Development History Vision / Aim Patronage

Development History

In Mai 2003, Geri and Lilo Keller organised the conference “Heal our land - Reconciliation with the Anabaptists” in Winterthur. In preparation for the conference, an Amish community from Idaho and Montana in the USA visited different Anabaptist memorials in Emmental together with their bishop Ben Girod. Ben Girod’s ancestors were Anabaptists from Switzerland; they were persecuted and had to leave our country. Over many generations, they retained their brand of Swiss German. In the old courtroom of the castle in Trachselwald, there was a meeting with the government official , Markus Grossenbacher. They were introduced and exchanged greetings. Afterwards, there was a touching act of reconciliation between the Amish bishop and the Bernese government official.

In the summer of 2005 a vision developed to worship God in the castle of Trachselwald in order to set the hidden strength of the persecuted Anabaptists free for today’s world and to also invite Brian Doerksen to this event.

There were different obsticals to overcome before the definite preparation work could begin in the fall of 2006 and the Open Air Festival could be accepted as an official project in the “Year of the Anabaptists 07.”

We realize that this event is a big challenge for our church. However, we as the leadership of the church have decided to carry it out joyfully.