Want a wonderfully informative and interesting historical presentation of the Anabaptist roots of the Grace Brethren movement? Visit the Menno-Hof complex on the west side of Rt. 5 just south of Shipshewana, Indiana, about 40 miles north and east of Winona Lake. We visited it yesterday–what a delightful experience, and so informative! Opened in 1988, the complex has now hosted more than 500,000 visitors who learn church history, focusing mainly on the Anabaptist movement that led to the development of three strands–the Amish, the Mennonites, and the Hutterites. The tour costs $5 ($2.50 for children) but is well worth it. It has 23 stations or stops, many of them interactive, beginning with a 13-minute multimedia show introducing the Anabaptists (the word means “rebaptizers” and traces to Zurich, Switzerland, in January of 1525). Among the exhibits are a dungeon portraying the terrible 16th century persecution of Anabaptists, a replica of the 17th century sailing ship in which Anabaptists first migrated to Penn’s Woods (Pennsylvania), a complete reproduction of a printship which helped build community, and a rocking, shaking Tornado Theater which details disaster relief efforts of Anabaptists. Though there is not much Grace Brethren-specific material, historical charts do note Alexander Mack, Christopher Sauer, and the founding of the Fellowship in 1940. Open 10-5 Monday through Saturday, the display has plenty of child-friendly areas. To see for yourself, log onto www.mennohof.org.
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