Life in Community

Johann Christoph Arnold

April 15, 2017 by

Dear Friends,

With deep grief, but with hope in the coming resurrection, I write to share that our brother and senior pastor of the Bruderhof, Johann Christoph Arnold, passed away on this Holy Saturday after a months-long battle with cancer. Christoph served as a beloved pastor in our church community for forty-three years, including the eighteen years up to 2001 in which he led the Bruderhof as elder. Since then, he has carried on his ministry with his wife Verena, guiding and encouraging many within our church and around the world.

Johann Christoph and Verena Arnold

An internationally known peacemaker and trusted advocate for children and family, Christoph authored a dozen books, with over two million copies in print in more than twenty languages. His peacemaking efforts – whether with the Breaking the Cycle program he founded, or in his role as chaplain for the Ulster County Sheriff’s Department – brought him in contact with many. We are grateful for the support and prayers of Christoph and Verena’s many friends and co-workers.

Christoph leaves behind his wife Verena; seven of his eight children; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, including the five children of his late daughter Margrit. He will be missed greatly by the members of the Bruderhof around the world and by the thousands whom he inspired to a way of selfless service and dedication to Jesus through his words and example.

Warm Easter greetings,

Paul Winter
The Bruderhof


About the author

Paul Winter

Paul Winter

Paul Winter serves as the Elder of the Bruderhof. He lives with his wife, Betty, at the Maple Ridge Bruderhof.

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  • We have lost our father. He lived a full life of service to God and humankind. He encouraged us in our struggle with suffering and he taught us the God and meaning of life. Thank you for sharing us your peace and love of God..Our deepest condolences to dera Verena and his family and bruderhof society. He will not be forgotten.

    metin erdem
  • You were so holy man of God that you left us orphans behind just before the Easter Sunday. You had full life of service of God and humankind.Thank you. May God bless you. You lived for others and loved God and neighbors. You taught us the life and God and meaning of the Easter with your books. You should have written more books for us. But God called you and what else we can say. You are watching us over the sky. We will live our life as you taught us in your books.

    From your brothers and sisters in Turkey
  • Sincere condolences to Verena and the kids and grandkids.

    Gillian Burleson
  • I am so sorry for your loss. I continue to rely upon the "Seventy Times Seven." My prayers are with you

    Alysia Rexrode
  • Our thought a prayers are with you all at the bruderhof communities especially Verena Basel and family, as you say fare well to Christoph Vetter. May God give you straight to continue this journey with out your dear husband and dad.

  • My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the Bruderhof Community and the family of Johann Christoph Arnold. God Bless . Susan M. Feeney

    Susan Feeney (Mrs. Thomas Feeney)
  • Prayers and best wishes to all at the Bruderhof family. Even here among the Catholic Community of Scotland, we have been touched by the life and work of Johann Christoph.

    Ross Ahlfeld
  • Our deepest condolences to Verena and her family and the Bruderhof Community. Christoph will be missed.

    Nora Strano
  • I am so sorry for your loss. A few years ago I was gifted one of his books and it really touched my heart. I am forever grateful that he shared his gift of writing and his faith with us. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone.

    Kathleen Chance Justice
  • Our deepest condolences to the Arnold family, and the entire Bruderhof community. The body of Christ has momentarily lost a great light. You all are in our prayers.

    Albert Cook
  • My prayers are with Verena, their extended family, and with all who love and miss him.

    Gertrud (Barron) Anderson
  • Our condolences to the Arnold family and to the Bruderhof community. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Donita Johnson
  • Thoughts & Prayers are with Christof's family and to the entire Bruderhof. He was an amazing man and will be truly missed.

    Lisa Benjamin
  • Our deepest sympathy to the Arnold families and everyone in the Bruderhof communities. God Bless you all

    Lisa Casey
  • Please accept our condolences in this time of grieve

    Joe Wurz
  • Our deepest condolences to the family and the communities

    Steve Gorsline
  • Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. In particular, we wish to offer our condolences to Christoph's wife and children.

    Ian Kleinsasser
  • Thank you for sharing this moving testimony. Despite the grief caused by his passing, let us sing together the alleluia of Christ's Resurrection. AvH