Baptists 175 years (11/12)
"Stop and start" - the BEFG in the years 1995 - 2005
Back in 1991, the Theological Seminary of the GDR had moved from Buckow to Hamburg. The space in the racetrack road was narrow. A newly developed whole concept of education, which should include training for volunteers transported, also thinking about spatial extensions. Discussed was the question of whether the premises in Hamburg-Horn is to be used or whether. A new training center in Hamburg, Germany in the middle or even where should be planned differently The government decided in 1994 in Rostock to buy a site in Elstal just outside Berlin. 1997 the company moved from Hamburg to Elstal. The Theological Seminary (since 2003 accredited college), the Youth Department (GJW), the Bible school and the newly developed institutions "seminar for community work" and "Institute of Counselling and Psychology" settled west of the B5 to Berlin. In addition, there was a complex of senior citizens homes. A service associated with a lot of commitment dawn of a new era, but also demolition of a long tradition of theological education and rootedness of the Federal Hamburg. And a great financial challenge to the federal community. Over the years, more and more voices, that the federal government was overwhelmed by the burden of debt.
There were also changes in the federal building in Bad Homburg. With Lutz Reichardt (1995), Heinz Sager (1996) and Hans-Detlef Sass appeared (2000) in a short time, three new directors to its Federal service. Among the new projects was particularly struck by the Reichardt Lutz in view of the impending millennium launched Future Commission, "Our Way to the Future" on. According to a survey (almost) all the communities, the need for the work of the Federal redefined. Proposals for a new governance structure was derived and formulated 10 Principles, which bring the work of the municipalities and the federal government together in a nutshell.
Results of the future Commission were presented at the Federal Council in 2002 in Krelingen. The federal public was on this Federal known but also a crisis in the leadership of the Federation. The Federal Council in 2002 became the "crisis summit". All three federal directors and the entire Federal line ended their service. Spontaneously in Krelingen was a "transitional federal leadership" is selected. President has adopted the just retired former Education Secretary of the Federation, Pastor Siegfried Grossmann, and was vice president economist Dr. Raimund Uch, who was an adviser to the federal actually arrived only to present the results of the Commission for the Future. Both took over the function of the federal directors. The "Transitional Federal line" met monthly with a few remaining speakers of the Federation. In November 2002, on a special Federal Council in Gelsenkirchen was a new governance structure to be adopted. It was also decided that the federal house relocate to Elstal on the campus of the educational center. And it's a long-term financial plan is approved. By austerity measures and appeals over the next few years, a marked reduction in the debt to be implemented.
2003, the newly formed Federal accountant took over under the direction of Regina Claas as Secretary and Chief Financial Officer Andreas Lengwenath as the work of the federal directors. The Constitution of the Federation and as a result many systems have been redesigned.
By the dedicated employees of many crisis could lead the Federal overcome and new perspectives are developed - even if not all irritations of the crisis in individuals and communities could be worked through.
In the lives of many communities could be observed in the decade from 1995 to 2005 changes. Some traditions and customs that formerly regarded as "typically Baptist" appeared in the background. Many communities resorted to suggestions of "Willow Creek" movement and radically modernized their services. In many places, the piano or the band continued to accompany the congregational singing by replacing the organ. And share responsibility with the federal government of Free Evangelical Churches In 2003, a new song book "Celebrate and Praise", co-produced by Haenssler, federal and Oncken Verlag.
The identification of individual congregations and members of the federal government is now less obvious than in previous generations. The question of common identity accompanies the BEFG since the survey began in 1999 and it will be exciting, as "our way into the future" us forward.