The Brethren Church is one of several groups that traces its origins back to the Schwarzenau Brethren of Germany. In the mid-19th century, the church began to struggle over modernization. Progressives stressed evangelism, objected to distinctive dress, and objected to the supremacy of the annual conferences. In 1882, progressive leader Henry Holsinger, who was the publisher of The Progressive Christian, was disfellowshipped from the Annual Meeting. He and others organized The Brethren Church in 1883 at Dayton, Ohio, with about 6000 members. The Progressive Christian was renamed The Brethren Evangelist and is still published bi-monthly by the church. Ashland College, which had been founded in 1878, came under the control of the Brethren Church.
The early years after the division were difficult for the new body, yet they quickly went about emphasizing and developing positions that had estranged them from the more conservative Brethren - education, theological training for ministers, the ordination of women, and home and foreign missions. Like many mainstream denominations, between 1913 and 1920 the Brethren Church suffered from the fundamentalism versus liberalism controversy. This was ended in 1921, when the church adopted a conservative statement of faith and practice. Many liberals withdrew to join other denominations more favorable to their positions. The fundamentalist strength developed and played into a later division. Perhaps the most important issue was that the conservatives/fundamentalists wanted to convert Ashland College into a Bible college, while the "traditionalists" wanted it to remain an accredited liberal arts college. In 1939 the denomination divided almost evenly, with the new body becoming the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches.
The Brethren Church is a member of the National Association of Evangelicals. They are still affiliated with Ashland University and Ashland Theological Seminary (org. 1906) in Ashland, Ohio, where they also maintain international headquarters. In 2006, the Brethren Church had 10,387 members and 119 churches. Membership is strongly concentrated in three states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.
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... not all, of the pietistic and Anabaptist influenced distinctives of his Brethren tradition ... This unique mixture (or what later would become tension among Grace Brethren themselves) is laid out in The Faith Once for All Delivered unto the Saints ... and the middle two (The Great Commission and Practical Doctrine) distinctively Brethren ...
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... Bauman went on to be pastor at the First Brethren Church of Washington, D.C ... a prolific writer and dominant voice in the developing Grace Brethren movement ... his 75th birthday in the Germantown Cemetery, the Brethren "Mother Congregation" church cemetery located in Germantown, Pennsylvania ...
... Louis Sylvester Bauman (November 13, 1875 – November 8, 1950) was a Brethren minister, writer, and Bible conference speaker, holding influential ... several pastorates, in particular the First Brethren Church of Long Beach, California where he was pastor for thirty-four years (1913–1947) ... Bauman held to traditional Brethren views regarding baptism, communion, and nonresistance, but also held to evangelical convictions regarding missions, and premillennial dispensationalism, with the latter ...
Famous quotes containing the words church and/or brethren:
“Now, honestly: if a large group of ... demonstrators blocked the entrances to St. Patricks Cathedral every Sunday for years, making it impossible for worshipers to get inside the church without someone escorting them through screaming crowds, wouldnt some judge rule that those protesters could keep protesting, but behind police lines and out of the doorways?”
—Anna Quindlen (b. 1953)
“And call ye this to utter what is just,
You that of justice hold the sovreign throne?
And call ye this to yield, O sons of dust,
To wronged brethren evry man his own?”
—Bible: Hebrew Psalm LVIII (Paraphrased by The Countess of Pembroke)