Where does the Virginia Mennonite story begin?

October 10, 2017
by Steven Nolt
Young Center Senior Scholar, Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, and recognized author of Mennonite history

Where does the Virginia Mennonite story begin?

Perhaps the Virginia Mennonite Conference story begins in early summer 1671, in a village in the German Palatinate, where deacon Valentine Heatwole offers bedding and clothing to Christina Weis, a thirty-six-year-old refugee who had fled her home in Switzerland, traveling more than two hundred miles with her three children, the youngest only twelve months of age. The sad fact was, Heatwole reported, Weis actually had five children, but was forced to leave two of her offspring behind. She also had no hope of seeing her husband again. He was among …

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