His supper. Through it He leads the Church toward that union which He has promised. By means of His presence in the Holy Communion He makes our unity in Him evident and certain even today.

The Church as a Fellowship
The Church of Jesus Christ, despite all the distinctions between male and female, Jew and non-Jew, white and colored, poor and rich, is one in its Lord. The Unitas Fratrum recognizes no distinction between those who are one in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are called to testify that God in Jesus Christ brings His people out of "every race, kindred and tongue" into one body, pardons sinners beneath the cross and brings them together. We oppose any discrimination in our midst because of race or standing, and we regard it as a commandment of the Lord to bear public witness to this and to demonstrate by word and deed that we are brothers and sisters in Christ.

The Church as a Community of Service
Jesus Christ came not to be served but to serve. From this, His Church receives its mission and its power for its service, to which each of its members is called. We believe that the Lord has called us particularly to mission service among the peoples of the world. In this, and in all other forms of service both at home and abroad, to which the Lord commits us, He expects us to confess Him and witness to His love in unselfish service.

Serving Our Neighbor
Our Lord Jesus entered into this world's misery to bear it and to overcome it. We seek to follow Him in serving His brothers and sisters. Like the love of Jesus, this service knows no bounds. Therefore we pray the Lord ever anew to point out to us the way to reach our neighbors, opening our heart and hand to them in their need.

Serving the World
Jesus Christ maintains in love and faithfulness His commitment to this fallen world. Therefore we must remain concerned for this world. We may not withdraw from it through indifference, pride or fear. Together with the universal Christian Church, the Unitas Fratrum challenges all with the message of the love of God, striving to promote the peace of the world and seeking to attain what is best for all people. For the sake of this world, the Unitas Fratrum hopes for and looks to the day when the victory of Christ will be manifest over sin and death and the new world will appear.

Jesus Christ is the one Lord and Head of His body, the Church. Because of this, the Church owes no allegiance to any authority whatsoever which opposes His dominion. The Unitas Fratrum treasures in its history the vital experience of the Headship of Christ of September 16 and November 13, 1741. The Unitas Fratrum recognizes that it is called into being and has been sustained hitherto only by the incomprehensible grace of God. Thanksgiving and praise for this grace remain the keynote of its life and ministry. In this spirit it awaits the appearing of Jesus Christ, goes forward to meet its Lord with joy, and prays to be found ready when He comes.

        "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross." (Colossians 1:15-20)

Board of World Mission of the Moravian Church

"A deep commitment to world mission has characterized the Moravian Church since its earliest days. A small 300-member Moravian community in Herrnhut, Germany sent missionaries to the Danish West Indies in 1732. Since then, God�s call to proclaim the good news of God�s saving work in Jesus Christ has taken hundreds of Moravian missionaries from the mountaintops of Ladakh, India to the savannas of La Mosquitia, Honduras. Today, Moravian churches or societies worship and minister in nearly thirty nations and number over 700,000 believers. The Board of World Mission (BWM) is the overseas mission sending and support agency of the Moravian Church in America. It continues the work begun in 1745 by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, North America�s oldest Protestant mission society. Founded in 1949, BWM acts on behalf of the Northern Province, Southern Province and Alaska Province of the Moravian Church... The content and purpose of the mission of the Board of World Mission is best expressed in words taken from the Ground of the Unity, the doctrinal statement of the Moravian Church: The Lord Jesus Christ calls His Church into being so that it may serve Him on earth until he comes. The Unitas Fratrum (Moravian Church) is, therefore, aware of its being called in faith to serve humanity by proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It recognizes this call to be the source of its being and the inspiration of its service. As is the source, so is the aim and end of its being based upon the will of its Lord. We believe and confess that God has revealed Himself once and for all in His Son Jesus Christ; that our Lord has redeemed us with the whole of humanity by His death and his resurrection; and that there is no salvation apart from Him. The Unitas Fratrum (Moravian Church) recognizes the Word of the Cross as the center of Holy Scripture and of all preaching of the Gospel and it sees its primary mission, and its reason for being, to consist in bearing witness to this joyful message. We ask our Lord for power never to stray from this."

