George Orwall said,
“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
Perry Klopfenstein would agree. He gave many a quote like this on Saturday evening during his lecture on the history of the Apostolic Church. I needed to take a few days to reflect on my time at the Apostolic Fellowship Hall because for each piece of information that I wrote down there were two questions that came up in my mind. Amy and I both recorded the lecture on our phones and I am excited to be able to go back and listen to it again for more direct quotes. We did get permission to use Mr. Klopfenstein’s lecture as a resource for the project, so I am excited about that. I learned so much about the importance of the Church history stemming from Europe to the United States and specifically the Midwest and Minnesota. Out of my five pages of notes, I have concluded that I took two good notes on the theology of the church which really did not pertain to our research- I just found it interesting! However bit of the useful information:
- the Froelich movement in Germany. He was a man who “formed a sect” of the anabaptist church which is known today as the apostolic and much of the teachings and history that I learned from this lecture where based off his influence.
- Many apostolics in the United States and specifically the midwest may have been from a Mennonite tradition because they understood the German language and respected the anabaptist model of religion.
- 1848 began some of the mass migration to the US from Germany. Perry was very excited to explain that they came here, “legally” because it’s important in today’s context. This was interesting specifically because it directly relates to our project and Amy and I both looked at each other and wrote this in large print in our notebooks. He mentioned that all immigrants have similar struggles but the apostolics found that “money grows on trees” in the context of farming and that the church community was strongest where the land was the best. This is another proof to us that these people found that the rural Midwest had great lands.
Some questions that arose that would be pertinent to a comparison with Latinos:
- How is their current relationship to the community similar or different to that of the Latino community? How does this influence Morris and Stevens County?
- Is there a way to relate the tithes that embers of the church pay to the way that Latinos here send remittances?
- How does the education of these groups compare and how do they engage in schools? How are they perceived in the educational system?
- How does the rhetoric/ bad publicity from World War 1 about the apostolics relate to that of immigration rhetoric and Latino Immigrants?
What a blessing it was that Perry Klopfenstein was here in Morris during our research! We were able to meet a large variety of people and now have so many more resources to explore. I’m excited about the project and everything we find just keeps sparking more and more interest.