a Dunker by religion
originated in 1708 near the village of Schwarzenau, Germany, along the Eder River.
They originally called themselves Neue Täufer
(New Baptists) in order to better distinguish themselves from older Anabaptist groups, such as the Mennonites and the Amish.
We use the label Schwarzenau Brethren
to designate this original body, since there have been a number of Brethren Groups that formed through splits and sub-movements over the centuries.
Typical of the derisive labeling experience of many religious groups, they were called Dunkers by outsiders because they
fully immersed or “dunked” their baptismal candidates in nearby streams, three complete dunkings;
a particular method of baptism that completely distinguished them from the “sprinkling”
Lutherans and Methodists, their kindred “pouring”
Mennonites, and even the single dunk Baptists
For this reason, numerous Brethren congregations are still known by the body of water where these baptisms or dunkings took place: Beaver Creek, Yellow Creek, Lost Creek, Marsh Creek, Pike Run, Spring Run, Trout Run, Blue River, Eel River, West Eel River, Little River, Valley River, Falling Springs, Roaring Springs, or Three Springs.
Brethren stem from German Pietism (a religion of the heart) of the Eighteenth century and the Anabaptist (re-baptizers) movement of a previous century.
This latter movement sought to reform the European State-Church system by emphasizing the process of regeneration whereby adult believers accept entrance into the faith through a mature decision, that stresses personal awareness of eternal consequences and the enlightened understanding that Christ is the answer to the problem of human sinfulness."
The information about the Dunker faith was taken from Dunker Church : Who are the Dunkers?
Pennsylvania Dutch dunke
, from Middle High German dunken
, from Old High German dunkōn.
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