Baker, Charles (1844-1929)
A Brethren in Christ minister and bishop, Charles Baker was born near Magdeburg, Germany. In 1855 he migrated with his family to Canada and settled near Collingwood, Ontario. Baker, a Lutheran, became a member of the local Brethren in Christ congregation and in 1890 was elected to the ministry. Six years later, he was chosen bishop of his district (2 congregations). He also served for many years as the non-resident bishop of the Waterloo district. From 1899 to 1911, he was a member of the Examining Board of the denomination.
Progressive in much of his thinking, Baker was influential in introducing Sunday schools and revival meetings into the denomination. He also played a significant role in the founding of the church's first school, which eventually became Messiah College. He was opposed, however, to the doctrine of sanctification as a second work of grace; this doctrine, by the turn of the century, was being received with increasing favor among the Brethren in Christ. Baker argued the historic position of the church that sanctification was a progressive action. Despite his strong leadership against it, the doctrine of the second work of grace was formally accepted by General Conference in 1910.
Sider, E. Morris. Nine Portraits. Nappanee, Ind., 1978: 85-119.
Wittlinger, Carlton O. Quest for Piety and Obedience: The Story of the Brethren in Christ. Nappanee, Ind.: Evangel Press, 1978: e.g., 215-16, 246-48.
Evangelical Visitor (10 June 1929): 4.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 49. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Sider, E. Morris. "Baker, Charles (1844-1929)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1990. Web. 20 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B354ME.html.
APA style: Sider, E. Morris. (1990). Baker, Charles (1844-1929). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 20 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/B354ME.html.