By Keith S. Morphew Alexander Mack was the founder of the Brethren faith, but Peter Becker was the first Brethren preacher to minister in America. His story begins in Dudelsheim, Germany where he and his wife, Anna were baptized as adults by Johannes Naas. Brethren refugees had been tolerated in the area previously, but as
Even if you don’t recognize his name, you’ve probably sung Ken Morse’s Move in our Midst. Kenneth Ivan Morse was the son of Herman V. and Sadie Bennett Morse, born 1913 in Altoona, PA. He grew up in the Altoona congregation and graduated from Juniata College and Pennsylvania State University with a Masters in English Literature.
Everyone in the Church of the Brethren knows the name Alexander Mack. His legacy is one of the pillars of the Brethren identity, and any member can give at least a bare-bones recital of the first Brethren baptism in the Eder River. Much less well known is the story of his eldest son, Alexander Mack, Jr., whose 300th birthday was just recently commemorated by the Young Center with a conference titled “Pietist and Anabaptist Intersections in Pennsylvania: The Life and Influence of Alexander Mack Jr.” held June 6-8th this year. Mack Jr.’s lack of significant recognition stands in stark contrast to the many contributions he made to the early church, and it would not be unrealistic to say that he was the first unsung hero of the Brethren.