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German Baptists found a safe haven in Blooming Grove in 1828 | On the Pulse

Balls Mills – About 200 years ago, a group of Baptist “brothers” who fled persecution in Germany bought land near Balls Mills, the current small village of Lycoming County, and the meetinghouse they built. It still remains today.

The Blooming Grove Meeting House, part of the Blooming Grove Historical Society, can be seen as the focus of “a small party of immigrants who settled together in the wilderness of central Pennsylvania in the early 19th century.” Said in 1901. This group of people was “harassed and distressed until the land of their ancestors became intolerable.”

According to Greg Thomas, a member of the Blooming Grove Historical Society, this was a group of German Christians who kept the Baptist tradition and called themselves “brothers.”

McMin said that this Baptist group began to gather in 1708 and chose the name “brother” from Matthew 23: 8 in the Bible.

“They refused to go to war,” McMin said in the 1901 book “Blooming Grove: The History of the Congregation of German Dunkers Settled in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.” “They did not swear citizens or other oaths before or in court before the Justice of the Peace. They were famous for their humility in clothes, easy-to-speak, and outstanding hospitality.” They were Mennonites. Was compared to a priest, a Quaker.

At that time, Germany was involved in the war with Napoleon Bonaparte.

“The authorities in Ulteinburg (southwestern Germany) remained non-conformist and cruel to non-conformists,” McMin wrote. Many of them were imprisoned for “refusing to possess weapons in the collections being made for Napoleon,” McMin said. Around 1804, “prisons were overcrowded” and members of the compatriots were “released when they promised to leave the country.”

These German baptists found a way to central Pennsylvania in 1805, as Pennsylvania had a tradition of being a safe haven for religiously persecuted people thanks to William Penn in the 1690s. Land in what is now Lycoming County.

“When these Baptists came to the area, they saw dogwood in bloom and thought it would remind them of Germany, so they settled here,” Thomas said. rice field. “They called it Blooming Gloves.”

By 1828, according to Thomas, a meetinghouse was built from the many white pine trees nearby. The structure sits on a stone foundation, with long white pine logs spliced ​​together with white mortar. A simple roof made of cedar tiles sloped in the same direction as the hills behind.

“Since 1828, only two logs need to be replaced here,” Thomas commented on the craftsmanship of the building. He said they built a structure 30 feet wide, 40 feet long and 12 feet high.

Reflecting their simple style, he said the interior of the church resembles a Quaker meetinghouse. There are two metal stoves on either side of the rectangular room. There were benches without backrests on either side, with women climbing one set of stairs and men climbing another. Females sit on one side and men sit on the other.

“Older and pregnant women were allowed to sit on the bench next to the wall, so they were able to lean forward,” said Thomas.

“The long, plain bench with no backrest proved the race, while at the same time being lively and sturdy, despising the comfort and comfort show needed in modern churches,” McMin explained.

But, as Thomas said, the young mother was offered additional help. “In this connection, mothers with breast-feeding babies occupy the seat next to the wall to provide rest, and when a small child falls asleep, they often lie under the seat. I wrote.

Thomas said the traditional service has begun …

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German Baptists found a safe haven in Blooming Grove in 1828 | On the Pulse

Source link German Baptists found a safe haven in Blooming Grove in 1828 | On the Pulse

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