Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tachai, China

In 1964 Chairman Mao Tse-tung, leader of the People's Republic of China, told his countrymen, "In agriculture learn from Tachai." He was referring to a village of 430 people in the southeast part of Shansi Province, an area where the Church of the Brethren maintained a mission from 1909 to 1948.

Mission work by the Brethren in the Shansi Province included not only evangelistic work, but also medical, educational, and a comprehensive program of rural service including agricultural extension, mass education, and industrial cooperatives. Brethren work was hindered first by the Japanese invasion of China in 1937 and later by the continuing civil war between the Nationalists and Communists. Finally, with the Communist victory in all of Shansi, all Brethren were withdrawn from the area and eventually from all of China by 1951.

Tachai, formerly known as Leping Hsien, is located near the first two mission stations opened by Brethren at Ping Ting Chou and Liao Chou. Though once just a poor village, it developed into a national model owing largely to the industry and self-reliance of farmers and workers who banded together to strengthen their community.

Howard Sollenberger, who was born in China and who served for many years with the U.S. State Department, noted in 1975 that Tachai "is frequently included in tours arranged for foreign visitors, particularly those from developing countries. Today there is even a set of commemorative postage stamps honoring its spirit and achievement. The story of Tachai is told in illustrated children's books, textbooks, posters, ballads, and songs - even in foreign language texts and publications.

Source: The Brethren Encyclopedia

Monday, September 29, 2008


Knowing the tremendous shortages of food during the later years of World War II, severa denominations and organizations in the United States began efforts to supply wheat for relief. Brethren Service Committee executive M.R. Zigler stimulated interest and organized consultations involved the Brethren and other groups.

As the 1947 wheat harvest approached, a corporation was set up by Mennonite, Catholic, and Brethren individuals. Before any legal body became operative, joint funding by the Evangelical and Reformed Church and Brethren Service Commission started activities, following patterns previously used to ship donated grain via the netherlands Purchasing Commission.

In July 1947, Church World Service agreed to sponsor this type of activity, choosing the name Christian Rural Overseas Program (CROP). John D. Metzler, Sr., moved from Brethren Service Commission to Church World Service employment as the first director. A temporary office was opened in Chicago on the campus of Bethany Biblical Seminary.

CROP was to be self-supporting in administrative costs, to solicit by community campaigns rather than parish appeals, and to encourage designation of gifts to agencies for shipment and distribution. Early in the operations, Lutheran World Relief and National Catholic Rural Life Conference joined Church World Service in the sponsorship of CROP.

As the primary needs of recipients changed from food for survival to commodities necessary to restore a more normal life, shipments grew more varied. Instead of flour, wheat was sent. CROP commodities were a significant part of the flood of materials which stimulated recipient churches to organize to reach the needy.

As world needs have shifted over the years due to natural catastrophies, wars and rebellions, struggles toward modernization and self-sufficiency, there has been continued need for help. CROP has responded with different supplies including tools, well-drilling equipment, windmills, seed, and food used to pay workers for labor on local development projects.

In 1952 CROP headquarters were moved to Elkhart, Indiana. Today CROP works to make people aware of the extent and nature of world hunger. It appeals to the American people for funds and asks them to become personally involved, to make a commitment to changing those things and systems that cause hunger. No longer the Christian Rural Overseas program, CROP, the community hunger appeal, has become a nationwide campaign. It meets immediate needs while helping people help themselves build for a better future, working with and through relief and development agencies in over seventy countries around the world.

Source: The Brethren Encyclopedia
excerpted from article written by John D. Metzler, Sr.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

John D. Metzler

John D. Metzler was the son of David Metzler, born in Indiana in July 1898. His father David was a native of Elkhart County, Indiana and was raised in the Mennonite faith but baptized by the Brethren in 1892 and elected to the ministry in 1899 and was in charge of the Nappanee congregation for many years.

John's older brother Burton was also a pastor and part-time farmer and later taught at Bethany Biblical Seminary and McPherson College.

John graduated from Manchester College and did graduate work in Indiana University, Ohio State University, University of Chicago, and Bethany Biblical Seminary. He taught High School from 1920 to 1940 and also did part-time pastoral ministry in Northern Indiana.

He would later spend four years as Material Aid Director for the General Brethren Service Committee at New Windsor, Maryland and in 1947 he became the first Director of CROP.

More on CROP tomorrow.

Source: History of the Brethren Church in Indiana (1952)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Later Brethren Almanacs

Yesterday we noted the Sauer Almanac which was first printed in German in 1738 and was continued by his son and grandson for some 49 years.

A century later, the enterprising H.R. Holsinger began a new line of almanacs with his Brethren's Almanac for 1871. In an announcement in his paper, The Christian Family Companion, Holsinger solicited suggestions and promised that the almanac would "contain history, statistics, doctrine, peculiarities, and incidents." An important innovation was Holsinger's attempt to compile a current list of Brethren ministers; this has remained a valuable fixture in Brethren almanacs and yearbooks.

Although the first edition was "somewhat hastily compiled," as Holsinger admitted, it met with success. He published editions for 1872-1874 before he sold his publishing interests to James Quinter. Late in 1872 H.B. Brumbaugh and his brothers distributed an 1873 edition of a Pilgrim Almanac as a free edition supplement to their weekly paper. For the 1875 edition the Brumbaugh's and Quinter combined their almanacs as the Brethren's Family Almanac.

In 1918 the almanac became the Brethren Yearbook which continues to be published today as a Church of the Brethren Directory rather than a general almanac.

Source: The Brethren Encyclopedia

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sauer Almanac

When Christopher Sauer, Sr. opened his printing business (sometime in 1738), he printed some ABC and spelling books. In August 1738 he produced an Almanac - "The High-German American Calendar for the year 1739." This Almanac, the first German one, published in America, was issued annually by Sauer, his son and grandson for 49 years.

Sauer's Almanac, like others of its day, contained signs of the zodiac and aspects of the planets. Times for sunrise and sunset and the dates for the phases of the moon were considered important by its users. The first edition advised, for example, that crops which bear fruit above the earth should be planted when moonlight was increasing, while those whose fruit grows in the earth should be planted during waning phases of the moon. Sauer, nevertheless, added the practical counsel that God's blessing would be with those crops planted in well-fertilized, well-weeded soil that had been cultivated to retain moisture.

The almanac contained some literary features and moral advice that received mixed reactions from readers. Weather predictions, compiled from other almanacs of the day, occasionally brought complaints to the publisher from those who relied on them too much.

These almanacs were circulated from New York to Georgia. The Germans relied upon them implicity. It is related that a farmer, named Welker, from above Sunnytown, consulted his almanac, found it promised fair weather, loaded his wagon, and started for Philadelphia. On the way it began to rain. Welker was angry. He denounced the "weather book" and decided to stop at Sauer's place in Germantown and give him a severe reprimand for publishing such lies.

Sauer listened to his harangue and then meekly replied, "Friend, be not thus angry, for although I made the Almanac, the Lord Almighty made the weather."

