Disintegration threatened the nearly two-year old Anabaptist movement in 1526 in Switzerland and southern Germany. Quarrelling individuals with bizarre theology and behavior threatened the movement’s stability; ruthless persecution threatened its existence. Could Anabaptism survive much longer? It was a moment of great crisis—and great opportunity.
Engulfed in persecution, embroiled in doctrinal disputes, and lacking adequate leadership, the Anabaptist movement needed a compelling vision and a man to personify that vision. Thankfully, God sent a man to fill that role. His name was Michael Sattler. His story is one of faith, courage, and conviction.
“For far too long Michael Sattler’s contribution to the Anabaptist movement has been mostly the domain of scholars. With this book, Sattler’s story becomes available to a popular audience. Michael Sattler may have single-handedly saved the Swiss Anabaptist movement from collapsing with his Schleitheim Confession, sometimes known as the ‘Mennonite miracle.’ Every Anabaptist should know and understand this story by adulthood. Each of us owes this former monk a sincere ‘thank-you.’”
Teacher, Historical Researcher
“In this well written, scholarly yet highly readable, tome by Andrew V. Ste. Marie, the engaging story of Michael Sattler comes to life. It would be difficult to overemphasize Sattler’s significance in creating, with others, the first Anabaptist confession of faith, the Schleitheim Confession of 1527—which, along with all other known Sattler texts, is also included. Sattler’s Benedictine monastic background, often given short shrift in other published volumes, is strikingly fleshed out, adding real strength to this volume. A must-read for a new generation of Jesus-followers within the Anabaptist tradition!”
Executive Director emeritus, Historical Committee of the Mennonite Church
“Written for a popular audience, this biography of Michael Sattler is solidly grounded in the sources. The biography is enriched by selections from Sattler’s writings, giving the reader immediate access to his own voice. Its clarity of prose and passion communicates not only Sattler’s life, but also the spiritual implications his story has for Christians today.”
Edsel Burdge, Jr.
Research Associate, Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies