By Rex Butler, NOBTS
On January 21, 1525, George Blaurock asked Conrad Grebel to baptize him. Following his baptism, Blaurock proceeded to baptize the dozen or so men assembled at the home of Felix Manz in Zurich, Switzerland.
This seemingly innocent event marked one of the most significant turning points in the history of the church and was considered so radical in its day that, in less than five years, all three men would be dead as a result of their doctrine of believer’s baptism.
Zurich was the site of a major movement of the Reformation, paralleling the more famous one led by Martin Luther in Germany. In 1523, Ulrich Zwingli, pastor of Grössmunster (“the Great Church”) convinced the City Council to abolish Roman Catholicism and adopt his evangelical reforms, which included the authority of Scripture and the denunciation of the papacy, the priesthood, clerical celibacy, purgatory, and the use of images in worship.