An historic peace church in the heart of Elgin

About the Church of the Brethren

The river Eder after rain

The Church of the Brethren is an Anabaptist/Pietist denomination of 142,000 members in 23 districts that span most of the United States. It was formed in August 1708 when five men and three women gathered at the Eder River in Germany for baptism, an illegal act by the tenents of the state-run church.

To quote from our denominational web site:

The central emphasis of the Church of the Brethren is not a creed, but a commitment to follow Christ in simple obedience, to be faithful disciples in the modern world. As do most other Christians, the Brethren believe in God as Creator and loving Sustainer. We confess the Lordship of Christ, and we seek to be guided by the Holy Spirit in every aspect of life, thought, and mission.

We hold the New Testament as our guidebook for living, affirming with it the need for lifelong and faithful study of the Scriptures. Brethren believe that God has revealed an unfolding purpose for the human family and the universe through the Hebrew Scriptures (or Old Testament), and fully in the New Testament. We hold the New Testament as the record of the life, ministry, teaching, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and of the beginnings of the life and thought of the Christian church.

Faithful following of Jesus Christ and obedience to the will of God as revealed in the Scriptures have led us to emphasize principles that we believe are central in true discipleship. Among these are peace and reconciliation, simple living, integrity of speech, family values, and service to neighbors near and far.

(Drawn from “The Brethren Heritage,” Elizabethtown College)

Photo: The river Eder after rain, near Frankenberg in Hesse Germany. By Simone.