Evangelical Brethren Congregation Korntal

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Evangelical Brethren Congregation Korntal
legal form KdöR
founding November 10, 1819
Seat Korntal-Münchingen , Germany
motto Church on the way - That's us - that's what we want
main emphasis Church work and diakonia
Action space Baden-Württemberg
Chair Klaus Andersen (Head), Jochen Hägele (Spiritual Head)
Website www.bruedergemeinde-korntal.de

The Evangelical Brethren Congregation Korntal is an independent Christian community that has existed as a public corporation in cooperation with the Evangelical Church in Württemberg since 1819 in Korntal near Stuttgart . Several diaconal institutions and businesses belong to the community.


Large prayer room, church of the Brethren
The hall garden behind the great prayer hall

Around 1800, Christians of Pietism got into serious problems of conscience due to the Enlightenment that had an impact on the church . Duke Friedrich II of Württemberg pushed through the new direction in the church by all means: the hymn book and church regulations for baptism and communion were changed according to the ideas of the Enlightenment . Citizens of the Protestant denomination were also forced to accept the new regulations with fines and corporal punishment. Officials and pastors who were not strongly enough to support the new regulations experienced “the greatest disapproval” or were dismissed. When a huge wave of emigration began in the famine years of 1816/17 , numerous Pietists also left the country. In this situation, the Leonberg notary and mayor Gottlieb Wilhelm Hoffmann submitted a petition on February 28, 1817 in which he asked the king to curb emigration by founding independent religious communities within the borders of the country.

After many negotiations, King Wilhelm I of Württemberg agreed to Hoffmann's proposal on October 1, 1818. On November 10, 1819, he signed the foundation charter for the formation of a brotherhood on the Korntal mark. The content of this document was the permission that families from Württemberg could settle in the new community, who should be free in their religious practice. The Augsburg Confession should form the basis of their religious convictions . In the course of 1819 68 families moved to Korntal. Gottlieb Wilhelm Hoffmann gave up his offices in Leonberg and became head of the Korntal community. His concern was the building up of a church based on the model of the New Testament churches .

Initially, only members of the Brethren could move to Korntal. With the establishment of the German Empire in 1871, the Korntal special rights were largely repealed. As a result, non-members of the congregation were also allowed to come. In addition to the Brethren Congregation, a small regional evangelical congregation steadily developed, which was initially looked after by the neighboring congregation in Weilimdorf . The establishment of its own regional church congregation did not lead to success until the 1950s. On March 23, 1955, the Evangelical Church Community Korntal was founded, which today belongs to the church district of Ditzingen . Since 1955, two independent church bodies under public law have existed side by side in Korntal. The regional evangelical parish built today's Christ Church from 1958 to 1959.

Under the direction of their then clergyman Fritz Grünzweig , the connection between the Brethren Congregation and the Württemberg regional church was reorganized by a contract signed on November 19, 1956. This contract provides that the members of the Brethren Congregation are also members of the regional church and can participate in the synodal election. If you live in Korntal, you don't pay church tax , but a contribution directly to the community.

The congregation has over 1,500 members, which includes several diaconal institutions and businesses with over 500 employees. The head of the community has been Klaus Andersen since November 2011, who replaced Dieter Messner (1947–2016) after 20 years in this honorary position. Pastor Jochen Hägele is the spiritual director.

Municipal Code

The basic order of 1819 formulates: “It is the endeavor of the fraternal community to be a fraternal and active community which is as similar as possible to the early community, calls to a personal decision for Christ, realizes the priesthood of all believers , administers and administers the entrusted works of love promotes and is ready for the coming Lord. She knows herself to be united in faith with all who profess Jesus Christ as their Lord. "

Church life is shaped by the following basic ideas:

  • the need for a personal approach to Jesus Christ
  • the importance of spiritual growth in following Jesus that by dealing with the Bible , the community of the church members in communion and prayer is promoted
  • the community created by Jesus Christ with a spiritual climate of openness and trust
  • the pastoral responsibility for one another, which becomes visible in mutual encouragement and admonition through God's Word
  • the evangelistic and diaconal lifestyle through which other people learn holistically about Jesus Christ and his message
  • the biblically founded hope for eternal life and the return of Jesus Christ
  • the salvation-historical significance of the people of Israel in the past, present and future
  • the form of a community-oriented worship service in which the diversity of gifts is expressed in unity
  • baptism of faith or infants, faith or confirmation classes
  • the Lord's Supper, the funeral and resurrection celebrations according to the special church forms


The Hoffmannhaus
The Johannes Kullen School
The Flattichhaus

Church work

The congregation is directed by the Brethren Council. Only men belong to it. In addition to musical events, there are around 40 house groups.

Diaconal institutions

A number of diaconal institutions were founded to improve the financial situation:

  • In 1819 the boys' institute (secondary school and home) was established and in 1821 a similar institution for girls. The schools were later handed over to the state and the homes were abandoned.
  • Kindergartens: Kindergarten Gartenstrasse; Wilhelm Götz Kindergarten

Youth welfare

  • The Hoffmannhaus Korntal was built in 1822/23 on Hoffmann's personal initiative
  • In 1827 the "Toddler Home" Flattichhaus was set up for children who were not yet of school age.
  • Hoffmannhaus Wilhelmsdorf
  • Johannes Kullen School
  • Family center
  • In 1831 a widow's house was built in Korntal, which later became the elderly center of the Brethren.

Gottlieb Wilhelm Hoffmann factory

In this area the more economical businesses of the municipality are summarized. These are:

  • Landschloss Korntal
  • Israel shop
  • Community gallery

Orientation year

For young people in the career-finding phase, an orientation year was set up as a 10-month accompaniment with biblical lessons, company internships, community work and evangelistic outreaches.

