Be Fruitful & Multiply – An Important Scripture from the Inception of the Brethren Movement

I’ve been doing some research over the last few weeks on groups of 5-12 in the history of the Grace Brethren. The clear beginning of our movement happened when 8 men and women gathered together to be baptized as adults demonstrating their personal belief in Jesus as Savior and Lord.

“This is [Alexander] Mack Jr.’s description of the baptism, based on papers of his father and others, and reports of eyewitnesses:

Brethren Initial Baptism

After they were thus prepared, the said eight went out to the water called the Eder in the solitude of the morning. The brother upon whom the lot had fallen first baptized that brother [Mack] who wished to be baptized by the church of Christ. When the latter was baptized, he baptized him who had first baptized, and the other three brethren and three sisters. Thus all eight were baptized in an early morning hour. After they had all emerged from the water, and had dressed themselves again, they were all immediately clothed inwardly with great joyfulness. This significant word was then impressed upon them through grace: “Be fruitful and multiply!’*

The joy of doing what God wanted coursed through their veins! And the Scripture the Holy Spirit blew into the hearts of these founders of the Grace Brethren Movement – Be Fruitful and Multiply!

May we continue “through grace” to keep up the significant work of “Be fruitful and multiply!”


*Brethren Beginnings: The Origin of the Church of the Brethren in Early Eighteenth-Century Europe by Donald F. Durnbaugh (Brethren Encyclopedia: 1992) pg. 23 {ISBN 0936693231}

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