Source: A History of the Brethren, Brumbaugh
The Brethren Encyclopedia

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sauer Bible

The First Saur Bible - 1743 from www.BibleVisit.com

In 1724 Christopher Sauer, Sr. sailed to America with his wife and young son and by 1740 had established a printing business.

When Christopher Saur, Sr. was ready to print the first Bible he sent out a notice to determine the amount of interest in it: "Whereas Numbers of the Dutch people in this province, especially of the Newcomers, are thro' mere poverty unable to furnish themselves with Bibles in their own language, at the advanced price those which are brought from Germany are usually sold at here; Therefore Christopher Sauer of Germantown, proposes to print a High Dutch Bible in large Quarto, and in a Charter that may be easily read even by old Eyes."

Just before his Bible was finished, he stated, "The price of our now nearly finished Bible in plain binding with a clasp will be eighteen shillings, but to the poor and needy we have no price."

In 1743 Saur offered the first Bible printed in America in German or any other European language. It was a very major undertaking since it was a 1267-page volume. Twelve hundred copies were produced, and though the sales were slow, they were all eventually sold.

After the death of the elder Saur in 1758, Christopher Saur, Jr. took over and expanded the business. He printed the second edition of the Bible in 1763 and a third in 1776.

Selling the first printing of the Bible was not without its problems. Some of those who sold imported Bibles reduced their prices drastically to undercut this new venture. Then there were printing errors and the need to reprint the title page which left some folks uneasy about the accuracy of the new Bible. And then some groups were very vocal against its being available at all. Sauer's Bible project attracted controversy even before its completion. Lutheran and Reformed clergy refused to support the Sauer Bible because they feared not only numerous typographical errors but, more seriously, a non-orthodox bias in the translation. Various religious sects objected because they did not like the translation Saur had chosen. Saur also used passages from another translation (Berleberg) in parts of the Apocrypha and offered two translations for some verses in Job. Preachers of various traditions warned their constituents to avoid the "heretical" publication. Anyone who wanted to complain could find something they did not like. But Saur persevered and in 1743 a masterpiece was produced

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Sauer Press Legacy

When the first Christoph Sauer died, his like-named son and successor published an obituary for his father. In it he characterized his father's character and motivations and declared that he, too, would carry on in the same tradition. He wrote:

"On September 24 [1758] the old and well-known printer Christoph Sauer departed this temporal life in the sixty-fourth year of his life, after living in this country for thirty-four years.

"He was always kind and friendly to friend and foe. He boasted neither of his skillfulness nor of his mind, but rather remained humble. He at all times was concerned for the good and the freedom of this country, and he would neither by presents nor by flattery of the important be influenced to ignore this. For this reason he finally brought upon himself the hatred of those, both great and small, who would have been glad to see the country become subjected physically to bondage and slavery, and spiritually to darkness and shadow, so that they might fish in troubled waters. Yet, he feared their hatred as little as he sought their favor, and kept a watchful open eye and disclosed their plans wherever he noticed them....

"In the meantime, I do feel myself compelled, out of love to God and for my neighbor, also to be a watchman and, according to the ability which God will grant me, to serve my neighbor with the gift which God has given me. It is true that I would rather, as heretofore, earn my humble bread by my bookbinding trade, and be freed of the burden of the printshop....

"Yet, as long as there is no one to whom I could entrust the printshop, I find myself obligated for the sake of God and my neighbor to continue until providence sees fit to give me an assistant of whom I am certain that he is so founded in the fear of God that he would not be moved by money or flattery to print something which is against the honor of God and the well-being of this country. For it is to the honor of God and the well-being of this country that this printshop has been dedicated. And I will seek always to maintain this aim."

Source: The Brethren Encyclopedia

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Christopher Sauer on Going to Law

The following account is included in the 1899 A History of The German Baptist Brethren written by Martin Grove Brumbaugh. While readers of Brethren history will find various spellings of Christopher Sauer's name, Brumbaugh uses "Sower."

No man ever appealed to Elder Sower in vain. Once a man from a distance came to Sower in great distress, and begged him to loan him a sum of money. This Elder Sower gladly did. In the near future this man by chance attended divine service and heard Elder Sower preach. His theme was non-resistance, and he dwelt upon the evils of going to law.

The man took advantage of the sermon to benefit himself. He called on Elder Sower and said, "Mr. Sower I heard you preach that if any man should take that is thine, ask it not again. Is that your sentiment?" "Yes;" was the answer, "that is not only my sentiment but it is the Divine injunction of our Lord, as you will find recorded in his blessed Word." "Then I tell you," said the man, "that I owe you that money yet and unless you sue me for it, I shall never pay it."

"I am sorry," said the pious old elder, "but if you say so, I cannot help it. Sue you I will not. If you have made up your mind not to pay me unless I sue you, I will cancel the account now."
"Well, I shall not pay you." The man went his way and Elder Sower cancelled the account.

Years went by. One morning the man rode to the door of Sower's house, dismounted, and entered. "Good morning, Mr. Sower," said the man. "I have brought you your money."

"My money! Why I thought you resolved not to pay me unless I sued you!" "I did so resolve, but that money has been a constant source of trouble to me. I cannot rest till the debt is paid."

"But," said Elder Sower, "I cancelled the account, forgave you the obligation, and have therefore no right to take it of you now."

The man insisted upon paying the debt, counted the amount with interest and laid it down upon the desk in Sower's office. Sower now saw that the man was really penitent and anxious to honor the religious principle of non-resistance and so adviced the man to take the money and give it to certain poor people whom he named.

Source: History of the Brethren, Brumbaugh

Monday, September 22, 2008

From Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography

Benjamin Franklin was a business and political rival of the Christopher Sauers in colonial Pennsylvania. Several times he attempted but failed to develop German-language publications to rival those of the Sauers. There were, however, some instances when the two printing establishments cooperated. In his Autobiography, Franklin has the following good words for the Brethren, in which he commends their prudence, judgment, and modesty:

"Those embarrassments that the Quakers suffered from having established and published it as one of their principles that no kind of war was lawful and which, being once published they could not afterwards, however they might change their minds, easily get rid of, reminds me of, what I think, a more prudent conduct in another sect among us, that of the Dunkers.

"I was acquainted with ... Michael Wohlfahrt. Soon after it appeared he complaine to me that they were grievously calumniated by the zealots of other persuasions, and charged with abominable principles and practices, to which they were utter strangers. I told him this had always been the case with new sects, and that, to put a stop to such abuse, I imagined it might be well to publish the articles of their belief, and the rules of their discipline.

"He said it had been proposed among them, but not agreed to, for this reason:

When we were first drawn together as a society, it had pleased God to enlighten our minds so far as to see that some doctrines, which were esteemed truths, were errors, and that others which we had esteemed errors, were real truths.

From time to time he has been pleased to afford us further light, and our principles have been improving and our errors diminishing.

