Central Zurich   (p. 3 )

The torch of the Reformation did not come to rest with the life and work of Martin Luther, but was taken up by other reformers who modified Luther’s teachings in some important respects and soon gained a following of their own. The Anabaptists in Zurich, led by Conrad Grebel, constituted such a group. They advocated a personal faith in Christ, adult baptism and separation of church and state. The Anabaptist Church was born on January 21, 1525, on Neustadtgasse in the home of Felix Manz. A small group had met that day to study the Bible and to observe the Lord’s Supper. During the course of the evening, Conrad Grebel baptized George Blaurock, who in turn baptized all the others. This was done in disregard of the city’s ordinance against such activities which had been passed three days earlier. Persecution set in at once. Many of the Anabaptists were banished from Zurich. Felix Manz remained in the city and continued to preach. He was imprisoned numerous times. On Saturday, January 5, 1527 he became the first Anabaptist martyr when he was taken from the Wellenburgturm and drowned in the Limmat River.