When Alexander Mack and his seven fellow believers baptized each other by trine immersion in the Eider River near Schwarzenau, Germany, in August of 1708, it was the beginning of a movement that gave birth to today’s Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, among other Brethren groups.
The 300th anniversary of that event will be marked August 1 and 2, 2008, with the gathering of more than 1,000 Brethren descendants in the same peaceful German valley, just east of Cologne.
The six Brethren groups who comprise the Brethren Encyclopedia Project (www.brethrenencyclopedia.org) have planned a two-day event that will culminate with a combined worship service Sunday morning and an anniversary program at 2 p.m. followed by a memorial gathering by the river.Saturday’s events include tours of the village of Schwarzenau and Alexander Mack Museum, lunch and supper, and an evening concert by the McPherson College choir (McPherson, Kansas) and several German choirs.
The main speaker for Sunday morning will be German Brethren historian Dr. Marcus Meier. A number of Grace Brethren representatives will participate, including Dr. David Plaster, Grace Brethren historian and pastor of the Grace Brethren Church of Columbus, Ohio; Dave Guiles, executive director of Grace Brethren International Missions; and others.
Simultaneous translation into German and English will be provided and special guests will be the CHARIS International gathering of the leaders of Grace Brethren movements all over the world-some 60 people representing more than 1,800 Grace Brethren churches worldwide.
For those who wish to combine attending the Schwarzenau celebration with a tour of Grace Brethren European mission points, a tour is being arranged by Ted Rondeau of Grace Brethren International Missions. More information is available by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (574) 268-1888.
For those who wish to attend without participating in a tour, a special price is available, along with lodging and local tour information and maps. To obtain these details, contact Dale Ulrich, 26 College Woods Drive, Bridgewater, VA 22812 or e-mail email@example.com or call (540) 828-6548.