Board of Directors President Paul Roth says the trust plans to use the property to teach visitors about Kline and the Brethren Church’s heritage.
Kline made frequent mission trips on horseback to visit Brethren families, preach and establish churches. He crossed military lines during the Civil War to visit Brethren families in both the North and the South.
He was fatally shot in 1864 by Confederate irregulars while returning from the church’s annual meeting in Indiana.
A John Kline Homestead Preservation Trust was created in 2006 in hopes of preserving and eventually being able to purchase the home of Elder John Kline, a leader of the Brethren during the Civil War and a martyr for peace. The homestead is in Broadway, Va., near Linville Creek Church of the Brethren where Roth is pastor.
According to news reports from the Church of the Brethren, this fall the homestead has hosted a number of events both to encourage the raising of funds and to highlight the peacemaking witness of Elder John Kline as a key anniversary of the Civil War approaches in 2011.
“We just completed our third Candlelight Dinner in the John Kline house with 88 guests enjoying a traditional homemade meal and the conversations of people who lived in the house sharing their concerns about the rumors of war in the fall of 1860,” Roth reported. Actors played the parts of people who would have lived and worked in the house at that time. An actor playing John Kline “read from his Jan. 1, 1861, diary entry, fearing the impact of secession and war upon his family and congregation,” Roth said.
More Candlelight Dinners will be offered in 2011. Tentative dates are Jan. 21 and 22, Feb. 18 and 19, March 18 and 19, and April 15 and 16. Tickets are $40 per plate. Seating is limited to 32. Reservations will be received beginning Jan. 3. For more information contact Paul Roth at 540-896-5001 or firstname.lastname@example.org .