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