The Church of the Brethren traces its roots back over 300 years to 1708. Eighteenth-century Europe was a time of strong governmental control of the church and low tolerance for religious diversity. Nevertheless, there were religious dissenters who lived their faith in spite of the threat of persecution. Some of these dissenters found refuge in the town of Schwarzenau, Germany. Among them was Alexander Mack, a miller who had been influenced by both Pietism and Anabaptism.
In August, 1708, five men and three women gathered at the Eder River in Schwarzenau for baptism, an illegal act since all had been baptized as infants. They understood this baptism as an outward symbol of their new faith and as a commitment to living that faith in community. An anonymous member of the group first baptized Mack. He, in turn, baptized the other seven. This new group simply called themselves "brethren."
Peter Becker landed in Germantown, PA organizing the first emigration of members to America in 1719. On Christmas Day, 1723, the first baptism of six new members took place in the Wissahickon Creek.
Lampeter Church of the Brethren was planted by Mechanic Grove Church of the Brethren and held their first worship service at the Lampeter Fire Hall on Sunday, April 2, 1978. They were soon recognized by the denomination as a fellowship and on December 31, 1978, Lampeter welcomed 49 members into their fellowship.
Today, Lampeter Church of the Brethren celebrates more than 40 years of training disciples who are growing to Know God, Love Others, and Serve the World! We are able to do so thanks to strong leaders like Earl Ziegler, Curtis Dubble, and John Hostetter, whom God has used to prepare Lampeter to minister in this cultural moment.