The Moravian Church

"In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, love."

Christ the King is a congregation of the Moravian Church. Read on to find out more about Moravians.

Early History

Moravians are a Protestant Christian church which originally formed as one of the earliest Reformation churches in the late 1400s. The name "Moravian" identifies the fact that this historic church had its origin in ancient Bohemia and Moravia in what is the present-day Czech Republic.

The Moravian Church was founded by John Hus (1369-1415), a professor of philosophy, priest and rector of the University in Prague. Simply stated, he believed that the Church at the time needed reforming - in its moral life, by making the Bible available in the language of the people, by giving lay people both the bread and cup in Holy Communion and by calling people to follow Christ more fully each day. Hus was accused of heresy, underwent a long trial at the Council of Constance, and was burned at the stake on July 6, 1415.

John Hus's followers organized a church called the Unitas Fratrum (Unity of Brethren), now called the Moravian Church.

The church grew in size and influence. Then a bitter persecution, which broke out in 1547, led to the spread of the Brethren's Church to Poland, where it grew rapidly. By 1557 there were three provinces of the church: Bohemia, Moravia, and Poland. The Thirty Years War (1618-1648) brought further persecution to the Brethren's Church, and the Protestants of Bohemia were severely defeated at the battle of White Mountain in 1620.

In the early 1700s, the Moravian church was revitalized with the help and support of Count Nicholas Louis von Zinzendorf, a Christian nobleman in Germany. Some Moravian families fleeing persecution in Bohemia and Moravia found refuge on Zinzendorf's estate in 1722 and built the community of Herrnhut. The new community became the haven for many more Moravian refugees. Count Zinzendorf encouraged them to keep the discipline of the Unitas Fratrum, and he gave them the vision to take the gospel to the far comers of the globe. August 13, 1727 marked the culmination of a great spiritual renewal for the Moravian Church in Herrnhut, and in 1732 the first missionaries were sent to the West Indies.

Moravian Beliefs

Four principles were adopted by the Unity of Brethren as the basis of their union:

1. The Bible is the only source of Christian doctrine.
2. Public worship is to be administered in accordance with the teachings of the Scriptures and on the model of the Apostolic Church.
3. The Lord's Supper is to be received in faith, to be doctrinally defined in the language of the Bible, and every human explanation of that language is to be avoided.
4. Godly Christian life is essential as an evidence of saving faith and is of greater importance than the dogmatic formulation of creed in all details.

The Moravian Church in America

The early Moravians settled in Pennsylvania with the goal of sharing the gospel with Native Americans. They spread through regions of Pennsylvania and then to North Carolina in the late 1700s. Bethlehem in Pennsylvania and Winston- Salem in North Carolina became the headquarters of the two provinces (North and South). These developed as the Moravian Church in America became established as a distinct church body in 1848. Today, the Moravian Church has congregations in twenty states or provinces of the USA and Canada.

In accepting other creeds of the Christian Church (such as the Apostles' Creed, Nicene Creed, the Augsburg Confession) and in its practice, the Moravian Church has always stood by its motto:

"In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, love."

Moravians Today

The church today ministers all over the world, including Africa, India, South America, Europe, Canada and the United States. We are still motivated by a love for Christ and a commitment to the world mission of the church, to caring for people's needs. Our worship is full of music, with a history of biblical preaching and varieties of styles and approaches.

We work together with sincere Christians from many other denominations as we all seek together to live for Jesus in the world, bear witness to Him and serve people in His name.