Now we are not sure that we have arrived at the end of this progression and at the perfection of spiritual or theological knowledge, and we fear that if we should once print our confessions of faith, we should feel ourselves, as if bound and confined by it, and perhaps be unwilling to receive further improvement, and our successors still more so, as conceiving, what their elders and founders had done, to be something sacred - never to be departed from.

"This modesty," wrote Franklin, "in a sect is perhaps a single instance in the history of mankind. Every other sect, supposing itself in possession of all truth and that those who differ are so far in the wrong, like a man traveling in foggy weather, those at some distance before him on the road he sees wrapped up in the fog, as well as those behind him, and also the people in the fields on each side, but near him all appears clear, though in truth he is as much in the fog as any of them."

Source: History of the Brethren, Brumbaugh

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Brethren Service in Indiana - Part 3

Following the successful collection and distribution of food to Civilian Public Service Camps during World War 2, the Brethren in Indiana turned to producing food to ship overseas following the war.

A cannery was constructed at New Paris and was operated for several years processing foods grown mostly in Indiana for relief purposes. A number of carloads of canned corn and beans and other foods were shipped overseas in the period immediately following the war.

During the earlier days of the war period ... many members of the Church of the Brethren had been sending clothing for relief through the American Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia. As trucks began their regular trips for the collection and distribution of food, members of local congregations wondered whether the trucks themselves could not also handle clothing for relief.

To provide work garments for the men in Civilian Public Service camps, arrangements were made with Mennonite sewing centers to purchase cut garments. As these came to Nappanee cut out ready to be sewn by women's groups, they were distributed to the groups, were made and returned to Nappanee, and then were forwarded to camps on order.

About this time the Brethren Service Commission felt that there was enough activity among the churches of the Brethren to justify handling their own relief clothing and projects.... Clothing was now sent to the center at Nappanee, and there the first sorting and baling of garments for overseas shipment was done. Volunteer labor came in to help with this preparation for shipping.

Again, it was not long before quarters were outgrown. In the search for more space, a three-story building, approximately 40 x 120 feet, was purchased in Nappanee. Another unique project which developed was a soap factory constructed of a railroad tank car cut into three sections and stood on end. This soap factory produced over 300 tons of soap from waste and purchased fats to be sent for relief.

Service projects from Heifer Project to food for CPS camps, canned foods and clothing and soap collected or produced in Nappanee for overseas relief - all Northern Indiana projects.

Source: History of the Church of the Brethren in Indiana, 1952

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Brethren Service in Northern Indiana - Part 2

Soon after the establishment of Civilian Public Service Camps, the question of providing food for the men in those camps came to the fore front of attention. It was thought that the people of our churches would be glad to provide food for the men in the camps if the food could be moved to where it was needed. A preliminary letter was sent to a number of the churches in Indiana and other nearby states, announcing that a truck would be around at a certain date to collect those contributions of foodstuffs.

The route started from Lagro, Indiana, to the west and south, then east across Ohio, and back across the northern part of Ohio, returning to Camp Lagro. Long before the circuit had been completed the truck was filled. It seemed that the idea was successful.

One of the interested members of the church in Indiana donated a truck which could be used for the purpose of collecting food. Two men were assigned to the driving of the truck. A system of record keeping was established; depots were set up in various churches. Fruit jars by the carload were purchased and distributed for home canning. Thus began the food project of the Brethren Service Committee.

At first these collected foods were stored at Camp Lagro and were taken to other camps in the region. Before long it was realized that merely dropping off at the most convenient camp the food collected on a trip would result in surpluses at some spots and scarcities at others. ...

A new storage was found at New Paris, Indiana, in a store building which could be heated during the winter months. It seemed that this place might be amply large, for it would hold a number of truckloads of food. It was not long, however, until this, too, was filled to capacity. ... A new space was sought. It was found in Nappanee. Trucks and men from the Northern Indiana District moved the tons of food from New Paris to Nappanee, and this, in turn, became the center of the trucking operations, not only for the central region, but also for other parts of the country. Needless to say the first small trucks were soon outgrown, and were replaced by a tractor and semi-trailer. Later on, the Brethren Service Center was operating five of these tractor-trailer trucks.

It was but a step from the home canning of food for this purpose to the establishment of a canning factory which could be used to produce food in tins for shipping overseas. That story tomorrow.

Source: History of the Church of the Brethren in Indiana, 1952

Friday, September 19, 2008

Brethren Service programs in Northern Indiana - Part 1

The program of Brethren Service had many of its roots in the state of Indiana. War conditions provided the great impetus which began the program of Brethren Service.

One of the first of the many Brethren Service programs which came to fruition in Indiana was the Heifer Project. Dan West had developed this idea as a result of his experiences in Spain. The germ of the idea was presented to a 1942 Men's Meeting in Middlebury. The men were rather enthusiastic about the possibilities of sending live animals for breeding purposes to Europe.... Initially, it was impossible to ship to Europe, so one shipment was arranged to sharecroppers in Arkansas. Another was sent to Puerto Rico, and later a second shipment went to Puerto Rico. A few cattle were sent to Mexico.

In the meantime, the idea was spreading throughout our church, and was adopted and accepted by other church groups. The net result was the moving of headquarters from Indiana to the Brethren Service Center at New Windsor. Following the war, cattle were sent to Greece; to Belgium, to Italy, to Poland, to Ethiopia, to China, to Czechoslovakia, to France and to other countries.

Within the first decade, over 6,ooo head of cattle and 4,000 milk goats had been shipped for relief and rehabilitation as a result of the meeting held in one of the Northern Indiana churches.

Today, Heifer International has over 800 projects in 50 countries.

Tomorrow: Food for CPS Camps

Source: History of the Church of the Brethren in Indiana, 1952

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Elder B.F. Moomaw

In July 1861, the 51st Regiment of the Confederate Army of Virginia, consisting of about 800 men, came into the vicinity of Roanoke to undergo military training. Some local residents, thinking thus to embarass Elder B.F. Moomaw, suggested that Colonel Wharton, who was in charge, locate on the Moomaw farm where there was a fine grove with a flowing stream.

Moomaw gave permission and at once set about to win the friendship of officers and men, at the same time taking care not to compromise his Christian principles. One of his first courtesies was to invite the officers, about twenty, to dinner. Needless to say they all came and enjoyed the hospitality. It was then that the officers dropped the remark that neighbors had directed them to this farm with evil intent.

It wasn't long until Moomaw was asked to preach in camp. He gladly accepted the invitation. Of the occasion he says: I never felt more solemn, standing alone, and the soldiers seated around me on the ground, and I certainly never preached Christ, a peaceable Savior, the Prince of Peace, with more earnestness than then and there.

During the encampment a severe outbreak of measels occurred and many of the soldiers contracted the disease. The Moomaws took many of the sick soldiers into their home and helped nurse them.

September came and the soldiers prepared to move. Out of deep appreciation they wrote the following statement:

Camp J. Johnston, September 18, 1861

We, whose names are hereunto assigned, do take pleasure in testifying that the Rev. B.F. Moomaw has used every exertion in his power to render the invalid soldiers comfortable during our stay at his place, all free of charge for what he or his family did for us.

