Georg Blaurock

c.1492-1529. Early Anabaptist* evangelist. Called “the Blue Coat” and “Sturdy George,” Blaurock (his real name was Jörg Cajakob) was a priest from Chur, Switzerland, who responded to Zwingli's evangelical preaching sometime before 1523. He eventually embraced Anabaptist views after a period of Bible study. Blaurock apparently initiated the practice of believer's baptism in Zurich, and in January 1525 he founded the first Anabaptist congregation at nearby Zollikon where he won more than 150 converts with his powerful preaching. The local authorities, however, soon intervened and arrested him and other Anabaptist leaders. Exiled from Zurich in 1527, Blaurock became an itinerant evangelist, winning several thousand to Christ and planting the Anabaptist faith over much of central Europe. He became an important link with later Anabaptist work by establishing many congregations in Tyrol which afterward supplied thousands of members for Anabaptist colonies in Moravia. Hapsburg officials finally caught Blaurock and burned him for heresy.