Origin of the Mennonite Brethren Church

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Last edited by MARC Bot
August 19, 2022 | History

Origin of the Mennonite Brethren Church

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Jacob P. Bekker (1828-1908) was one of the principal leaders of the Mennonite Brethren Church that emerged after first beginning to meet in 1857. Becker, a member of the Rudnerweide Mennonite church in the Molotschna settlement in Ukraine, had taken part in revivalist meetings in 1854 and “converted” to the “brethren” renewal movement. On January 6, 1860, the renewal group formally seceded from the Mennonite Church to form their own Mennonite Church, the Mennonite Brethren Church. Bekker was one of the 18 signatories to the document of secession. Later that year, in September 1860, he and others of the new group decided to signify their renewal identity by being “rebaptized” by immersion. From 1857 to 1864, Bekker functioned as secretary for the movement. A decade later, in 1875, Bekker and his family migrated to the United States. Sensing a need to tell his story, in 1890, he took it upon himself to write an account of the origin of the Mennonite Brethren Church based on his recollections and the documents he had collected. This book is the English translation of Bekker’s German manuscript.

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Cover of: Origin of the Mennonite Brethren Church
Origin of the Mennonite Brethren Church
1973, The Mennonite Brethren Historical Society of the Midwest
Hardcover in English

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Book Details

Table of Contents

Introduction. Page v
Foreword. Page vii
About the Author. Page ix
Preface. Page xii
1. Biography of Menno Simons. Page 1 2. Persecution. Page 4
- Migration to Prussia.
- The Privilegium.
- Oppression which resulted in the desire to migrate to Russia.
- Hindrances to the migration.
3. The Immigrant Entry into Russia. Page 10 4. Decadence of the Mennonites. Page 17 5. Restoration Through Wuest. Page 22
- Wuest's inaugural message and his ministry.
6. The Bases for the Separation. Page 31 7. Spiritual Labors in the Saratova District. Page 35 8. The Secession and its Consequences. Page 43
- Document No. 1.
9. Opposition to the Secession. Page 48
- Documents No. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.
10. Claassen's Escape to St. Petersburg. Page 66
- Candidate list and baptism.
- Summoned to appear before the District Government.
- The Thirty-two in Court.
11. Edicts Against the Secessionists. Page 79
- Documents No. 16, 17.
12. Communication of the Five Elders. Page 87
- Document No. 18.
- The Visiting Council.
- Documents No. 19, 20, 21.
13. Good and Bad Rumors. Page 95
- Visit by the Molokans and the conversion of Russians.
- Old Colony people baptized.
- General observations.
14. Reports in Mennonitische Blaetter. Page 106
- Documents No. 22, 23.
15. Report in the Friedensglocke. Page 110
- Document No. 24.
16. Reports by Two Different Preachers. Page 113
- Documents No. 25, 26.
17. Discussions about the Separation. Page 118
- Documents No. 26a, 27.
18. Criticism of the Secession. Page 127 19. Authorization Signed. Page 133 20. The Memorandum. Page 142 21. Various Separatist Movements. Page 154 22. The Mennonite Brethren Church Spreads. Page 167
- Differences between Baptists and the Mennonite Brethren.
Maps. Page 183
- Ukraine, Russia.
- East Prussia, West Prussia, Poland.
- Molotschna Colony.
Appendix. Page 186
- On the Return of our Lord.
- Regarding the Return of Christ and the Resurrection of the Dead.
Index. Page 207

Edition Notes

Published in
Hillsboro, Kansas
Copyright Date
Translation Of
Der Ursprung der Mennoniten-Brüdergemeinde
Translated From


Daniel E. Pauls
Abraham E. Janzen

The Physical Object

xiii, 215p.
Number of pages
8.25 x 5.0 x 0.75 inches

ID Numbers

Open Library
Internet Archive

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August 19, 2022 Edited by MARC Bot normalize LCCNs
April 26, 2021 Edited by Jon Isaak Edited without comment.
April 26, 2021 Edited by Jon Isaak Edited without comment.
April 26, 2021 Edited by Jon Isaak Edited without comment.
April 26, 2021 Created by Jon Isaak Added new book.