Calvary Moravian Church

"Serving the Winston-Salem community since 1876, when summer services were held outdoors on the church grounds, Calvary Moravian Church today continues her witness as the �downtown Moravian Church.� The first sanctuary was completed in 1889. The Church in Salem, true to the traditional Moravian avoidance of �poaching� on the membership of other churches, declined to expand into the newer town of Winston with its established Methodist and Baptist Churches. But as more and more Moravians moved into Winston, the Home Moravian Church was presented with the obvious problem of serving its own people, who by now were faced with fairly long journeys to get to church. Also there were other souls to be reached that, for whatever reason, were not being reached by Winston churches. So in l876, a tentative first step was taken: Outdoor benches were placed in a clearing on the �Reservation� and during the summer, theological students and recent graduates from Moravian Theological Seminary conducted evangelistic services. Thus the seed was planted for Calvary..."

Central Moravian Church Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

"Weaving through the venerable history of the Central Moravian Church are the recurring themes of change, adaptability and progress. From its genesis in 1742 when a handful of Moravian pioneers settled Bethlehem, Central Church and the early community emerged simultaneously and forged a unique bond that has become the cornerstone of contemporary Moravian life. In January 1742, the Moravian settlers dedicated their central place of worship in the Saal, located on the second floor of the Gemeinhaus or community house. In June of that year, fifty-six members comprising the first Sea Congregation arrived in Bethlehem from Germany and joined the twenty-six inhabitants already present. The settlement congregation was officially organized on June 25, 1742. To this day, Central Church marks this significant date as the anniversary of its birth. Nine years later in 1751, when the Saal could no longer accommodate the growing community, the Old Chapel became the new place of worship and served the congregation for the next fifty-five years. Concerned that the Old Chapel was not large enough to house all the Moravians from the surrounding area for special festival occasions, some members began to press for a larger church building. None of these discussions was brought to fruition until the arrival of Bishop John Ettwein, whose unwavering determination kept the matter continually before the membership. As the result of the General Synod of 1789 in Herrnhut, Germany, Bishop Ettwein was inspired by the official approval to build a larger church; but he was disheartened by the laggard response of the Bethlehem authorities, who were preoccupied at the time with the proposed bridge to be built across the Lehigh River. He died before the decision to build was reached..."

Count Zinzendorf

"Count Zinzendorf was one of the rare Christians born into a noble family, yet fully consecrated to the Lord. He began to love the Lord at six and continued to mature in Christ throughout his school years. He became burdened for the oneness of Christians and purchased the village of Berthelsdorf as a refuge for persecuted Christians of every kind. Due to persecution, many Moravian Brethren emigrated to Herrnhut, Zinzendorf�s estate. Other persecuted Christians also moved to Herrnhut resulting in serious contentions over doctrines. The strife continued unabated until Zinzendorf, burdened for their oneness, preached on the evils of division. All repented, and an amazing oneness, joy, and gladness commenced. After the founding of Herrnhut, Zinzendorf was a shepherd to the believers there, stressing the importance of the church meetings. The corporate prayer of the saints developed into a burden to spread the gospel throughout the earth. The Moravians were pioneers among modern missionaries. Distractions from Christ appeared in Herrnhut in the form of miracles and prophecies. Clergymen began an onslaught of opposition resulting in an investigation of Herrnhut and the banishment of Zinzendorf. Once banished, the Count established a settlement in Herrnhaag and ministered throughout Europe and America. In his last years Zinzendorf experienced many troubles, including financial problems and opposition from religious leaders. Nevertheless, during Zinzendorf�s lifetime the Lord was able to recover much concerning the enjoyment of Christ, hymn-writing, and the practice of the church life. This website is a reproduction of the book entitled Count Zinzendorf: A Brief History of the Lord�s Recovery, which was authored by James Reetzke and published by Chicago Bibles and Books."

