Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Schwarzenau - part 3

Schwarzenau, a "Village of Refuge" through the centuries is located on the Eder River in Germany. This community is part of a larger area of Germany where there was an expression of religious liberty about the year 1700. The ruling prince offered shelter for those who found it necessary to leave their communities in order to express their religious beliefs. Truth seekers came from many different countries and religious experiences. So many small groups maintaining their own faith created a situation that made it impossible to organize a community church at Schwartzenau until 1860.

Refugees were given a small area of land upon which could be built a small house. In the mountain above Schwartzenau in a thick forest was established another little village called Huettental in a valley by the same name. The valley is sometimes called "Peace Valley."

In this village eight people decided that there had to be a new fellowship to meet their needs. In the year 1708 this group formed the society of Brethren.

Source: M.R. Zigler writing from Schwarzenau, January 21, 1954
Introduction to Schwarzenau: Yesterday and Today, Shultz