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Encyclopedia > Alexander Mack


The son of a German miller, born in the town of Schriesheim, Germany, in 1679. This town was in the heart of the Palatinate and experienced the earliest influence of Separatist activity. Records in the local Reformed Church indicate that he was baptized as an infant on July 27, 1679, and later married Anna Margaret Kling on January 18, 1701. Over the years, they had three sons and two daughters: Alexander, John, John Valentine, Christina, and Anna Maria. Mack's father was an elder in the Reformed Church and briefly served as mayor of Schriesheim in 1690 and 1696; and when he died in 1706, the mill was bequeathed to Alexander and his brother John Philip. Alexander was greatly influenced by Pietism and extended a personal invitation to Hochmann to come and minister in Schriesheim, who then used Mack's property for Pietist meetings. Although inconclusive, there is convincing evidence from some historians that Alexander even accompanied Hochmann on several preaching tours. When Pietist activity in Schriesheim became intolerable for local authorities, Hochmann was sentenced to hard labor, the Klings were excommunicated (Mack's in-laws), Alexander and Anna Mack sought refuge at Schwarzenau in the district of Wittgenstein, and many other Palatinates with Pietist leanings were expelled. Feeling secure under the protection of County Henrich Albrecht, Mack sold the remainder of his property in the spring of the following year (1707), and ministered to the needs of other refugees, as well as pay the legal fines of close friends. In the summer of 1708, he contemplated organizing a small community of believers, who would attempt to implement Pietist experiential faith by communal practice, involving believer's baptism, sharing all goods as common, confession of sins, and diligently spending vast amounts of time in prayer in order to advance personal holiness. One mentionable difference existed between Mack and Hochman. The latter being one of the more extreme Separatists in Pietism, he did not believe that an organized church was necessary. Hochmann considered the pure Church to be spiritual, without formal clergy, ritual, the need of sacraments or buildings, whereas Mack held to the former. Living in the company of a few other, like-minded believers they began to evaluate their mutual circumstance, particularly their unbaptized state (having repudiated infant baptism). If spiritual progress was to be made, it would be necessary to resolve these two hindrances through organizing and baptizing themselves.

Mack frequently sought advice from his radical Pietist friend and mentor Ernest Hochmann who was schooled not only in the power of oratory, but also as frequent recipient of the wrath of the authorities. As Mack continued to dream of his own "separatist-communal experiment," he penned a letter seeking advice, guidance, and prayer from Hochmann, who was then imprisoned at Nurnberg. In Hochmann's reply dated July 24, 1708, he guided the young visionary to ponder carefully the words of Jesus in Luke 14:28 - "count the cost!" A few months later, the twenty-nine year old idealist and seven others went to the Eder river at Schwarzenau and proceeded to inaugurate their group through trine immersion baptism according to their interpretation of Matthew 28:19. Alexander Mack, Jr. later recalled that one person baptized his father who in turn baptized the others. They were five men and three women; Alexander Mack, George Grebi, Lucas Vetter, Andrew Boni, John Kipping, Joanna Kipping (wife of John), Joanna Noethiger, and Anna Mack (wife of Alexander). First known as the Schwarzenau TaŘferin (Ger. "toy-feer-in" - baptists), they would later adopt the separatist, anabaptist title of German Baptist Brethren. In the quietude of the district of Wittgenstein, Alexander Mack would attempt to institute a spiritual experiment in communal living, vigorously pattern after the New Testament account of early believers. His inherited wealth largely contributed to their ability to live under common ownership, a noteworthy state that later dissolved in almost direct correlation to the expenditure of the wealth. Enjoying a brief respite from persecution, Mack would galvanize his social ideas and theology to practical living, and his writings reflected and defended the Anabaptist Pietist heritage. He traveled extensively into the surrounding country which resulted in congregations at Epstein and Marienborn. The early Brethren message was evangelistic and centered on the simple New Testament teachings of Jesus.

source: http://cob-net.org

  Results from FactBites:
Connie Mack (baseball) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1085 words)
Born in East Brookfield, Massachusetts to Irish immigrants, Mack was a journeyman catcher who played 11 seasons in the National League beginning in 1886, the last three as a player-manager with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1894 to 1896.
Mack was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1937.
Mack's son Earle Mack played several games for the A's between 1910 and 1914, and also managed the team for parts of the 1937 and 1939 seasons when his father was too ill to do so.
  More results at FactBites »



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