Evangelische Br�der-Unit�t

"Die Br�der-Unit�t ist eine kleine evangelische Freikirche. In Europa hat sie 30.000 Mitglieder. Diese sind verwaltungsm��ig aufgeteilt in drei selbst�ndige Kirchen in Tschechien, in Gro�britannien und Irland, sowie in Kontinental-Europa (Deutschland, Niederlande, Schweiz, D�nemark, Schweden und Estland). Die Br�der-Unit�t ist im 18. Jahrhundert innerhalb der evangelischen Kirche entstanden. Bis heute geh�ren viele ihrer Mitglieder zugleich auch der evangelischen Kirche an. Die Br�der-Unit�t ist der Evangelischen Kirche in Deutschland (EKD) angegliedert und zugleich Gastmitglied in der Vereinigung evangelischer Freikirchen (VEF). Die Br�der-Unit�t hat kein eigenes Bekenntnis. Sie bekennt mit den anderen Kirchen Jesus Christus als ihren Herrn und Heiland. Die Br�der-Unit�t legt einen besonderen Akzent auf ihr Gemeindeleben. Die Mitglieder kennen sich pers�nlich und versuchen sich in allen Lebenslagen gegenseitig zu st�tzen. Die internationale Ausstrahlung in f�nf Kontinenten macht die Br�dergemeine f�r viele attraktiv und erweitert ihren Horizont. Die Br�der-Unit�t hat verschiedene Namen: Hermhuter Br�dergemeine � weist auf den Ursprungsort Herrnhut in Sachsen hin. Br�der-Unit�t � leitet sich vom lateinischen "Unitas Fratrum" ab, dem Namen der B�hmischen Br�der, von denen die Herrnhuter Br�dergemeine abstammt. Moravian Church � ist der englische Name, der ebenfalls auf den Ursprung in B�hmen und M�hren hinweist (spanisch: lglesia Morava, franz�sisch: Eglise morave)."

Google Directory - Moravian Church

Society > Religion and Spirituality > Christianity > Denominations > Moravian Church

History of the Moravian Church by J.E. Hutton

"Published to the World Wide Web from a text provided by John Bechard, an American now living in London, and used by his express permission. This HTML version of J. E. Hutton's History of the Moravian Church may be freely distributed, but we do ask it not be posted elsewhere in its present form. An etext by the same author is also available from this site in its entirety as a 375k Zip file. Mr. Bechard's etext of Hutton's History was first submitted to the Project Gutenberg, and was proofed according to the Project Gutenberg standards. Any mistakes made in this HTML version are ours! It is completely unrelated to Project Gutenberg. Footnotes from each chapter of this HTML text are presented as endnotes on a separate HTML page, and need to be printed separately. Just follow the links at the top of each chapter. There is only one footnote file, and may be kept open in a separate window for easy of reading. We wish to thank Mr. Bechard for his kindness in allowing us to publish the HTML version of Hutton. It replaces the partial transcription that we had previously posted. Moravians and friends of the Moravian Church are indebted to Mr. Bechard for his excellent work! We are pleased to publish it in this web ready version. Worth Green, Editor."

Home Moravian Church

"Welcome to the web site of Home Moravian Church. Home Moravian Church is located on the north-east corner of Salem Square in the historic district of Old Salem�, the restored 1766 Moravian town, located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Home Church, originally known as the Salem Congregation, is a congregation of the Moravian Church in America, Southern Province. Home Church is an active and growing congregation and we invite you to come and visit with us for any of our Worship services or fellowship programs."

Moravian Church in Alaska

"The Anchorage and Bethel Church are two of Alaska's Moravian Churches that have allowed God's Spirit and His Word to touch many lives for Christ among Alaska's Native people. The love of music and the many musical talents of its members is a blessing not easily forgotten. The Bethel Moravian Church is the first and oldest Moravian Church in Alaska. The Anchorage Moravian Church while not having a long history comes out of the experience of the Alaska Moravian Churches. During the year 2001, 23 Moravian congregations and one Moravian Fellowship flourishes mainly in southwestern Alaska... The Moravian Church in Bethlehem sent its first missionaries to Bethel, Alaska in 1885. Their work bore fruit under the able leadership of The Rev. Henry Kilbuck who learned the Yup'ik language. Today, there are 23, mainly Yup'ik speaking, Moravian congregations in southwestern, Alaska, and a Moravian Church in Alaska's largest city, Anchorage, Alaska. In summer of 2001, a Moravian Fellowship was begun in Napaskiak, Alaska. These churches are joined together as members of the Alaska Moravian Church, which has offices in Bethel, Alaska. The Alaska Moravian Church has a Moravian Theological Institute and Seminary which operates yearly and trains clergy. An annual synod is held at the Bethel church each January to conduct its important business."

