German Baptists

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by ColoradoFB, Jul 15, 2003.

  1. ColoradoFB

    ColoradoFB
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    Does anyone know much about a group called "German Baptists"? I used to know someone who's parents belonged to this group.

    All I know about them is that they were similar to the Amish. Very simple, agrarian lifestyle, no radio or TV, but they did have a car. They didn't use the car for everyday trips, but only to go to church on Sunday, since they lived in Maryland and their church was in Pennsylvania. They also wore clothing of a similar style to the Amish or Mennonites.
     
  2. mesly

    mesly
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    The German Baptists were/are very popular here in the state of Ohio. They are organized under the name: The Church of the Brethren or commonly known as the Brethren. From research I did a few years ago, they appear to be very liberal in their doctrine (and affiliations).

    You can find information about them at the following websites:

    http://www.brethrenchurch.org/home/welcome.cfm
    http://www.brethren.org/
    http://www.cob-net.org/

    Here is a page with a bit of history: http://www.cob-net.org/folder.htm

    There was also a split (not sure when) of this group which resulted in the formation of another association (I don't think they refer to themselves as a denomination) called: The Grace Brethren. Of the two groups, I think the Grace Brethren are the most biblical.

    Here is a Grace Brethren site:

    http://www.fgbc.org/

    If you are interested in getting information about specific Grace Brethren churches, do a search on google using "grace brethren". You will get quite a few hits. Also, if you happen to be able to listen to WCDR from Cedarville University, you can hear Jim Custer from the Grace Brethren Church in Columbus, OH. He is a very good preacher and I have enjoyed listening to him for years.

    One thing that I believe both groups practice is tri-mode baptism. In other words, they will immerse you three times, forward, for each member of the trinity (i.e. in the name of the Father {immerse}, Son {immerse}, Holy Spirit {immerse}). They also practice foot washing during the Lord's Supper.

    I have a friend who is attending a Grace Brethren Church. He has found that assembly to be very dispensational in teaching and very "end times" oriented. He has visited other GB churches and all vary from one degree to another (very similar to the way baptist churches do).

    I hope that helps.

    Michael
     
  3. mesly

    mesly
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    Ooops, one last thing. Don't confuse The Brethren Church or The Grace Brethren with the Plymouth Brethren. They are totally different groups and have no relation whatsoever.
     
  4. ColoradoFB

    ColoradoFB
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    Great Michael. Thank you very much! I appreciate the help.

    CFB
     
  5. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    ColoradoFB,

    While the Brethren Church and Church of the Brethren are modern in their culture and quite liberal in their doctrine, there is a group of "Old Order" or "Dunkards" who still adhere to the original doctrines of the German Baptists and the "Pennsylvania Dutch" way of life.

    When I lived in Pennsylvania they held their annual national gathering near our town. Hundreds of them came from all over the country, many in campers, and they met in large tents. The menu for their meeting consisted of boiled beef, bread, and water.

    In the mid-Atlantic region there are also several congregations of "Independent" Brethren who left the larger Brethren bodies because of their theological modernism. While more conservative in theology, these generally do not adhere closely to the old cultural ways.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  6. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    The German Baptists I am familiar with come out of the northwest states,,Minnesota et al and spread largely into Alberta and Saskatchewan...some 99 churches and growing. They are conservative in theology and practice, very sound, evangelical and devout people. They go by the name North American General Baptists...I believe they are the same to-day. I had some fellowship with them when I was in both Saskatchewan and Alberta. In fact, one of my former churches is now affiliated with them in Saskatchewan.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  7. Jim1999

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  8. Mark Osgatharp

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    Jim,

    The group you mention is a different group from the German Baptist Brethren or Dunkards. The "German Baptists" who are now usually called "Brethren" originated in Swarzenau (I probably spelled that wrong) Germany in the 1700s with a small group of people who, led by Alexander Mack, presumed to restore the true church to the world, having concluded that there were no scriptural churches in existence.

    They appointed one of their number to administer the first baptism and hid his name lest he be accused of founding a new denomination. But that is exactly what he did!

    If I am not mistaken, the "German Baptists" of which you speak are the outgrowth of Baptist mission work in Germany in the 1900s and among German immigrants to America in the 19th and 20th centuries.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  9. Jim1999

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    Mark, I think you are right. I have to stretch to remember...They were originally formed in Philadeplphia in 1865, then met in Ontario to form the association. It was in a German area of Ontario. They then grew in the northwest of USA and moved early into Alberta and Saskatchewan, where they enjoyed the greatest growth.

    They originally met in the German language, but soon became English in practice. I preached in one church where they had a German translator..back in the early 60's in Alberta...I think it was in Wetaskawin... They met in the morning, then broke for lunch and I carried on preaching in the afternoon...longest I ever preached..some 3 hours in all....I bet I repeated a lot that day, because I sure wasn't prepared for it.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  10. ColoradoFB

    ColoradoFB
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    Mark & Jim,

    Thank you as well. I think the group Mark mentioned is probably the sect that I was thinking of. A friend of mine dated one of the daughters of this particular family. Strangely enough, both of the daughters ended up as pretty wild and rejected their upbringing in totality.

    CFB
     

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