If you live in the Midwest and want an educational, inspirational half-day with lasting value, we suggest you consider visiting the Behalt Interpretive Center near Berlin, Ohio, about a half-hour south of Wooster.
A free 15-minute video is available on the history of the Anabaptist (rebaptizer, so named for instituting baptism of adult believers, rather than infants) movement, which includes the Amish, the Mennonites, the Hutterites, and various branches of the Brethren church, including the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches.
A marvelous book and gift shop is well-stocked with books on the history of the movement, including the BMH Books title Complete Writings of Alexander Mack.(see www.bmhbooks.com for this and other Brethren books you may purchase).
For $6.50 per adult, you can then also be given an illustrated lecture of the entire history of the Anabaptist movement beginning at the resurrection of Christ and continuing to the present day, as portrayed on a 265-foot ten-foot-tall cycloramic painting completed in 1992 by the German artist Heinz Gaugel.
It is quite sobering to learn the price our spiritual ancestors paid for parting from state custom of infant baptism, believing that the Bible teaches baptism is for those who are old enough to believe in Christ and make one’s own decision to follow Him. Similar information will be given on the “Brethren Heritage Tour” as part of Equip05 this coming August (see www.equip05.com)
Here is how the Behalt website describes it: “Behalt” … meaning “to keep or remember”, is a 10′ x 265′ cyclorama illustrating the heritage of the Amish and Mennonite people from the Anabaptist beginning in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1525 to the present day.
The story begins with the resurrected Jesus and follows the development of the early Christian church, the acceptance of the Christian church by the Roman Empire under Constantine, and the early development of the Roman Catholic Church.
Following the depiction of the first documented adult baptisms in modern times, which occurred in Zurich in 1525 among these believers, the cyclorama continues to follow the spread of the Anabaptist movement throughout the world.
Heavily persecuted by the state churches (both Protestant and Catholic), these Christians were forced to migrate across Europe into Russia and across the Atlantic Ocean to North America.
Unique and educational, this exciting and beautifully artistic exhibit will leave you with a deep understanding of these peaceful people.”
More information is available at http://pages.sssnet.com/behalt.