Moravian Church of the British Province

"The Moravian Church today is a community of people who, despite many changes, attempt to fulfil the words of Christ, We have but one Master, Jesus Christ; and we are all brothers and sisters in him. Within the Moravian Church throughout the world there exists a very special relationship between the members that not even culture, politics, or war has been able to damage. What are our services like? The Church uses liturgy, providing orderliness similar to Anglican worship, but there is also liberty to use a free order when desired. Communion is celebrated monthly, in many congregations after the morning or evening service, a number of the older congregations hold a monthly Lovefeast, a service of shared news and light refreshments, followed by Communion. Infant Baptism followed later by Confirmation is the recognised form of entry into membership. Where in the UK are we? Moravians first came to Britain in the 1730s and set up congregations by invitation of local people often establishing Settlements with their own farms, industries and schools. Even today the Church has two private boarding/day at Ockbrook near Derby and Fulneck near Leeds. About 50 years ago the Moravian Church in England was strengthened by the arrival of members from the Caribbean who gave new life to the work in this country. Today there are five regional areas where the Church can be found; in London and Central Eastern England, the West country, West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Belfast and the counties Antrim and Down in N.Ireland. A few of the 35 congregations are in country villages, but most are in urban areas. All have the same warmth of fellowship, which is a marked feature of all Moravian communities. See our Church locations map page. A Modern ecumenical outlook From its earliest days the Church has sought to work in harmony with other Christians. It was a Moravian who led John and Charles Wesley to their 'heart warming' experience. Whilst in the 18th century theological differences divided Methodists and Moravians the two churches now find much in common. There are a number of joint Moravian/United Reformed Church congregations and in 1998 the signing of the Fetter Lane Agreement brought the Anglican and the Moravian Communions into a close working relationship with each other."

Moravian Church in Canada

"Welcome to the official website of the Moravian Church in Canada. We are eight congregations in the province of Alberta and one congregation in Toronto, Ontario; plus a Moravian Mission that has operated in Labrador since 1752. As part of the Northern Province of the Moravian Church in America, the Canadian Distrct is both unique in our identity and history as Canadian Moravians and remain deeply connected with our sisters and brothers in the congregations across the Northern Province. The motto of the Moravian Church is: In essentials unity; In non-essentials liberty; In all things love... The Moravian Church is a mainline Protestant denomination with more than five hundred years of history. Founded before the Lutheran, Presbyterian, or Methodist churches; Moravians have long focussed on faithful living and Christian unity. Rather than concentrating on divisive doctrines, the Moravian Church preaches the basics of the faith, which all Christians share in common. Moravians are encouraged to live out their faith through service to those in need. Our mission work has concentrated on the poor and the powerless, and groups largely unreached by other denominations. The Moravian Church was organized in 1457 by the followers of the martyr John Hus, as the Unity of Brethren. The denomination came to be known as the "Moravian" Church many years later, in the Eighteenth Century, because most of its members came from the province of Moravia, now the Czech Republic. The Moravian Church has often stood at the forefront of the Protestant world. The denomination was among the first to publish the Bible in the common language, and the first to print common language hymnals. They were early in their emphasis on educating women as well as men; and they were pioneers of the Protestant mission movement. Moravians have worked for Christian unity throughout their history, and are founding members of the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches."

The Moravian Church in North America

"For over five centuries the Moravian Church has proclaimed the gospel in all parts of the world. Its influence has far exceeded its numbers as it has cooperated with religious faiths on every continent and has been a visible part of the Body of Christ, the Church. Proud of its heritage and firm in its faith, the Moravian Church ministers to the needs of people wherever they are. The name Moravian identifies the fact that this historic church had its origin in ancient Bohemia and Moravia in what is the present-day Czech Republic. In the mid-ninth century these countries converted to Christianity chiefly through the influence of two Greek Orthodox missionaries, Cyril and Methodius. They translated the Bible into the common language and introduced a national church ritual. In the centuries that followed, Bohemia and Moravia gradually fell under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Rome, but some of the Czech people protested. The foremost of Czech reformers, John Hus (1369-1415) was a professor of philosophy and rector of the University in Prague. The Bethlehem Chapel in Prague, where Hus preached, became a rallying place for the Czech reformation. Gaining support from students and the common people, he led a protest movement against doctrinal positions of the Roman clergy and hierarchy. Hus was accused of heresy, underwent a long trial at the Council of Constance, and was burned at the stake on July 6, 1415..."

