About Brethren ChurchesDownload U.S. Churches Database
The Brethren are comprised of a number of Christian denominations, and one of the most well known are the Anabaptist-Pietist. Despite the fact that the Brethren are comprised of multiple denominations, there are a number of beliefs they all share. The Brethrens were founded in Germany in 1708, and they were referred to as being Schwarzenau Brethren. Due to persecution, the Brethren moved to the United States during the 1700s, and were eventually split into three distinct groups. The Brethren church is highly progressive, and the most conservative of the Brethren groups is the German Baptist church. The Church of the Brethren was founded in 1708, and was a mixture of both Anabaptist and Pietist concepts.
Unlike many Christian denominations, the Church of the Brethren only follows the New Testament. Members of this chuch also have a strong belief in things such as pacifism. The Church of the Brethren is known for feet washing, communion, and the baptism of believers. Of all the Brethren organizations that resulted from the original Schwarzenau Brethren church, the Church of the Brethren is the largest. Statistics from 2005 show that this church had a membership of approximately 130,000 members. The Church of the Brethren has become a member of both the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches. The Brethren are well known for using the New Testament in all their affairs.
For example, the Brethren will follow the practice of holding a baptism in the forward direction because at the moment of his death, Jesus' head feel in a forward direction. If a dispute occurs that deals with the interpretation of the New Testament, a committee called the Annual Conference will be held to settle the dispute. Many of the beliefs of the Brethren are very similar to other branches of Christianity, like the divinity of Christ. They are promoters of peace, as well as living a simple life. They are also firm believers in the concept of equality for those who are members, no matter what they're background. The Brethren are heavily involved in disaster relief programs, and they are known for giving great deals of wealth for charity.
Unlike many Christian denominations, members of the Church of the Brethren are quick to describe themselves in terms of what they do rather than what they believe in. Peace plays an important role in the Church of the Brethren, even more so than other Christian denominations. They believe that all forms of warfare is evil, and a number of Brethren have been thrown in jail for refusing to serve in the military. The Brethren have fought against these problems by putting pressure on government officials to allow the Brethren to serve their nation through a non-violent way. When it comes to the structure within the church, the Brethren use a system that is not based on a hierarchy. While they do use ministers, they role in the congregation has been relatively weak. The Brethren are also known for their simplicity. Many of them will not drive cars, go to college, or file lawsuits. They also avoid the use of alcohol and tobacco.