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Iowa History Daily: July 24 - Christian Metz & Amana

Iowa History Daily: On July 24, 1867, founder of the Amana Colonies of the Community of the True Inspiration Christian Metz died. Credited with founding the Amana Society, one of the longest-standing communal societies in American history.

Born in Prussia to a family taking part in the Community of the True Inspiration, Metz grew up practicing the core tenets of pacifism, simplicity of worship, and inspired revelations through special inspired leaders known as Werkzeuge (instruments). While pursuing carpentry as a young man, Metz also delivered his first inspired message in 1819.

Metz traveled extensively through Europe to connect with remaining Inspirationalist congregations before directing the groups to seek a new Haven in the United States during 1842. Roughly 800 of the faithful joined the journey and constructed the six villages while forming the Ebenezer Society in Buffalo, New York. As an economic necessity the members established a temporary communal living arrangement that was made permanent in 1846.

In 1854 Metz directed the group further west, first considering lands in Kansas before settling on east-central Iowa. Over the next decade Metz supervised settlement of the new site, named Amana. Metz remained the spiritual leader of the community until his death in 1867. During his nearly 50 years as leader, Metz delivered 3,654 testimonies which are still read in Amana church services today. Metz was also a prolific poet and hymn writer. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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