Tag Archives: michael sattler

357 – Dec. 23 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Anabaptist martyrs and leaders




1527 – Simon Stumpf, an Anabaptist was banished from Zurich. Other leaders among the Anabaptists were Johannes Denck, Michael Sattler, Andreas Carlstadt, Johannes Hut, and Jacob Hutter. Even though these men were not as well known as Balthasar Hubmaier, Felix Manz, Conrad Grebel and George Blaurock, they were still outstanding Anabaptist leaders in their own right. Denck was known as the “Apostle of Love,” Michael Sattler as “A Superlative Witness,” and Andreas Carlstadt greatly influenced Hubmaier with his brilliant theology. Another that needs to be known by all is Pilgram Marpeck.  John C. Wenger, has called him the greatest of all the South German and Swiss Anabaptist leaders. After his conversion he was forced to become a real “pilgrim”, and he has been called, “a wandering citizen of heaven.” Marpeck was saved just a few months following the martyrdom of Michael Sattler when he was the mining engineer of Rottenburg, Germany. But when he united with the Anabaptists he lost his position on Jan. of 1528, and three months later, he lost his possessions, as they were confiscated. Things continued to degenerate, and on Dec. 18 the man of God was expelled from the city, and fled to Strassburg with his wife where there was a strong contingent of Anabaptists. Marpeck soon became the outstanding leader among them but his writings were banned by the authorities and he was imprisoned. He debated with Martin Bucer, and stood for the separation of Church and State, and believer’s baptism. He was one of the few Anabaptist leaders that died a natural death. It was in Dec.1556. [This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 701-02. William R. Estep, The Anabaptist Story (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1963), p. 10.]


Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon


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324 – Nov. 20 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Never forget that bloody year – 1527


1527 – Weynken Claes, was burned to death in the Hague, Holland, for her testimony of the Anabaptist faith. At her arraignment, Weynken was asked, “Do you then, not fear death, which you have never tasted?” Her answer: “This is true, but I shall never taste death, for Christ says: ‘If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.’ The rich man tasted death, and shall taste it forever.” Also in 1527, some Anabaptists were burned in the house where they met. A young maiden, about sixteen, would have been spared if she had but recanted her faith which she refused to do. The persecutors took her by the arm, pushed her head under the waters of a horse trough until she drowned, and then burned her corpse. The Anabaptists of 1527 must have thought that they were in the Great Tribulation because of how many leaders were required to seal their faith with their blood. George Wagner of Emmerich, Germany, was bound into the fire on the eighth day of Feb. because he did not believe that water baptism held any saving power. Melchoir Vet was burned at Drache, for the divine truth which he boldly confessed. In May of that same year, a former Roman Priest, Michael Sattler was burned to ashes as a heretic after having his tongue cut out. Several of his brethren in the faith were executed with the sword, and two sisters in the faith were drowned. His wife too was drowned. He had dared to declare that infant baptism “is of no avail to salvation.  Geo. Baurock, a former Priest Leonhard Keyser, Thomas Hermann and 67 of his followers suffered martyrdom as well. Let us never forget this bloody year – 1527 A.D.  [Thieleman J. Van Braght, The Bloody Theater or Martyrs Mirror (Scottsdale, Pa. : Hearld Press, 1987), p. 416. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp.  634-36]   Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon


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145 — May 25 – This Day in Baptist History Past


The Reuniting of God’s Martyrs



A faithful wife follows her husband in martyrdom


Michael Sattler was born in Germany around 1490. At an early age he entered the Benedictine Monastery and attended lectures at a local university. It was a time that he obtained a knowledge of the Greek and Hebrew languages. During his stay in the monastery, he began a study of the Pauline Epistles and embraced the evangelical faith. His dissatisfaction with the vice and hypocrisy of his fellow monks precipitated a severance of all ties to the Church of Rome.


Ferdinand of Austria announced a policy of heresy extermination which forced Sattler and his wife, to flee to Switzerland, where he embraced the Anabaptists. He preached at a conference of Anabaptists at Schleitheim where a confession of faith was approved.


While the Schleitheim meeting was in progress, the Anabaptists were discovered by the authorities in Rottenburg. Sattler, his wife, and others were arrested upon their return to Horb.


His execution took place on May 25, 1527.  It began at the marketplace, where a piece was cut from Sattler’s tongue. Pieces of flesh were torn from his body with red-hot tongs. The tongs were applied five times more on the way to the execution. Still able to speak, Sattler prayed for his persecutors. After being bound by a rope to a ladder and pushed into the fire, he admonished the people, the judges, and the mayor to repent and be converted. Then he prayed, “Almighty God, Thou art the Way and the Truth: because I have not been shown to be in error, I will with thy help this day testify to the truth and seal it with my blood.”


As soon as the ropes burned and released his hands, he raised the two forefingers of his hands, giving the promised signal that a martyr’s death was bearable, and exclaimed, “Father, I commend my spirit into Thy hands.”


After every attempt to secure a recantation from his faithful wife failed, she was drowned eight days later and was reunited with her husband in the presence of their Lord.


Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. Thompson/ Cummins pp. 213 -214



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