Does anyone know anything about the Moravian church

Being of Czech heritage, and specifially heritage from the Czech Province of Moravia, what is the Moravian Church? What do they believe. Are they the modern day descendants of John Huss? I’ve only ever heard of them in other parts of the country (most czechs where I am from are either Catholic or Presbyterian traditionally) and that they were an influence on John Wesley and the Methodists. Any more info?


I am from eastern Pennsylvania around Bethlehem. Bethlehem was the mother town of Moravian. Count Zinzendorf, a pietisic Lutheran layman, after the Thirty Years War, offered the Moravians sanctuary on his estate of Berthelsdorf in eastern Germany. They founded the the village of Herrnhut. Eventually, Zinzendorf and the Moravian came to Pennsylvania to be missionaries to the Indians and they founded numerous towns in Pennsylvania including Bethlehem and Nazareth. Zinzendorf wanted to merge the Moravians, Lutherans, and the Reform into one Church, but Henry Muhlenberg of the Lutherans turned him down. The ELCA is in full communion with the Moravian Church.
Pennsylvania also in addition to the Moravians, the Plain People (Amish, Dunkards, and Mennonites ), Quakers, and Schwenfelders.


Hn160 did a nice job with this information. I’m also from this area of Pennsylvania, where Henry Muhlenburg and Count Zinzendorf both lived and served for a time. Zinzendorf was certainly an interesting person. There are numerous books about him, and I believe I’ve also seen a movie about him which I got at a public library.

Me, too. I remember Christmas in the historic Moravian downtown section of Bethlehem, children singing,
Morning Star, O cheering sight! Ere thou cam’st, how dark earth’s night!
Morning Star, O cheering sight! Ere thou cam’st, how dark earth’s night!
Jesus mine, in me shine; in me shine, Jesus mine;
fill my heart with light divine.


That’s beautiful. I live in Berks County, one county over from Bethlehem, but I’ve often gone to Bethlehem at Christmas to hear the lovely concerts. It’s a special place to be.

Moravians would consider themselves followers of John Huss. The modern church is more rooted in German and to a lesser extent English heritage. In fact the Moravians in America spoke German in the South up until the War Between the States. Moravian tend to not take doctrinal positions. So there are not too many official beliefs outside of the most basic tenets of the Christian faith. You can find wide variety in beliefs in different churches and among members. The church is very mission oriented which is the reason for settling in the US. As others mentioned Bethlehem was a settlement in the North and Salem, which later joined to become Winston-Salem, in North Carolina. Southern Moravians did considerable missionary work to the Cherokees including to the Indian Territory (modern Oklahoma). Prior to the American settlements a couple of Moravians actually sold themselves into slavery to mission to slaves in the West Indies.

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