Felix Mantz (1498 – January 5, 1527), was a co-founder of the original Swiss Bretheren Congregation in Zurich, Switzerland, and was the first martyr of the Radical Reformation. He was drowned by Zwingli in what was called “...his third baptism” since he had been baptized as a child, rebaptized as an adult, and was drowned in what Zwingli called a baptism of death.
Felix Mantz was the illegitimate son of a canon of Grossmunster church in Zürich -- the same church where Zwingli was the pastor. Though records of his education are scant, there is evidence that he had a liberal education, with a thorough knowledge of Hebrew, Greek and Latin. Mantz became a follower of Ulrich Zwingli after he came to Zürich in 1519. When Conrad Grebel joined the group in 1521, he and Manz became friends. They questioned the mass, the nature of church and state connections, and infant baptism. Around 1523, they became dissatisfied with the Reformation, believing that Zwingli's plans for reform had been compromised with the city council.Grebel, Mantz, Reublin and others made several attempts to plead their position. Several parents refused to have their children baptized. A public disputation was held with Zwingli on January 17,1525, whereby the council declared Zwingli the victor. These Radical Reformers, as they were now called, were banished from the region and were considered outlaws.After the final rebuff by the city council on January 18, in which they were ordered to desist from arguing and submit to the decision of the council, and have their children baptized within eight days, the brethren gathered at the home of Felix Manz and his mother on January 21. Conrad Grebel baptized George Blaurock, and in turn Blaurock baptized the others. This made the break complete with Zwingli and the council, as they formed the first church of the Radical Reformation. The movement spread rapidly, and Manz was very active in it. He used his language skills to translate his texts into the language of the people, and worked enthusiastically as an evangelist. Mantz was arrested on a number of occasions between 1525 and 1527. While he was preaching with George Blaurock in the Grüningen region, they were taken by surprise, arrested and imprisoned in Zürich at the Wellenburg prison.
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On March 7,1526, the Zürich council had passed an edict that made adult rebaptism punishable by drowning. On January 5,1527, Felix Mantz became the first casualty of the edict, and the first Swiss Anabaptist to be martyred at the hands of other Protestants.