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
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,
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
baptized all the others. This was done in disregard of the
against such activities which had been passed three days earlier.
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.