Some of us have been in that home for six weeks, and, of course, have been a great deal of trouble, for which he would not accept any remuneration. And, furthermore, we certify that the above-named B.F. Moomaw would not accept any pay from any of our friends who visited us while there, but was thankful for having it in his power to relieve our sufferings, which he cheerfully did in an eminnent degree.

And now we are surprised and troubled to hear that some vile and unprincipled wretch, or wretches, have circulated the report that he charged us for all that he did for us. We emphatically, peremptorily and flatly deny it to the fullest extent.

Source: The Brethren Encyclopedia, Donald F. Durnbaugh
adapted from S.F. Sanger and D. Hays, Olive Branch

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Little Dunker Meetinghouse

Whether known as the Battle of "Antietam" or "Sharpburg" (as in Confederate recollections), the military engagement of September 17, 1862 was the bloodiest single day in the American Civil War. More than 23,000 soldiers on either side were either killed, wounded, or listed as missing.

A significant part of the battle raged around the Mumma meetinghouse of the German Baptist Brethren, who were sometimes called "Dunkers."

These people believed strongly that followers of Jesus Christ should not take up the sword. In their own quiet way, they also refrained from the practice of slavery. That their meetinghouse, and the Brethren farmland surrounding it, lay smack dab in the middle of this "bloodiest single day" may be ironic, but it also seems appropriate for the church to be in the middle of human conflict, a visible presence pointing to the One who died - without weapon in hand - that all might live.

Note: Many history books since that day have included the above photo by Alexander Gardner of Matthew Brady Associates.

Source: Peter Haynes website

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

David Long: Civil War Preacher - Part 3

Elder David Long traveled over much of the East in connection with his ministerial duties, largely at his own expense. His expense accounts for attending Annual Conferences - he did receive some financial help when attending them - were always small, for he traveled in the most economical manner. He preached many funerals, stopping his own work to do it. He likely married more couples than anyone else in the community did. It was his custom to hand to the bride the fee given to him. One young man heard of this, and, desiring to impress his bride, gave Elder Long a ten-dollar bill. This was the last one he had, but he expected it to come back. However, this happened to be a time when the elder found that his expenses were greater than his income and, much to the chagrin of the young man, he kept the fee.

His life was a contribution to his fellow men. Like many of the ministers of his day, he sincerely felt that the minister should take nothing for his labors. The story is told that he went once to a Midwestern state to conduct an evangelistic meeting. After a few nights of preaching, one of the men who had been attending the services came to him and said:

"Don t you take any offerings?"

"No," said Elder Long. "The gospel is free."

"I pay for my tobacco and my liquor and I am ready to pay for my preaching. Take this money," the man replied. This was the only remuneration received for either his expenses or his services on that trip.

One writer of that far-off day said of him: "In his connection with the church, Bishop Long was an acknowledged leader in this state and was one of the strongest pillars of the church organization. For many years he represented his people at the annual conferences of the church, and he exerted a deep influence upon the church throughout the country. He has gone to Pennsylvania and the Western states as a delegate in his church so often that he became one of the most widely known men of his day in the church. He indelibly impressed his earnest convictions upon the ministry and the laity and defended the tenets and customs of the church in a forcible manner which has done much to preserve and identify the Dunkard church throughout the country, which is a strong and vigorous denomination."

Professor J. M. Henry, of Bridgewater, Virginia, wrote of Elder Long: "His ministry had great influence. He preached at many mission points, served on important committees of Annual Meeting, conducted many funerals, performed more marriage ceremonies than any [other] man of his community, lived an active, busy life in his own congregation. He was a man of dominant personality, commanding in appearance, and very serious minded.

"His work has been evaluated both critically and appreciatively. He was austere in church discipline, but kind hearted in disposition. He made some enemies by his straightforwardness but won a host of friends by his piety. His uncompromising attitude during the declining years of his ministry crippled his usefulness, yet friend and foe believed in his sincerity."

When the Annual Conference of 1880 was held in Hagerstown, Elder Long had charge of the arrangements. He showed remarkable ability and a mastery of details which won for him the praise of many and contributed largely to the success of the Conference.

Living on the border between the free and the slave states, he nevertheless made his position on slavery clear to all. One day in attending a slave auction he bought all the slaves and set them free. In his attitude toward slavery he reflected accurately the position of the Brethren. The methods of John Brown and the methods of the Brethren, all aimed at the same end, were entirely opposites. In the war that came about in part because of slavery the Brethren were loyal to their government but opposed war as a means of achieving righteous goals.

Denied the education he craved for himself, David Long aided his children in every way possible to secure educations. One son, D. Milton, was known as a "bookworm" and liked nothing better than "having his nose in a book." In this tendency he was encouraged by his father.

A privately owned and conducted school had been opened in Hagerstown in 1878 by Thomas and Rebecca Cochran. Having a small patronage and in time being offered for sale, it was purchased by David Long and his son Melvin for twenty-nine hundred dollars. Melvin Long became the principal of the school, which was renamed Linden Seminary. The highest enrollment during the period of operation being only seventy-four students, the seminary was discontinued after a number of years.

But the relentless press of time sweeps all before it, and on January 23, 1897, Maryland s well-known Civil War preacher went to be with his fathers. Had he lived until Friday of the next week he would have attained the age of seventy-seven. He was active and vigorous until within a few days of his passing, when he became ill with pneumonia contracted while trying to reach one of his preaching appointments during very adverse weather. His wife, widely and affectionately known as Aunt Mary Long, had died about eight years earlier.

The oak grove surrounding the church where David Long preached that September morning in 1862 was plowed and scarred by cannon shot and is now gone. The old rail fences along the Hagerstown Pike are no longer there. The old church is gone, with nothing remaining but the hilltop and the foundation. Other buildings have been erected where the Mumma farm buildings were burned. The soil enriched by the blood of the nation’s young men produces in abundance. The sunken road, now Bloody Lane, is viewed casually by the rapidly passing traveler. The sun which once glistened upon flashing arms now glistens upon countless monuments erected to the memory of the men who wore the blue and the gray of a century ago. The fields which echoed to the feet of marching men and galloping horses are now echoing to the exhausts of farm tractors. The hills which once gave back the echo of the cannons roar and the sharp crack of the rifles now give forth the sounds of industry and peace.

Elder David Long, veteran and effective preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ as it was understood by the Brethren, is likewise gone. But the principles and the spiritual undergirding of life for which he stood are as virile and as timely as ever and will so remain, for the truth of God
is unchangeable.

Source: Sidelights on Brethren History, Freeman Ankrum
Peter Haynes website

Monday, September 15, 2008

David Long: Civil War Preacher - Part 2

David Long was born in Washington County, Maryland, on January 29, 1820. In 1826, when the Annual Meeting was held in that county, Joseph took the six-year-old boy along with him. Being too young to be interested in the sessions, David spent much of his time playing with Mary Reichard, the daughter of Daniel and Catherine Reichard, on whose farm the Annual Meeting was held. This friendship eventuated in their marriage in 1841.
Even though David was an eager student he had few opportunities for securing an education. To a large extent he was self-taught. To ensure having a good vocabulary, he secured a dictionary and read it from cover to cover. By this means he learned to express his thoughts clearly.

