Church of the Brethren

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The Church of the Brethren is a Christian denomination with origins in the Schwarzenau Brethren that was organized in 1708 by Alexander Mack in Schwarzenau, Germany. The Brethren movement began as a combination of radical Pietist and Anabaptist ideas during the Protestant Reformation. The first of its congregations in the United States was established in 1723. They were known as "Dunkers," and more formally as German Baptist Brethren. The denomination holds the New Testament as its only creed.

Historically, the church has taken a strong stance for non-resistance or pacifism. It is one of the three historic peace churches, the other two being the Mennonites and the Quakers.

The Church of the Brethren represents the largest body descending from Mack's Schwarzenau Brethren church. The denomination had 122,810 members as of June 2010[1] and 1,047 congregations in the United States and Puerto Rico as of August 2010.[2] The church is affiliated with six liberal arts colleges and one seminary (Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Indiana). General offices and the Brethren Press are located in Elgin, Illinois.

Liberal arts colleges related to the Church of the Brethren


  1. Church of the Brethren Newsline;Church Of The Brethren Continues Annual Drop In Membership; Walt Wiltschek;(May 28, 2008); Elgin Il
  2. Church directory. Church of the Brethren. Retrieved on November 17, 2012.