Church of the Brethren History: 1708 - Present

The Church of the Brethren

  • Was organized in 1708 in Schwarzenau, Germany, when eight souls were baptized in the river Eder. Alexander Mack was its leader.

  • In 1719, Peter Becker landed in Germantown, organizing the first emigration of members to America. On Christmas Day, 1723, the first baptism of six new members took place in the Wissahickon Creek.

  • Believes that God, in love, creates, sustains, and orders all things.

  • Confesses that God sent Jesus as Lord and Savior of all.

  • Affirms that the Holy Spirit empowers Christians to worship, proclaim the gospel, and serve.

  • Accepts the New Testament as our rule of faith and practice.

  • Preaches a dynamic personal faith in which the love of God and one another is integrated into word and deed.

  • Observes the rites of Believer’s Baptism, Love Feast and Communion, and Anointing for Healing, and Feetwashing.

  • Holds to the principle of no force in religion - a free act of faith on the part of the individual.

  • Accepts Christ’s call to work for peace and harmony at home, in the nation, and in the world.

  • Has missions and service ministries in 24 countries around the world.

  • Cooperates with Church World Service, Disaster Relief, Refugee Resettlement, and other denominations in serving the cause of Christ.

For a more in-depth look at the historical timeline starting in 1415 and leading up to the present day, please visit