The Longs took title to about two hundred acres of land; it was part of the Conococheague Manor, a tract owned by General Samuel Ringgold. Their home was like the average home of that day - built to accommodate both family and guests, for all of whom there was ample room. Many were the Brethren who were entertained in the Long home. During the battle of Antietam this house was within range of both armies; although the soldiers tramped over the farm, damaging it as they went, little damage was done to the house. One day a cannon ball penetrated the east wall of it.

David and Mary Long were the parents of twelve children, eleven of whom grew to manhood and womanhood. Of the six daughters, three married ministers; of the five Sons, four became ministers.

When David was twenty-three he was elected to the office of deacon. To the Brethren in those days this meant being a person of great promise, for they were slow to lay hands on those young in years. Having made good in this office, he was elected to the ministry when he was thirty. On the very day of his election his wife was at home at the point of death. Much sympathy was expressed to the young man who, many thought, would be left alone with his young family; Mary recovered, however, and lived to sustain and strengthen him in his new duties. In the course of time his home church, Manor, advanced him to the full ministry and he became the elder, or bishop, of what is now the Manor, Beaver Creek, and Hagerstown district. He was plain spoken, a skilled executive, and was trusted by all.

In the community as well as in the church he was held in respect and confidence. Many people entrusted their investments to him without requiring any papers. His word was as good as his bond. A man of more than average intelligence, he had a strong, active mind and a character conspicuous for uprightness and integrity.

In his church relationships he was a hard worker and was called upon from many quarters for advice and help. In fact, he gave of his time and his means so freely that his personal affairs suffered. When his estate was settled, the assets just canceled out the obligations against it. His day was that of the free ministry, when it seemed, in the thinking of most Brethren, that the minister must make the major sacrifices. One person remarked to the author that the minister barely eked out an existence while the deacons left farms to their children.

Source: Sidelights on Brethren History, Freeman Ankrum
Peter Haynes website

Sunday, September 14, 2008

David Long: Civil War Preacher - Part 1

The month was September, the day was Sunday the fourteenth, and the year was 1862.

There was a haze over the distant mountain off to the east. The corn was ripening in the autumn sun. The leaves of the oaks and the maples in the nearby grove indicated the change of the season. The Cumberland Valley, always beautiful but never more so than in the lazy, hazy days of September and the following colorful days of October, lay bathed in beauty. From over the dirt roads, flanked by the split-rail fences, came people on horseback, on foot, and in carriages. Along the sunken road, soon to be baptized with blood as Bloody Lane, came the Mummas and others who lived east of the little church. Along the Hagerstown Pike to the north, and also from Sharpsburg on the south, came the worshipers.

It was a sober and thoughtful gathering, for the terrible war was coming closer. Over all there must have been a sense of impending tragedy. Yet little did they realize that within a relatively few hours this lovely spot would be the focal point of a bitter struggle and that they would be within the Confederate lines. On the ridges puffs of smoke could be seen. From time to time the boom of cannon could be heard. But no man could know what the morrow might bring.

The church to which these people came has been variously known as the Mumma church, the little white brick church, and the Antietam Dunker church. Located on a hill overlooking Sharpsburg as well as Antietam Creek, it was surrounded by sturdy trees. The main road from Hagerstown to Sharpsburg passed by on the east side of the structure.

The minister who was to bring the message that morning was Elder David Long. At that time he was in his prime, being forty-two years of age. Already he had won the respect not only of his parishioners but also of other people in his community and far beyond its borders. Elder Long lived some little distance northwest of the church.

That memorable Sunday he took his place, following the usual greetings of friends and fellow members, in the pulpit or, rather, behind the table, for the Brethren felt that all should occupy the same level in the services and did not place raised platforms in their church houses. The hymn was announced and lined, and the congregation sang it spiritedly. At the proper time the elder opened the historic and now-famous Bible, read a psalm, announced his text, and preached a fervent sermon.

Following the lingering good-byes, with which were mingled the expressed hopes of meeting again, the members went their separate ways to their own homes or to the homes of friends. Samuel Mumma, as was the custom of that day, had guests for the noonday meal at his home a short distance to the east of the church. In the afternoon some children who had been playing outdoors came running in and reported seeing smoke on South Mountain, not far east of the Mumma home. The battle of South Mountain was beginning. It is quite unlikely that the full import of what might lie ahead was realized by anyone. That afternoon, even as the Confederate lines were forming north of the Potomac, over a hundred people made their way to the commodious home of Elder Long, where they must have contemplated seriously the events of the day and the prospects for the future.

Source: Sidelights on Brethren History, Freeman Ankrum
Peter Haynes website

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Vernon Schwalm

When Otho Winger resigned as President of Manchester College after 30 years of leadership, there was great curiosity as to who would be his successor. Winger had become part of the institution of the college, part of its fabric and personality. But the college was entering a new era, and the trustees knew they should waste no time looking for a successor. They turned to former Manchester professor and dean Vernon Schwalm, who in 1927 had left to become president of McPherson College.

Confessing that it felt "almost presumptuous to attempt to be [Winger's] successor," Schwalm in the end was persuaded to leave his 15-year post at McPherson. Schwalm, not surprisingly, hesitated to give the trustees at Manchester an immediate acceptance. His hesitancy gave rise to this incident, recounted in his autobiography:

A curious thing happened on January 12 [1941], the next day after my election. I had gone to Ottawa, Kansas, to preach. During the day the Kansas City Star called for me. When my wife said I was not home for the day, they said, "The Eastern papers say your husband has been elected President of Manchester College. Has he decided to accept?" When she said, "You'll have to ask him about that," they asked, "Do you think he will accept?" She said, "Yes, I think he will." Next day the papers announced my election and added, "His wife thinks he will accept."

When McPherson agreed to release Schwalm from his unexpired contract ... he felt free to say "yes" to Manchester. That fall, he formally accepted the work, with an inaugeration speech affirming that he was "keenly aware of the heavy responsibility ... and highly appreciative of the high privilege it affords."

The first months of the school year ushered in a crisis that would demand every ounce of Schwalm's new-found authority as president. The campus, like the nation, was stunned by reports on Sunday, December 7, 1941, that Pearly Harbor had been bombed. The war had an immediate effect on student enrollment. In just two years, enrollment had dropped by almost 25 percent with a similar effect on income.

Schwalm would summarize his personal views about the war as he affirmed, "I am still a pacifist in that I will not kill, and I want to uphold our pacifist students, but I am not an obstructionist nor an anarchist. I want to be a constructive, cooperative American citizen."

Whatever Schwalm's ability to maintain campus life during a time of crisis, he clearly was not content with mere maintenance. Even in the midst of drastic declines in enrollment, he held high expectations for Manchester's place in academic circles. His insistence on excellence began with the faculty. "We ought to build an institution that is intellectually comparable to the best," he told the trustees in 1942.

