Bruderhof Pastor, Counselor and Author
Johann Heinrich Arnold (also known as Heini and Heinrich) is best known for his books, which have helped thousands to follow Christ in their daily lives, and for his pastoral care as elder of the Bruderhof community movement.
When Heinrich Arnold was seven, his parents Eberhard and Emmy Arnold and their five children left a bourgeois life in Berlin for a dilapidated villa in the German village of Sannerz, where they founded the Bruderhof, a Christian community based on Jesus’ teachings in the Sermon on the Mount.
As a young man, Heinrich Arnold refused to serve in Hitler's armed forces and was forced to flee Germany. He studied agriculture in Zurich, Switzerland, and in 1936 married Annemarie Waechter, a kindergarten teacher and fellow Bruderhof member.
In 1938 Heinrich and Annemarie Arnold moved to England, where Heinrich managed the Bruderhof community’s farm, which by then had been expelled from Nazi Germany. In 1941 the Bruderhof community was forced to emigrate to South America. In 1954, however, Heinrich Arnold and his family moved to the fledgling Woodcrest Bruderhof in Rifton, New York, the first of many Bruderhof communities in North America. From 1962 until his death, Heinrich Arnold served as elder and pastor of the growing Bruderhof movement, guiding its communities through times of turmoil and crisis, and pointing again and again to Jesus Christ.
But those who knew best him remember Heinrich Arnold as a down-to-earth man who loved life and would warmly welcome any troubled person in for a cup of coffee and a chat.