Role of Pietism and Ethnicity in the Formulation of the General Conference of German Baptists 1851-1920

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This book is a historical study of the major German Baptist denomination in the United States and Canada. A thorough account, it examines the history, doctrine, ethnic identity, and mission of German Baptists in North America from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth centuries.


Commendatory Preface / Foreword: “While Dr. Wesley is not the first to have studied German Baptists in North America, her analysis of the movement from 1851-1920 engages in a fresh and pioneering way the roles of immigration, ethnicity, and language transition; Pietist roots, ethos, and theology in the leadership of August Rauschenbusch and others; the nature of the denomination’s efforts of “institutional completeness” in schools, publications, agencies of benevolence, and mission endeavors at home and abroad; elements of nativism and nationalism, including both prejudicial and altruistic pressures toward assimilation and Americanization.” – Philip J. Anderson, Professor of Church History, North Park University, Chicago

“[Wesley] adeptly puts forward these Deutschland Baptists as a case study of how immigrant religious groups transitioned to the New World, including their valiant struggles to forge a distinct character and ethos within the American melting pot. Thus the author carefully weaves together historical, theological, cultural, and sociological factors as she narrates a compelling story and explains why it unfolded the way it did.”
Dr. James A Patterson, Professor and Dean, School of Christian Studies, Union University

Table of Contents

Preface by Philip J. Anderson
Introduction: Pietist and Ethnic Studies in the History of American Denominational Development
1 The Theological and Historical Background of Pietism
2 A Change of Heart and Life: Pietism and the Early Leadership of the General Conference of German Baptists
3 The Regenerate Life: Pietism and the Theological Emphases of the German Baptists
4 German Immigration and the German Work: Development of the Ethnic Identity and Mission of the German Baptists
5 Determination in the Midst of Change: The Challenges of Maintaining the Ethnic Mission

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