Paul Bowman, a student during Schwalm's early years, remembers President Schwalm sometimes complaining, "I have never been president during "normal times." Indeed the flood of students after the war gave credence to his complaint for these also strained the college.

Schwalm's years at Manchester was one of continuing to build on what Otho Winger had begun, including the need for new buildings. Even as his presidency began to draw to a close, he continued to look ahead with a 10-year development program approved in October 1954. By the spring of 1956 a new, modern brick dormitory for women was completed, by July of that year, when Schwalm retired, nearly half a million dollars had been raised for a new Science Hall.

Schwalm's presidency, characterized by a lack of "normal" circumstances and plagued by war and its aftermath, ended, nevertheless, on a positive note. Schwalm had been a reserved but capable scholar, administrator, and churchman. His leadership in the college, church, and state educational organizations brought him distinction. It represented a period of academic, financial, and administrative strengthening. It was a time of reaching for an excellence that would aid the college's movement into the future.

Source: A Century of Faith, Learning and Service

Friday, September 12, 2008

Otho Winger

Manchester College began under the leadership of President E.S. Young and his brother S.S. Young from 1895 to 1899 when both suddenly left the college. Local newspapers simply reported that the Youngs and the board of trustees "could not agree upon the conduct and management of the school."

Over the next 15 years a succession of five presidents struggled to keep the college afloat and paying off a staggering debt of $30,000. One of the major changes taking place during this time period was an agreement of the trustees to turn over college ownership to the surrounding districts of the Church of the Brethren debt-free. The three Indiana districts along with the district of Northwest Ohio agreed and an intense effort to retire all debt was led by Elder I.D. Parker with assistance of an energetic student named Otho Winger who volunteered to drop his studies to help with the project. With the debt paid off in May 1902, the college was deeded to the Church of the Brethren with the provision that the school would never go in debt again.

Meanwhile, Otho Winger had returned to school as a student and then became a promising young member of the faculty in the education department. He would later change to teaching history, English, philosophy, and even Latin and Greek. In addition to his teaching load, he began to add speaking or preaching engagements on almost every Sunday.

Winger's abilities did not escape the notice of the Board of Trustees. He had been on the faculty only three years when he was asked to serve on the Executive Board as the faculty representative. This Board not only ran the college, but shouldered financial responsibility. On January 10, 1911, the Board of Trustees elected Otho Winger as the next president. He would go on to serve Manchester College as President for the next 30 years.

Winger would later confess, "Personally, I was not ambitious for any such job. I came to Manchester hoping to get a few years of college teaching and get a little money so I could go on to the university to take my Doctor's degree." He envisioned a lifetime of teaching college history and writing books.

Much that Manchester College is today, it owes to his strong and stable leadership that allowed the college to grow and develop during those early years. More than the buildings erected, programs initiated, or funds raised, people from this time remember the vigor of Winger's personality, the depth of his values, the force of his convictions. Any assessment of Winger's contributions must recognize that his remarkable energy and character explain much of Manchester's momentum and growth during the years he was president.

In April 1940, poor health and fatigue compelled Winger to announce to the trustees his intention to retire on September 1, 1941, at the age of 65. He spent his remaining five years of life composing his Memories of Manchester and pursuing his interest in Indian artifacts and lore.

Source: A Century of Faith, Learning and Service

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Manchester College

The dream of a Brethren College did not die with the failure of Salem College. And the birth of a new Brethren College in North Manchester, Indiana came about due to the failure of another college of the United Brethren Church.

The story begins with the Roanoke Classical Seminary in Roanoke, Indiana - some 20 miles to the east of North Manchester - and its Principal David Howe who had decided to move the school to North Manchester and met with a crowd of townspeople in May 1889. Howe had been sent to run the school as a prepatory school for the United Brethren's Otterbein College in Ohio. Howe, however, set it up more as a teachers' college and appears to have had mixed feelings about being under the control of the church.

Administrators at Otterbein apparently learned of Howe's intent to move the school from Roanoke to North Manchester through a newspaper article. The school opened in North Manchester in November 1989 with strong attendance despite an unfinished campus. The United Brethren affirmed in 1891 its desire to be supportive and stay involved with the school. Enrollment continued to grow until a misguided enterprise caught college officials off guard.

In January 1894 a Professor Kriebel came to town claiming to represent an anonymous, aging millionaire eager to endow the college with a million dollars. The offer, however, came with several conditions including that Kriebel would supervise all city schools and the college. One year after Kriebel had become President, he would confess under questioning that he had not given the college a day's service during the entire year. The school was in debt and the business manager was intercepted by officers heading out of town with all his personal belongings. The promised endowment never materialized and Kriebel left town, and was arrested on a charge of false pretenses.

Meanwhile the German Baptist Brethren were again considering starting a college in Indiana. Several communities were in the running as a location and a proposal to establish a college in Nappanee was in the final stages when the scandal in North Manchester changed the direction and plans of the Brethren. E.S. Young and friends seized the opportunity and acted quickly to buy the campus in North Manchester and start their own German Baptist Brethren College. Because of the proximity of the two towns, the plans for Nappanee ground to a halt.

Rev. Emanuel Sprankle young, a distinguished Bible teacher from Mount Morris College, became Manchester College's first president; and his brother, S.S. Young, became the Business Manager.

Two hundred students were enrolled as Manchester College opened its first fall term on September 11, 1895 - 113 years ago today.

Source: A Century of Faith, Learning and Service

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Salem College

The first college established by the Brethren was in Indiana, opening its doors nearly nine years before Ashland and Mt. Morris Colleges. Although short-lived, Salem College paved the way for the successful colleges which followed it.

A number of Hoosiers were among the most active Dunkards in their support of higher education. A meeting was held at the Antioch Church in Andrews, Indiana on February 10, 1870 to consider the idea of establishing a college in the state. A formal resolution was passed at this meeting calling for the establishment of a college and calling for support from Annual Meeting.

The resolution came before the Middle Indiana District meeting where it met stiff opposition. After intense debate, it was agreed to pass the resolution on to Standing Committee.

At Annual Meeting, delegates reaffirmed the action of 1858 which in effect neither supported nor hindered the effort. The position of Annual Meeting was that as long as schools were conducted as private commercial ventures and in accordance with gospel principles, there was no reason for opposition.

While this maneuvering was taking place, the Northern Indiana District took the process a step farther on May 28, 1870, when the district meeting accepted a proposal from the town of Bourbon which offered to donate grounds and buildings of a previous failed effort to the Dunkards if they would "establish a first class institution of learning and continue it in Bourbon."

Delegates to district meeting accepted the offer with very little disssent. The effort to establish the new school was quickly organized with a goal of establishing the first classes before the end of 1870. It was decided the name of the new school would be Salem College.

The organizers were keenly aware of the controversial nature of their actions. In an effort to head off some of the criticism they announced in the first school catalog that the intent of the college was to supply "the means of acquiring an advanced education under the influence and tuition of members of our own fraternity."

