Community Of Goods

Anabaptists refused to pay war taxes to the Roman Empire despite pressure from the nobels to do so.  Because Leonard von Lichtenstein threatened to use force to protect himself (and the Hutterites) against the government of the Empire, the Stäbler group who believed in non-resistance, decided to leave on their own.  Two hundred people left Nicholsburg, led by Jacob Wiedemann.  After setting up camp outside Nicholsburg,  Wiedemann spread a blanket and all the members gave their possessions with willing hearts. This happened in 1528 and was the beginning of communal life for these Anabaptists who would later be known as Hutterites.

Wiedemann led his group to Austerlitz where these Moravian Anabaptists were accepted without having to fight in wars or pay war taxes.
Jakob Hutter was first seen in Austerlitz in 1529.  He was an Anabaptist and became the chief pastor of the Anabaptists.  Hutter and his helper Simon Schützinger had heard about Wiedemann’s group and was so impressed that he united with this group, know as the Moravian Anabaptists, on behalf of his Tirolian group.

When the weather became too cold to meet outdoors, they divided into groups, each group with different pastors, Jakob Wiedemann, Georg Zaunring, and Wilhelm Räbel. However, disagreements arose due to disciplinary and regulatory differences.  As a result, 350 Anabaptists left the fellowship, leaving two groups.

Both groups asked Jakob Hutter to intervene and help them straighten out their differences.  Hutter found Wiedemann’s groups more at fault.  Later however, it was found that the other two leader Zaunring and Räbel had also been less open than initially believed and they were both removed from their leadership positions and Simon Schützinger was installed as leader.

Two other groups joined the Moravian Anabaptists during this time: the Gabrielites, led by Gabriel Ascherham and the Philipites, led by Philip Blabermel.

Hutter again came to Moravia in 1533 feeling the calling of God to be a leader among these groups.  However, after openly criticizing this groups shortcomings, including issues related to worldliness, covetousness, and family ties, the congregation rejected him.  Simon Schützinger remained the leader.

Shortly thereafter, it was discovered that Schützinger himself had hidden money for himself instead of giving it up to the community.  As as result, he along with Phillip Blabermel and Gabriel Ascherham who had supported him, were removed from their leadership positions, and Hutter was chosen as the chief elder.