Bimeler, Joseph Michael
- David B. Eller
Bimeler, Joseph Michael (1778–27 August 1853), Separatist and communitarian leader, was probably born in Württemberg, Germany, where he worked as a weaver. Little is known about his parents or his early years. He was self-educated and taught in Munich among a group of Pietist dissenters called Separatists. As the name suggests, these devout Protestants called for withdrawal from the official, state-supported Lutheran churches. A group of radical Pietists, including Bimeler, congregated in Württemberg between 1803 and 1805 under the mystical leadership of Barbara Grübermann. Their refusal to permit their children to be baptized, attend clergy-controlled schools, or serve in the military led to severe civil as well as ecclesiastical penalties, which forced them frequently to relocate....