Salem College received considerable support from both Indiana and Ohio, and the organizers met their goal when eight students began classes on December 14, 1870. Twenty-two had enrolled by the end of the term. By the end of 1871 school year the number of students had increased to 125.

The establishment of Salem College only served to intensify the debate over higher education. Within months of its opening, a query was forwarded to Annual Meeting in 1871 asking whether or not Salem College was being operated under the authority of the church. Annual Meeting responded that it did not consider Salem College to be a church school, nor was it conducted by the general brotherhood. The statement acknowledged that the college was under the control of members of the church and was being supported by other members but the denomination itself was not financing it in any way.

The college continued to operate successfully in the 1871-72 school year, but the 1872-73 year was financially disastrous as student enrollment nosedived. The trustees were forced to close the college in 1873, just four years after it was founded.

Source: Planting the Faith in a New Land: Church of the Brethren in Indiana

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Mount Morris College

At the time of the founding of Ashland College (note yesterday's entry), another effort to establish an institution of higher education among the German Baptist Brethren began in Illinois.

Unlike the colleges that had already been founded by groups or individuals within the brotherhood, the college at Mt. Morris had a history of almost forty years under the jurisdiction of the Methodists in Illinois before a group of Brethren bought the property. The college had been known as Rock River Seminary since its founding in 1838. In 1871 the operation of the school was temporarily suspended until it was reopened two years later. However, due to the heavy financial burden of the school and the establishment of Northwestern University, Rock River Seminary closed its doors.

J.H. Moore, publisher of the Brethren at Work urged the establishment of a school for the Brethren in Illinois by calling an educational meeting in the Silver Creek congregation near Mt. Morris. At the meeting, Melchor Newcomer, a prominent minister of the Brethren and successful merchant in and around Mt. Morris, claimed that the Rock River property could be bought for $6,000 and offered to contribute one-half of the funds. The other funds were collected and at another meeting citizens of the town demonstrated their enthusiasm and support for the project.

On August 20, 1879, Mt. Morris Seminary and Collegiate Institute opened its doors. More than 200 students were enrolled by the end of the first year and there was a faculty of eight. In 1882 D. L. Miller was elected president succeeding John Stein who had abandoned his post and his family. At the end of the first year, however, Miller took a trip to Europe, leaving the school in the hands of S.Z. Sharp, the only teacher who was a member of the German Baptist Brethren. Sharp had been the first president of Ashland College, but resigned when it came under the control of Progressive Brethren.

By 1883, Mt. Morris College had entered a very difficult period. Leadership of the college was crippled by Stein's sudden departure and Miller's lack of academic training. The college also faced a financial crisis so critical that negotiations were begun for the sale of the property to the Studebaker wagon manufacturing company. However, this move created concern and anger among students and the citizens of the town, resulting in the board's search for a president. J.G. Royer, superintendent of schools in Monticello, Indiana and founder of the Burnett's Creek Normal School, came to Mt. Morris, invested heavily of his own funds in the college, and accepted the presidency where he served for the next twenty years.

The college grew steadily until tragedy struck the school. On January 15, 1912, a fire gutted the main campus building. While the administration decided to rebuild, its preseident resigned and the institution was beset by financial difficulties for the next 17 years when a second disastrous fire struck the college in 1931. That led to a decision to merge the college with Manchester College following the 1931-32 academic year.

Source: The Brethren Encyclopedia

Monday, September 08, 2008

Ashland College

Today Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio is associated with The Brethren Church. But it was chartered in 1878 and opened its doors in 1879 by members of the German Baptist Brethren Church with assistance and support from public-spirited citizens who saw possible benefits in having a college in their community.

The founders were motivated by a need for trained school teachers and college-level classical and science education. The timing of the idea was good, since interest in new colleges was high in midwestern towns. S.Z. Sharp (note yesterday's entry) was instrumental in establishing several institutions, and he was approached by Ohio Brethren to begin a canvas of Ohio towns that eventually led to the founding of the new college in Ashland.

The relatively friendly atmosphere in which Ashland College began its existence was disturbed early by disagreement within the church on a number of topics, one of which dealt with the training of ministers and the sponsoring of colleges. The turmoil created by the church schism of 1882 had calmed generally by 1888, and the Progressive Brethren were in control of Ashland College. They reincorporated the college, vesting control and ownership in a board of trustees to be self-perpetuating.

The trustees inherited a badly crippled institution burdened with debt and struggled for nine years to survive. There was a brief closing of the institution in 1897 and reopened in the autumn of 1898.

Source: The Brethren Encyclopedia

Sunday, September 07, 2008

S. Z. Sharp

Solomon Zook Sharp was born in December 1835 to Mennonite parents in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. In addition to his public school education, he was self-taught in Latin, Greek, mathematics and the sciences. He taught in the public schools from 1855-1860 before beginning a lifetime of teaching and administration in higher education. He was married and baptized into the Brethren Church in 1860.

During the time period between the Civil War and World War I, more than 800 colleges and universities were founded in the United States, most under the auspices of religious bodies. Brethren were greatly affected by this widespread establishment of institutions of higher education. An important issue in the development of Brethren schools during the latter half of the 19th century was the function of the educational institution in relationship to the church's ministry. Whether the colleges should become involved in the training of ministers for the church was subject to great debate.

S.Z. Sharp was a leading figure in the college movement among the Brethren and pointed to the possibility of colleges helping the church to fulfill its purpose. He argued that the church must make use of all means God had provided, including those Brethren to whom they could entrust the education of children.

When Ashland College opened in 1879, Sharp served as its first President. He would later teach at Mt. Morris College and serve as President of McPherson College.

Sharp was also an early advocate of Sunday Schools and wrote the first Brethren Sunday School literature.

Source: The Brethren Encyclopedia

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Witness to an Assassination

More than sixty years after it happened, Emma Nice Ellis could describe vividly an incident she observed in 1901 - the assassination of the president of the United States.

As a young woman she had visited the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, NY. On September 6 she attended a public reception for President William McKinley in the Temple of Music, where she took her place among hundreds of people waiting in line to shake hands with the chief executive. There were only a few persons ahead of her when she noticed a man, later identified as an anarchist named Leon Czolgosz, whose arm was wrapped in a bandage. Suddenly a shot rang out from a revolver hidden in the bandaged hand.

The president was rushed to a hospital where he died several days later. The assassin was taken into custody, and Emma Nice was among the people questioned for first-hand reports of the shooting. She described the event as an "awful experience."

The following year Emma was married to a student named Charles Calvert Ellis who would become a professor, and later president, of Juniata College. Upon his retirement as president of Juniata College, their son Calvert N. Ellis succeeded his father as president of Juniata for the next 25 years. Together, father and son served in the office from 1930-1968.

It must have been enough to have made Emma - witness to an assassination - proud.

Source: The Brethren Encyclopedia

Friday, September 05, 2008

Inglenook Doctor Book - part 2

Yesterday we introduced the Inglenook Doctor Book published in 1903. Today we share some sample remedies from the book.

