The First Brethren Preacher in North America – Peter Becker

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

Alexander Mack Sr.

Following are some images related to Alexander Mack, Sr. (1679-1735), founder and first minister of the Church of the Brethren and related Brethren bodies, which the general reader may not have seen and which may be of interest.

John Naas and the Potsdam Giants

Johannes Naas was born in the province of Westphalia, Germany around 1670. His defining feature was his height—he had a broad frame and stood a head taller than an average man1. Naas joined the Brethren congregation at Marienborn, where he served as a minister until persecution drove the Brethren to seek refuge in Krefeld2. In order to further spread the Brethren faith, Naas travelled the surrounding provinces with Jacob Preisz (Price)3. Abraham Cassel highlighted the incident that has become legend in his biography of Johann Naas. The story was later reiterated in the children’s book, The Tall Man.