The Moravian Church Northern Province

"The Moravian Church � Northern Province is a vital agent of reconciliation in a world yearning for the good news of Jesus Christ. We are an interconnected body of dynamic and growing churches embracing the diversity of all God�s creation. Our mission is listening, discerning and responding to the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of people in the places in which we minister. These servant churches, both formal and informal, are Christ-centered and are led by competent clergy and gifted laity who are equipped and empowered to embody the love of Jesus Christ through a life of faithful discipleship. The Province and Districts exist to empower the congregations to pursue ministries in an ever-changing world, and remain open to new models for leadership and ministry so that the church is poised to reach out and respond to the issues facing God�s world. At all levels, locally and globally, the church cooperates with other Christian entities to proclaim Christ and witness to God�s redeeming action through Jesus Christ."

The Moravian Church in South Africa

"The Moravian Church in Southern Africa was founded in 1737 with the arrival of the first missionary, Georg Schmidt, from Hernhut in Saxony, Germany. The Moravian Church orginated in Czechoslovakia (Czech Repbulic) in 1457. The beginnings of the Church were people who had been influenced by Johan Hus, who was the pioneer for the reformation movement in Bohernia, a province of Czechoslovakia. Hus was burned at the stake in 1415 in Constance. The Church was renewed by the German Count Ludwig von Zinzendorf in 1727 in Saxony. He had discovered the writings of the old Moravian fathers in Bohemia. Bohemia was a Kingdom in 1457 and is now a part of the Czech Republic (together with Moravia). Georg Schmidt started the work at Genadendal (Baviaanskloof) amongs the indigenous people (Khoi and the San). The original name Baviaanskloof was changed to Genadendal (Valley of Grace) by a governor of the Cape. Georg Schmidt had to leave after seven years due to resistance from the Colonists. In 1792 three missionaries arrived again (Marsveld, Schwinn and K�hnel). They found an old Khoi woman with a Dutch New Testament Bible, which Schmidt had given to her. He had left the small group of converts together by reading to them from the Bible. (The Bible is still in our museum at Genadendal). During the 19th century Genadendal developed into the second largest settlement next to Cape Town. It was known for its industries (knife making, agriculture, furniture making, metal work). Education has been and still is an important component of the work of the Church. Genadendal had the first Teachers Training Institution in South Africa. the development of mission stations on grant land or land bought by the mission was an important development and still today has an unique place in the life of the Church in South Africa."

The Moravian Church Southern Province

"The Moravians were a small group of Christians that originally formed in 1457, prior to the Protestant Reformation. Today, we continue to grow, live our faith, and spread the Gospel through local and missionary work... Since the earliest days of the Moravian Church in the 15th century we have lived in the spirit of the motto "In essentials unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things love." The Moravian Church affirms basic beliefs held in common with all Christian Churches, and it accepts the primary creeds of the Christian Church (such as the Apostles' Creed, Nicene Creed, the Augsburg Confession). The Moravian Church practices infant baptism as a way of expressing an emphasis on God's grace, God's initiative to bring salvation, hope, and freedom to us. In general the Church emphasizes the Lordship of Jesus Christ and other essential Christian doctrines, but resists lengthy doctrinal exposition. For example, Moravians affirm the real presence of Christ in the sacrament of Holy Communion (the Eucharist), but do not seek to explain the nature of his presence... The Moravian Church came to the New World wilderness of North Carolina in the 1750's in part for members to build a new home and a new life and still be Moravians. Today the Southern Province once again is offering the opportunity of a new home and a new life to Moravians coming from other lands. Mission work and service to neighbors continue as well as the Province reaches out to form fellowships that grow into full congregations in areas that did not have Moravians before. As the land was a wilderness then, so too our future may seem a wilderness today with doubts and cynicism, declining membership and financial uncertainties. And yet, as our spiritual pioneers did 250 years ago, we can rely on the firm foundation of our heritage, work together on the tasks given us today, and build to the future in the firm confidence of the sure leading of our redeeming Savior and Chief Elder of the Moravian Church."

