Christian Biography

Eberhard Arnold Biography, Ministry, & Lessons From His Life

Eberhard Arnold Biography, Ministry, & Lessons From His Life

Eberhard Arnold Biography, Ministry, & Lessons From His Life


Eberhard Arnold was born on July 26, 1883, and went to be with the Lord on November 22, 1935. He was a German theologian and Christian writer. Eberhard Arnold founded Bruderhof in 1920.


He was born in Königsberg, East Prussia Germany, as the third child of the family of Franklin and Elizabeth Arnold. Eberhard’s father was a doctor of theology and philosophy, and his grandfather was a pastor and missionary of the Evangelical State Church of Prussia’s older Provinces.

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He lived an uncommon life as a youth while growing up. At the age of 16 in the year 1899, he had an unusual encounter that he attributed to God’s acceptance and remission of sins, and perceived a call to “go and witness to my truth.”

Arnold occupied himself with Christian youth work after he finished school and totally committed to evangelism among the poor via the Salvation Army.

His work at the Salvation Army brought about his sympathy for the oppressed and reinforced his stand for preaching repentance and salvation. It was in Halle that he met his wife Emmy Von Hollander.

Arnold was an excellent speaker of the early 20th-century in Germany.

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Founding the Bruderhof Community

At 37years, he left his middle-income life and established the church. In 1920, he relocated with his family to Sannerz village in central Germany and founded the Bruderhof with just 12 members – seven adults and five children. He traveled to America in the year 1930, and lived for almost a year, going to all the communities of Hutterian brethren in the US and Canada. He was commissioned as a missionary to Europe by them later that year.

The Bruderhof is still functioning as an intentional community in the US, Paraguay, UK, Germany, and Australia.


He married Emmy on December 20, 1910. The wife outlived the husband by 45 years. The couple had five children.

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  • Markus Baum: Against The Wind: Eberhard Arnold and the Bruderhof.
  • Yaacov Oved: The Witness of the Brothers: A History of the Bruderhof.
  • Stephan Wehowsky: Religiöse Interpretation politischer Erfahrung: Eberhard Arnold und die Neuwerkbewegung als Exponenten des religiösen Sozialismus zur Zeit der Weimarer Republik, Göttingen 1980.
  • Emmy Arnold: Eberhard Arnold’s Life and Work.


What we must learn from his life is filling a need in any space we find ourselves. He saw a need in the body of Christ and that became the burden on him and he went after that. Shalom!


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