According to the informational brochure, Elder John Kline (1797 – 1864) “devoted his entire life to the Brethren.” Born in Pennsylvania, he migrated to the Rockingham County, VA area in 1811 where he lived the rest of his life. He constructed his residence in 1822 in what is now the town of Broadway, VA and it is this homestead that the John Kline Homestead Trust was created to help preserve. Elder Kline died in 1864 during the Civil War when he was ambushed and assassinated by irregular soldiers.
Elder Kline was a farmer, preacher and an elder for the Linville Creek, VA fellowship under the “free ministry system.” In addition to donating his time to his congregation and ministry, he also donated land and money for the construction of the first meetinghouse for the Linville, VA congregation.
Elder Kline also fully served the missionary function of his church and beliefs by frequent missions to western Virginia where he “visited Brethren families, preached, baptized, and organized congregations in the mountains.”
As Elder Kline’s reputation and faith grew, he served as the Moderator of the Brethren Yearly Meeting on four different occasions. When these times took place during the Civil War, Elder Kline crossed war fronts and lines in order to preside over the Yearly Meeting.
Elder Kline did not moderate his beliefs for his convenience or to avoid conflicts. As the pamphlet author so well indicated, “Kline let faithfulness rather than consequences shape life.” So, he advocated against slavery while living in a slave state and preached nonviolence during a time of war. In 1862 he was arrested for his “advocacy of non-resisters” and was ambushed and killed in 1864 by irregular soldiers.
The John Kline Homestead Trust was developed in order to rescue Elder Kline’s homestead from development, and to preserve the residence and area for education.
For additional information, please contact Pastor Roth at the telephone number noted below:
Pastor Paul Roth
Linville Creek Church of the Brethren
409 Brethren Road
Broadway, VA 22815
The John Kline Homestead 1822 Informational Brochure. John Kline Homestead Trust, undated.