Moravian College

"Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college, after Harvard (1636), William and Mary (1693), St. John's in Annapolis (1696), Yale (1701), and the University of Pennsylvania (1740). Its mission is the integration of a liberal arts education with preparation for life. Moravian aims to give its students a foundation for careers or graduate/professional school, for continued lifelong learning, and for a values-oriented approach to society. Founded by the Moravian Church, the College today educates a socially and religiously diverse group of students. Its enrollment is 1329: 536 men and 793 women. Students come from a variety of socioeconomic, religious, racial, and ethnic backgrounds, and from about 25 states and 10 foreign countries. Moravian College has a hundred-and-seven full-time faculty members. More than 91 percent hold an earned doctorate or terminal degree. The faculty is teaching-oriented, with a significant record of professional activity and recognition."

Moravian Forum

"This site is being offered by volunteers to preserve and make available Articles, letters and news items that are seen by many concerned Moravians as the key to understanding why confusion and division have developed in our denomination. Articles appear in full as the authors submitted as either public documents or as they appeared in the News. If descriptions are offered it is to highlight specific statements that have been seen as particularly relevant to current issues. We do not agree with statements from Church leaders that "The Moravian church will die if we don't stop teaching the 'essential Truths' of our faith". One leader writes the first truth that must go is the narrow and arrogant claim that Jesus is the only way to salvation. We do not want our efforts to be misinterpreted as an attack on any person. Our concern is that we guard and preserve the "Essential Theology" of our denomination as revealed through scripture. Its purpose is to aid visitors looking for information about Our Moravian Denomination, culture, history and current events, as well as to offer a forum for dialogue on current issues. This site is a response to Synod request that individuals and congregations should prayerfully study and engage in dialogue to address the division over matters of doctrine and faith. It is the intent that this site be used for the glory of God that we faithful Moravians can witness publicly our beliefs in a time when confusion, brokenness and division have kept many from doing so. We are inviting all opinions and will publish as many as possible, that are relevant. Support for the group of concerned Moravians who have contributed time and resources to this project is our own conviction for Christ and the Word as well as our concern for our denomination and faithful members who are asking why our leaders are having such a difficult time making a simple and clear affirmation of the Authority of Scripture and it's message of Salvation through Christ."

The Moravians in Georgia, 1735-1740

"...The story is usually passed over by historians in a few short paragraphs, and yet without the colony in Georgia, the whole history of the Renewed Church of the Unitas Fratrum would have been very different. Without that movement the Moravian Church might never have been established in England, without it the great Methodist denomination might never have come into being, without it the American Moravian provinces, North or South, might not have been planned. Of course Providence might have provided other means for the accomplishment of these ends, but certain it is that in the actual development of all these things the "unsuccessful attempt" in Georgia, 1735 to 1740, played a most important part. In preparing this history a number of private libraries, the collections of the Georgia Historical Society, the Congressional Library, the British Museum, were searched for data, but so little was found that the story, in so far as it relates to the Moravian settlement, has been drawn entirely from the original manuscripts in the Archives of the Unitas Fratrum at Herrnhut, Germany, with some additions from the Archives at Bethlehem, Pa., and Salem, N. C. For the general history of Georgia, of the Moravian Church, and of the Wesleys, Steven's History of Georgia, Hamilton's History of the Moravian Church, Levering's History of Bethlehem, Pa., Some Fathers of the American Moravian Church, by de Schweinitz, Strobel's History of the Salzburgers, Tyreman's Oxford Methodists, and Wesley's Journal have been most largely used. The history of the Moravian settlement in Georgia falls into that period when dates are much confused through the contemporaneous use of the old style, or Julian calendar, and the new style, or Gregorian calendar. As the latter is now current everywhere, except in Russia and the Orient, it is here employed throughout, old style dates being translated where they occur in the records..." by Adelaide L. Fries, Winston-Salem, N. C., August, 1904

The Moravian Historical Society

"One of the oldest historical societies in Pennsylvania, the Moravian Historical Society was established in 1857 to preserve the history of the Moravian Church. The Protestant denomination was undergoing a major change at the time, transforming several "closed" communities in which only members of the church could live to "open" communities. The founding members wished to preserve the church's history and customs which they feared might be forgotten. The new society was offered a room in the 1740 Whitefield House, one of the oldest Moravian buildings erected in America, as a place to store and use the documents, books, and artifacts which they were collecting. In 1871 the society was given the use of the entire second floor of the Whitefield House, and that became the permanent home of the society and its museum. The second floor of the building has thus been a museum for over 125 years. In 1978 the society acquired the entire Whitefield House, the nearby Gray Cottage, built of logs in 1740, and the surrounding land known as the Ephrata Tract. The Moravian Historical Society now owns and maintains the historic property, the oldest existing Moravian site in North America. In 2000, the society acquired the 1820 Kern House after a year-long fund-raising effort. $75,000 was raised to purchase the house. An additional $75,000 will be needed to fund the planned use for the Kern House, as a Children's History Center."