Subsidiary community Wilhelmsdorf

The king only wanted to allow the community to expand if it had a national purpose. So in 1826 a major agricultural project with a lively branch community came into being in Wilhelmsdorf .

Foundation, endowment

Under Thomas Woschnitzok, who was managing director of the Evangelical Brethren Congregation from 2012 to 2014, the foundation “Future and Life” was founded in 2015 and he took over the management. The foundation should support the institutions of the diakonia of the Brethren and pursue its own projects.

Cases of abuse in the children's homes of the Korntal Brethren

In the three children's homes and the Johannes Kullen School in Korntal, which is sponsored by the Diakonie der Brüdergemeinde Korntal, around 170 former children in the care facility reported that there was abuse in the form of beatings, psychological violence and sexual abuse between the 1950s and well into the 2000s to have.

After Detlev Zander, a former home child, made the allegations public in 2014, after a previously unsuccessful attempt, the former Frankfurt youth judge Brigitte Baums-Stammberger and the Marburg educational scientist Benno Hafeneger were commissioned to clarify the allegations in March 2017. In 2018 it was confirmed that there were cases of sexual abuse of children and adolescents in the children's homes of the Korntal and Wilhelmsdorf Brethren until the late 2000s. The community pays those affected who register by June 2020 up to € 20,000 in compensation.


  • AKZENTE, the practical magazine for people and families . Frequency of publication: every six months.


  • Sixt Karl Kapff : The Württemberg communities of Kornthal and Wilhelmsdorf , Stuttgart 1839.
  • Johannes Hesse : Korntal once and now , Verlag D. Gundert, Stuttgart 1910.
  • Fritz Grünzweig : The Evangelical Brethren Congregation Korntal: Path, Essence and Work , Ernst Franz Verlag, Metzingen 1957.
  • Walter Roth: The Evangelical Brethren Congregation Korntal. A community model of Pietism in Württemberg. Idea, story, reality. Neuhausen / Stuttgart 1994
  • Rolf Scheffbuch : Keeping the good - from the beginnings of Korntal. Self-published, 2001
  • Renate Föll: Longing for Jerusalem. To the east migration of Swabian Pietists. Tübingen 2002
  • Rolf Scheffbuch: Not on my own - from the beginnings of Korntal. Self-published, 2003
  • Eckart zur Nieden : The master's clockwork. Korntal: a story of departure, adventure and hope. Brunnen, Giessen 2012, ISBN 978-3-7655-1198-1 .
  • Rolf Scheffbuch and Andy Messner (eds.): People who dared to do the unfamiliar. From the spiritual history of Korntal. SCM Hänssler, 2018, ISBN 978-3-7751-5884-8 .
  • Brigitte Baums-Stammberger / Benno Hafeneger / Andre Morgenstern-Einenkel: "We were stripped of our dignity". Violence in the homes of the Evangelical Brethren Congregation Korntal in the 1950s to 1980s , Budrich, Opladen 2019, ISBN 978-3-86388-810-7 .
  • Walter Link: The Evangelical Brethren Congregation Korntal - 200 Years of Impetus for Church and Society , Brothers Congregation Korntal 2019.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b What is important for church leaders: love, reconciliation, renewal and mission ( memento of March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ), bruedergemeinde-korntal.de, notification of November 8, 2011.
  2. Cf. Gottlieb Wilhelm Hoffmann: History and cause of the request of the royal notary and mayor Gottlieb Wilhelm Hoffmann zu Leonberg, for permission to found and lay out religious communities independent of the consistory, with which, thereupon resolutions, - the plan for the establishment - and the creed of these communities , n.d. 1818, pp. 3-6.
  3. Cf. Gottlieb Wilhelm Hoffmann: History and cause of the request of the royal notary and mayor Gottlieb Wilhelm Hoffmann zu Leonberg, for permission to found and lay out religious communities independent of the consistory, with which, thereupon resolutions, - the plan for the establishment - and the creed of these communities , n.d. 1818, pp. 95f.
  4. Faithful to the Bible and evangelical: The Evangelical Brethren Congregation Korntal (near Stuttgart) celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2019 , idea.de, article from December 12, 2019.
  5. Traugott Abele: The emergence of the Evang. Korntal parish . In: Kirchengemeinderat der Evangelische Kirchengemeinde Korntal (Ed.): 50 Years Evangelical Church Congregation Korntal, 1955 to 2005 - Festschrift for the anniversary . Korntal 2005, pp. 11–29, here p. 25 ( digitized version ).
  6. Fritz Grünzweig: Mediator between Church and Pietism , idea.de, message from November 6, 2014.
  7. The head of an unusual congregation has died , idea.de, message from June 28, 2016.
  8. Thomas Woschnitzok becomes managing director of the "Zukunft und Leben" foundation  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Community letter 4/2014, p. 19.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / diakonie-korntal.de  
  9. Südwestrundfunk Landesschau AKTUELL: Allegations of abuse against the Korntal Brethren - More and more victims are reporting , as of December 15, 2014, accessed on May 18, 2015
  10. Stuttgarter Zeitung, Stuttgart, Germany: Abuse scandal: Mechthild Wolff throws down in Korntal . In: stuttgarter-zeitung.de . ( stuttgarter-zeitung.de [accessed on February 21, 2018]).
  11. ^ Cases of abuse in Korntal: Brethren congregation introduces reconnaissance duo | Stuttgart | Baden-Württemberg | SWR news . In: swr.online . ( swr.de [accessed on February 21, 2018]).
  12. Childhood in a risk area. In: sueddeutsche.de. June 8, 2018, accessed June 15, 2018 .
  13. AKZENTE , the magazine of the Diakonie of the Evangelical Brethren Congregation Korntal