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" While we held our lovefeast, the wolves howled loudly, but all was well with us and our hearts were full of Thanksgiving to the Savior who had so graciously guided us and led us." Reverend Bernhard Adam Grube, first Moravian Minister in Bethabara, November 17, 1753.
The spiritual journey for the Moravian brethren into the North Carolina wilderness began in 1722 when the religious reform leader Count Nicholas Louis Von Zinzendorf offered refuge on his state in the Saxony region of Germany to a group of religious dissidents from Moravia.
August Gotlieb Spangenberg, the Moravian Bishop in America, led the exploration to this area in 1752...about nine months before the first settlers arrived It was called Der Wachau, or creek along the meadow, after an estate in Austria that had been in Zinzendorf's family. The Church paid about 35 cents an acre for the Wachovia tract..area that now comprises most of Forsyth County.
After their rebirth under Zinzendorf's leadership, they became the first Protestant missionaries.
They were a long way from their homes and families in Pennsylvania.
Following a simple meal, the men prepared a lovefeast, a traditional Moravian ceremony of sharing bread or cake and coffee, wine or tea.
In the 1730s Moravian societies were established in Holland, England and Denmark...well as such far away places as Greenland, Surinam, Zanzibar and in the new world.
Their first mission in the British Colonies was in Savannah, but they eventually traveled north to Pennsylvania where the church had bought two tracts of land.