Moravian Music Foundation

"The Moravian Music Foundation preserves, studies, and produces modern editions of music from its collections of approximately 10,000 manuscripts, early imprints, and related documents. These collections, which range from the 16th century to the present, were assembled by the Moravians, Protestant missionaries who came to Pennsylvania and North Carolina in the 18th century. They brought with them a rich musical heritage which they maintained -- and enriched -- in the American wilderness. They sent for music from Europe, handcopied what they could not purchase, composed both sacred and secular music, formed the first community orchestras and chamber music ensembles, and built the first organs and stringed instruments in the colonies. And when musical styles changed, they carefully put away the "old" music for some future use. In the 1950s, musicologists discovered these extensive and diverse collections. The Moravian Music Foundation was founded in 1956 to be the custodian and curator of this music. Please visit the other sections of this site to hear samples of our music, learn more about our past accomplishments, current activities and future projects, and find answers to frequently asked questions."

New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia - Bohemian Brethren

" "Bohemian Brethren" and "Moravian Brethren" are the current popular designation of the Unitas Fratrum founded in Bohemia in 1457, renewed by Count Zinzendorf in 1722, and still active in our own day. Placing life before creeds, the Moravian Church seeks "to exemplify the living Church of Christ constituted or regenerated men and women, while it affords a common meeting-point for Christians who apprehend dogmas variously". Personal faith in the crucified Saviour constitutes the chief foundation for the fellowship thus established. Scripture is the only rule of faith, but "nothing is posited as to the mode of inspiration, for this partakes of the mysteries which it has not pleased God to reveal". The Trinity, the Fall, Original Sin, and "Total Depravity" are admitted, but "discussion about them is shunned". The Love of God manifested in Christ � without theories about the mode � is the centre of Moravian belief and practice. Justification by faith alone and the necessity of regeneration "are posited as facts of personal experience". Sanctifying grace, the need of prayer, and other public means of grace, a complete ritual, a strict discipline, "the orders of the ministry with no conception of the functions of the episcopate", i. e. bishops ordain, but the episcopal office implies no further ruling or administrative power (see infra in regard to Zinzendorf), Baptism and the Lord's Supper as the only sacraments, and the common Christian eschatology: Resurrection , Judgment, Heaven, Hell; such are the tenets from which Moravians are expected not to depart, whilst they are allowed to speculate about them on Scriptural lines with entire liberty."

New Philadelphia News

"The late Bishop Herbert Spaugh wrote this "Short History of the Moravian Church" in 1957 on the occasion of our denomination's 500th Anniversary. It has been revised and updated several times by Dr. Worth Green. It is sometimes served-up more than 1,000 times a month, and is the single most popular file on this site. It deals not only with the history of our church, but its customs and practices. It even touches briefly on doctrine. Several Moravian Churches have linked to it from their own web sites, and links are o.k. There are a number of pages that links from the Short History's main page, but the page itself downloads very quickly, and its intended to be read as a single document... Many people want to know what Moravians believe. "The Ground of the Unity" was composed by Unity Synod in 1957 of the 500th Anniversary of our church. It is a succinct statement of our faith that has proven itself to be both broad and deep... Hutton's History of the Moravian Church On-Line! Thanks to the efforts of an American in London, John Bechard, J. E. Hutton's 1909 edition of The History of the Moravian Church is now on-line. Mr. Bechard has been very gracious in allowing us to convert his text to HTML and post it on our web site. Hutton's history is limited in that it only traces Moravian history into the early days of the 20th Century, but it is certainly the best history of the Moravian Church now on the web. This is a book length history, and is served-up one chapter at a time. Those desiring a shorter, single document should read Bishop's Spaugh's "Short History" that is listed above. "

