Tags: Rapture | Church of Brethren | Christians | Denomination | Origins

Church of Brethren Origins: 6 Things That Led to Development of Christian Denomination

By    |   Friday, 06 Feb 2015 11:38 AM

The Church of the Brethren was formed in 1708 by former Lutheran and Reformed church members in central Germany. They were Christians dissatisfied with the direction the churches were taking under the state's control. Meeting in small groups to discuss Scriptures, they were often expelled from establishments and their homes for their practices.

Here are six factors involved in the development of the Brethren Church:

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1.The Brethren saw their church grow rapidly from their evangelistic approach with some 500 members joining their ranks by 1720. Congregations were organized throughout regions in Germany and in Switzerland.

2. The persecution they faced led many Brethren to flee Germany and head to America in 1719. They created a settlement in Germantown, Pennsylvania just outside of Philadelphia. They soon found converts in New Jersey. Meanwhile, the original congregation of about 200 people in Germany continued to face problems and also moved to Pennsylvania. Eventually, there was no Brethren activity in Europe.

3. Membership in the Brethren church grew to 1,500 by 1770 with new congregations stretching to Maryland, Virginia and the Carolinas. Brethren settlers soon began expanding to areas in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri and Kansas.

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4. The expansion took Brethren congregations to the West Coast in 1850. Along with revival meetings and publications, members organized Sunday schools and higher education classes. They changed their name to the German Baptist Brethren.

5. Tensions began to rise in the early 1880s with disagreements on the teachings and direction of the church. This led to divisions. A conservative group became known as the Old German Baptist Brethren while a progressive group took the name of the Brethren Church. The largest moderate group with about 50,000 members continued as the German Baptist Brethren until 1908. Later, the name was officially changed to Church of the Brethren.

6. Membership increased and so did Christian activity for the Church of the Brethren by the 1940s. Brethren became involved in national and world council churches to work for peace. Activities included social projects on a large scale under the Brethren Service Commission.

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The Church of the Brethren was formed in 1708 by former Lutheran and Reformed church members in central Germany. They were Christians dissatisfied with the direction the churches were taking under the state's control.
Church of Brethren, Christians, Denomination, Origins
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2015-38-06
Friday, 06 Feb 2015 11:38 AM
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