175 years, Baptist (9/12)
"A free church in a free society": The BEFG in the years 1975-1985
"A free church in a free society" - was the title of a tract, with the communities advertised at this time for himself. The municipalities had gone through since the beginning of the 70s a pronounced modernization. The cult image was seen the last of. The period was framed by two major international events that had also directly related to the German federal government: in 1975, it was the Baptist World Congress in Stockholm. Part of the German participants drove under the direction of Harold iron sheets with a chartered Russian passenger ship to Congress. This congress was the so far only World Congress, in which the youth designed a whole evening program. Keynote speaker on the night was Karl Heinz Walter. The most important decision for Germany was the election of Gerhard Claas General Secretary of the European Baptist Federation. In 1976 he joined the service and took the EBF Office in Hamburg. 1980 Gerhard Claas was then general secretary of the Baptist World Alliance. Was held in Hamburg in 1984, the Congress of the European Baptist Federation (EBF), along with the 150th anniversary of the German. Yet it was so, that come from all the countries of the Soviet bloc could only official delegations, who were all under political pressure and partly certain political orders to particular statements had. Two events but making the decisions. Once it was the death of a young Englishman, when the EBF Youth Camp in Mölln drowned while swimming. Secondly, it was the "Declaration of German guilt about the behavior in the Third Reich" had been waiting for many of us long. She found a moving resonance and spread quickly worldwide.
Important events marked this decade in the federal government: In 1975, the opening of the Centre Technique in Maroua, the founding of the Association of Free Church diaconal work and the beginning of a new series of National Youth Meeting in Leverkusen.1977 was the first to BUJU Burg Feuerstein. In 1977 the Federal Council in Nuremberg the "accountability of faith" against official. The church Bible school was introduced. In addition, the new federal mission house was opened. Anniversary was celebrated again: 150 years Oncken Verlag 1978, 1980 100 years ago Theological Seminary and the EBF Congress in Hamburg celebrated the covenant in the DDR, the 150 year anniversary of the Baptist Union in Germany. Personnel changes in management functions:
1975 was the management of the Youth Seminar by Harry dried over on William Gerwig. Edwin Brandt sen. was President of the Confederation in the West and Herbert Morét President of the Confederation in the GDR.
1976 Siegfried Kerstan was the successor of Gerhard Claas federal director. After the sudden death of Edwin Walter Brandt Zeschky was President of the Federation in the west. The former director of the Theological Seminary, Hans Luckey, died this year.
1978 Uwe Kuehne was director of community youth work, succeeding Karl Heinz Walter.
In 1980 Arnim Riemenschneider Wiedenest director of the Bible school, which was a remarkable decision to appoint a Baptist.
1981 Manfred Sult was President of the Confederation in the GDR.
1983 Günter Hitzemann was President of the Federation in the Federal Republic. Also in the line of EBM there was a change. Helmut Grundmann handed over the responsibility as Secretary General of the EBM to Horst sneezing.
1985 Siegfried Kerstan severely ill and had his service as Director of Federal prematurely end his place in the same year was appointed Gerd Rudzio.
There were some issues, which at that time occupied the national leadership and the entire Federal community and occasionally led to polarizing discussions in the communities: 1977 published a paper on the national leadership group dynamics and warned against its use in the communities. The charismatic movement also found many adherents in the federal community. This was reflected in 1978 in the establishment of the Working Group "Charisma and community" down. In 1980, the Working Group PRO VITA has been launched in response to the public debate about abortion. The particular since the NATO double-track decision of 1979 growing peace movement found support among many Baptists. In 1983, the "Shalom Initiative" was founded to coordinate Evangelical Free Church peace activities - while other members of the community wanted to know of a support of the peace movement nothing. A fierce debate ensued about a document by Eduard Schütz, who was the successor of Rudolf Thaut since 1978 director of the Theological Seminary in Hamburg. Contactor's remarks ignited a - already long deferred - controversy about the understanding of the Scriptures, which intensified at the question of the interpretation of the New Testament statements about the virgin birth. The dispute led to a heated discussion with the Federal Council in Dortmund 1985th Schütz was on leave, the management of the seminar was - first acting - handed Edwin Peter Brandt. That the "free church in a free society" and a liberal culture of conflict requires, just showed the course of this debate.
Karl Heinz Walter DD (Hamburg)