Religious Movements Homepage: The Moravian Church

"The Moravian Church was actually the renewal of the United Brethren which gives it a rich a history. The United Brethren Church was started by John Huss in the 1400's in Czechoslovakia, mainly in the areas of Bohemia and Moravia. He was upset with the corruption in the Catholic Church. In amovement which preceded the the Protestant Reformation this church became the first of the surviving Protestant Churches (Chester S. Davis, The Hidden Seed and Harvest ;http//www.moravian.org/history.htm). In 1457 the Moravians organized themselves into what was at first a reform movement within the Roman Catholic Church. Ten years later they broke away from Rome and began to ordain their own ministers. Persecution during the period of the Reformation ended the growth of the movement. An underground movement in Bohemia and Moravia was able to sustain the movement in this period. During times of persecution the Moravians began what was to become a trend of the movement by relocating to Germany in the beginning of the 18th century (Queen). The Moravians who escaped to Germany in 1722 established a village on the estate of Count Nicholas Zinzendorf. Zinzendorf became integral in combining the Unitas Fratrum with the Pietist movement. It was at this time in 1727 that the Moravian Church of today was founded as the Renewed Unitas Fratrum. In 1735, shortly after relocating in Germany, the Moravians began to settle in North America. The first settlers, led by Bishop August Spengenberg traveled to Georgia.The following year 25 more Moravians traveled to Savannah on the sameship as John and Charles Wesley. This was the beginning of a seriesof contacts with Moravians which John Wesley recorded as having an impact on his life (Schattschneider, 64)..."

Unity of the Brethren

"Two standard expressions of Brethren belief are The Apostle's Creed and the church emblem, shown on the home page of this site. The emblem brings together three important elements of the Christian faith: the cross, the open Bible, and the chalice. The cross represents Christ as the resurrected and living Lord, the Bible is the sourcebook of all Christian truth, open for all to explore, while the chalice holds special significance for Brethren: not only is it a symbol of the Lord's Supper, but it is also a reminder of the pre-Reformation insistence of John Hus and the early Brethren upon receiving the Cup as well as bread in Holy Communion... In the 1850's, word circulated in the Czech lands that there was cheap land in Texas where persons could make a new start in farming. Immigration continued and grew until ending with the outbreak of World War I. Czech Protestants started congregations where they settled in Texas to provide for the practice of their faith and the teaching of their children. Pastors from the Czech lands came to Texas to become leaders in these congregations and to start new ones. In 1903, representatives of several of these congregations gathered to create the Unity of the Brethren in Texas, in the effort to resurrect the Brethren Church, suppressed for all these years in their homeland. Within a few generations, the congregations of the Unity of the Brethren reflected the assimilation of their members into American society and culture. Most congregations began to transition from Czech language to English language worship services in the 1940's, although some congregations had occasional Czech language services into the 1970's. The Unity of the Brethren today is a denomination that honors its past and its traditions, while looking forward to new opportunities for missions and witness. The ethnic identity of the membership as Czech has faded to various degrees, while many persons have joined the Unity from other traditions and ethnic groups. The Unity remains committed to the practice of the Christian faith, seeking to recognize and affirm what connects Christians, rather than emphasizing divisions."

Zinzendorf, The Count Without Borders

"Nicholas Ludwig, Count Zinzendorf, was born in Dresden in 1700. He was very much a part of the Pietist movement in Germany, which emphasized personal piety and an emotional component to the religious life. This was in contrast to the state Lutheran Church of the day, which had grown to symbolize a largely intellectual faith centered on belief in specific doctrines. He believed in "heart religion," a personal salvation built on the individual's spiritual relationship with Christ. Zinzendorf was born into one of the most noble families of Europe. His father died when he was an infant, and he was raised at Gros Hennersdorf, the castle of his influential Pitetistic grandmother. Stories abound of his deep faith during childhood. As a young man he struggled with his desire to study for the ministry and the expectation that he would fulfill his hereditary role as a Count. As a teenager at Halle Academy, he and several other young nobles formed a secret society, The Order of the Grain of Mustard Seed. The stated purpose of this order was that the members would use their position and influence to spread the Gospel. As an adult, Zinzendorf later reactivated this adolescent society, and many influential leades of Europe ended up joining the group. A few included the King of Denmark, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Archbishop of Paris..."

        "I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way." (Ephesians 1:18-23)

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