The first believing families (Anabaptists) who settled in what became Rainham Township in Upper Canada, at the end of the 1700s, had only one thing in mind. They wanted to live, work and raise their children in the order that God had already established in heaven. . . . Read more.
The first to arrive in Rainham Township were not famous preachers or missionaries. None of them held degrees on theology or economics. But because of what they believed — their vision of the Kingdom of God on earth — they set out to build a new peaceful society in the wilderness. Would it survive? What actually happens with these types of brave otherworldly experiments? Read more.
The Touch of Earth and Heaven — Writers
Menno Hoover (1889-1982)
Once in everybody’s lifetimes come the moment to decide,
And we choose the free and easy or the proven and the tried;
Is there not some danger warning that will guide us in the morning
As we saunter down the valley in our little apple cart?
Yes, there is a guiding Spirit! If we listen we can hear it,
As we ponder on the future where our pathways point apart. Read more.
How it went — Stories of Believing Families
No larger community, whether of society or church, flourishes without the foundation of strong families. “It all starts at home,” we say, and where strong families grow up in godly order the Kingdom of God is advances. Read more.
Serious Church Communities — Do they work?
As long as they focus on God and his everlasting order. And as soon as that breaks down, no matter who we are or where we come from, spiritual disaster follows. Read more.
The Swiss-South German Connection
The Hoovers, the Schenks, the Neffs, the Sprengels, the Sherks, the Knisleys and most of the other believing families of the Rainham Settlement came, originally, from Switzerland. Most of them from Zürich (pictured here, where some of the first trials and martyrdoms took place), but also a significant number from Bern. Read more.
The Dutch-East European Connection
Living in southern Ontario, some descendants of the Rainham settlers have married believers who came to Canada from Russia. These immigrants spoke Plautdietsch (an old Germanic language, not a dialect), but they came originally from the Netherlands. Especially from Friesland and Flanders. Read more.
The South Tyrol-Carinthian Connection
In recent years Rainham descendants became linked in church fellowship and inter-marriage with another Anabaptist community — commonly known as Hutterites. These believers began to meet in great persecution in South Tyrol. In Moravia (now Czech Republic) they set up many small communities on rented land in cities and towns. Driven out from Moravia some found their way through Slovakia, Romania, and the Ukraine to North America. And now, in recent years, to Australia. Read more.
Through the Eye Gate — Photos, Drawings, Maps
And historical or contemporary maps, for some of us, have become amazing windows to the whole wide world. Check this collection out and see where it will take you! Read more.
Where we are going and where we have come from
No one lives with God in his everlasting Kingdom without having worked and lived with him in this present world. Everything depends on how we relate to God today – our currently repentant attitude, our current faith, our current willing obedience that compels us to choose what is right, no matter what it costs. But how could we know, how could we choose what is right today, without sometimes looking back?
It would be impossible.
Without knowing where we come from, we cannot know where we are going. And if that is the case, it is just as impossible to know where we are now. In other words, we are lost. We float adrift, without moorings, without a rudder, without anchor in the storms of life.
Thinking about our children and grandchildren growing up in a rapidly changing world we feel compelled to share the stories of our families, many of them serious followers of Jesus, some of them otherwise.
Our hope, as you read the stories and see the photos and maps of this collection, is that you may catch the vision of the believers who once settled in Rainham Township, in Upper Canada, at the end of the 1700s.
Explore, enjoy, and above all seek the Kingdom of God! Your eternal destiny hinges upon it.
Peter and Susan Hoover
Rocky Cape, Tasmania, Australia
19509 Bass Highway
Detention River, Tasmania