91. - To break up a cold, drink hot lemonaide before retiring at night.
92. - adds: ...and soak the feet in hot water before going to bed.

119. - Coughs: Equal parts rock candy syrup and brandy, and half as much glycerine, taken in small quantities at short intervals. - D.M. Weybright, New Paris, Ind.

171. - Bronchitis: Mix two tablespoonfuls of cod liver oil, the juice of two large lemons, and one-fourth pound of pure honey. Dose, one teaspoonful occasionally. - Mrs. Ainge, Elkhart, Ind

235. - Measles: Give the patient all the cold lemonade he can drink. This will drive out the measles, check the fever and loosen the cough.

301. - Vomiting: Drink a glass of cold water as cold as you can get it. If vomiting continues repeat the dose.

397. - Sick Headache: Bruise the leaves of horseradish, wet in cold water and bind on the forehead. Wet it again when it becomes dry. Keep it on for an hour or more.

402. - Headache: Put a cold cloth to the head and a bottle of hot water to the feet.

667. - Splinters: To draw splinters from the flesh, apply a poultice of soft soap made of ash lye.

671.- Burns: To draw the fire out, apply cider applebutter immediately.

833.- For baldness, pound fine one-half pint of the kernals of peach seeds, put them in one pint of good cider vinegar and use as a wash. - Goshen, Ind.

Source: Inglenook Doctor Book

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Inglenook Doctor Book - part 1

The Inglenook Doctor Book was complied and published in 1903 by the Brethren Publishing House in a format similar to The Inglenook Cook Book. It contained 916 home remedies.

From the preface of the book:

The idea for the book originated in the fact that, hidden away in the thousands of homes reached by the magazine, there were many remedies for diseases and ailments incident to common humanity. ... What we have endeavored to bring about is the collection and presentation of tried domestic remedies, for ailments of not sufficient gravity to warrant sending for a physician.

The Inglenook fully recognizes the fact that there are insidious and active diseases for which the highest available medical skill should be immediately summoned to attend. But there are also physical troubles in which intelligent action is highly desirable, and never without gratifying results. As a rule, in every family, there are remedies which experience has taught to be of great value. This collection of remedies represents the wisdom born of experience.

There is no guarantee of the effectiveness of these remedies on the part of the Inglenook. It is not even claimed that they are scientific, but they do represent successful experience which in practice is worth more than science.

Tomorrow: Some samples from the book.

Source: Inglenook Doctor Book

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Inglenook Cookbook

The Inglenook Cookbook was an outgrowth of The Inglenook. The good sisters of the Church of the Brethren and their friends were encouraged to contribute their favorite recipes of its "Home Department." These recipes were gathered together to form the text of the Inglenook Cook Book published in 1901. It was offered as a bonus to subscribers of the magazine.

The book was revised and enlarged in 1911. It containing 1,000 recipes, was an immediate success and sold more than 100,000 copies and continued to be used in Brethren and other kitchens for more than forty years. In 1970 the cookbook was reprinted from the original plates.

By 1940 the granddaughters of those who provided and used the original recipes were ready for their own cookbook, one that would again reflect their practical experience with recipes but that would also utilize up-to-date nutritional information. In 1941 they were invited to offer their best recipes for the new volume, and from the 5,000 that were received, the recipes in this book were selected by committees of homemakers.

One of the interesting features of the turn-of-the-century publication was its cover art, because it featured an attractive young lady who was properly adorned with a prayer covering and seemed acceptable to conservative readers. In the February 1985 issue of Messenger, editor Kermon Thomasson explains how he sought the identity of the cover girl. Readers responded, identifying the young woman as Anna Evans Wilson, the daughter of a Brethren family in Missouri.

Tomorrow: Inglenook Doctor Book

Sources: The Brethren Encyclopedia
Preaching in a Tavern, Morse
"The Inglenook: A Journal for a Gentler Time," by Jeanne Donovan

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Inglenook

The Inglenook was a weekly publication launched in 1900 with Howard Miller as its first editor. It was described as "A youth's paper that will be read by older people." It contained features of general interest, extensive illustrations, counsel for personal and family problems, editorial comment on church matters, and paid advertising. It was discontinued in 1913.

Turn-of-the-century advertising, which then was considered appropriate to a dignified, high-minded religious publication, strikes us now as almost flamboyant and, as far as as patent medicines and land schemes are concerned, even fraudulent. Take for an example an ad in The Inglenook for Victor Liver Syrup "the great Family Medicine" that laid claim to making some wonderful cures.

Perhaps the most colorful and interesting ads in the periodical were those of land speculators who wrote in glowing terms of "100,000 ACRES OF GOVERNMENT LAND! $1.25 per acre.

Brethren were also urged to settle in "the Brethren Colony, Quinter, Kansas" and to that purpose a full page advertisement was place on the inside cover, complete with appropriate testimonies by Dunker residents.

This colony is located in Gove County, Kansas, on the main line of UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD, 300 miles west of Kansas City. The town itself is composed principally of members of the Dunker Church. In contains a post office, smithy, general stores, a two-story brick schoolhouse, and a neat and commodious Dunker church, seating about 500 people, free from debt, and including a membership of about 100. The surrounding country is largely settled up by members of the same church.

Many modern-day Brethren would find it interesting to know that the editors of The Inglenook were aware of the needs and concerns of youth then as editors are today. Judging from this recipe for the good life, things have not changed all that much:

Take your religion seriously; make it practical in everyday matters; don't force it on others; live at peace with your neighbors, those next door and those around the world; work hard; live simply; and always be prepared to lend more than one helping hand to someone in need.

Tomorrow: The Inglenook Cookbook

Source: The Brethren Encyclopedia
Preaching in a Tavern, Morse
"The Inglenook: A Journal for a Gentler Time, " by Jeanne Donovan in Messenger

Monday, September 01, 2008

Russian Orthodox Officials Visit Union Center

Six citizens of the Soviet Union, all officials of the Russian Orthodox Church, worshiped with the Union Center Church of the Brethren on Sunday, September 1, 1963. The six were on an exchange tour as guests of the Church of the Brethren with an objective to bring understanding between the Brethren and the Russian Orthodox Church. The group had earlier toured some area farms and churches and spent the evening at Camp Mack.

The delegation had specifically asked to visit a country church and Union Center was selected. In addition to attending services on Sunday morning, they stayed and enjoyed a harvest dinner. Members of the congregation presented the delegation with photo albums filled with pictures of various activities of the church.

In answer to questions about any changes in the Russian Orthodox Church since the revolution and during the Stalin period, the Russians indicated that there had been little change and that laws affecting the church had remained the same.

Ross Noffsinger, father of current General Secretary Stan Noffsinger, was pastor of the Union Center congregation at the time of the visit. Stan, who was a young boy at the time of the visit, would later remark how influential that visit was on his life.

And that's the way it was in rural Northern Indiana forty-five years ago today.

Sources: Nappanee Advance News and The Elkhart Truth