In the New Testament, the word brethren describes the kinship of men and women who choose another way of living: the way of Jesus. The Church of the Brethren, begun in 1708 in Germany, still draws people who want to continue Jesus’ work of loving service.
Today, there are about 1000 Church of the Brethren congregations throughout the United States and many other Brethren ministries throughout the world. We gather annually for a church-wide conference to seek the Spirit in discerning the direction of the church. The National Church of the Brethren provides a variety of ministries and mission efforts. Bethany Theological Seminary, On Earth Peace Assembly and the Brethren Benefit Trust are also denominational ministries of the Church of the Brethren.
For guidance, the Brethren look to the scriptures rather than doctrine. Our faith emphasizes compassion, peace-making, simplicity, discipleship, and community. We baptize those who seek to follow Jesus; we anoint for healing, and in our Love Feast we reenact the last supper, at which Jesus washed his disciples’ feet and offered the bread and cup communion.
We believe that when Jesus showed us another way of living, he intended it to nourish and hearten the entire human family.