BRETHREN-L ArchivesArchiver > BRETHREN > 1998-04 > 0893474421
From: "rhoese" <>
Subject: Re: The Brethren
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 22:20:21 -0500
That is really an inspiring and succinct history and explanation of current
Brethren works. May I have your permission to print it in my newsletter
Words to Wise, for descendants of Adam Wise? Many of his grandchildren and
probably children, (his second wife was Brethren) were ministers of COB of
some sort or other. I descend through Elder John Wise, his father David
Wise, Adam Wise Jr, to Adam Wise. Two books came out on this line this year,
mostly the same information, but the first was called Water and the Word,
because he had a mill, the property is still in the Wise family; and had so
many descendants who were preachers.
From: Merle C. Rummel <>
Date: Friday, April 24, 1998 5:23 PM
Subject: Re: The Brethren
>It was suggested that I didn't include all our church history -- NOPE, I
>Didn't! But one more paragraph should be added -- so let me try again!
>(after all -- I just don't work much with modern history of a century ago!
>= 3rd C or 5th C or even 19th C, but RECENT HISTORY! -and I Do have kin and
>friends in the other Branches of the Brethren. Thats why I usually go back
>to our nickname and call us all "Dunkers", and forget about the
>About 1680, a Revival started from the University of Halle, in
>Germany. Its intent was to bring the "Old" Churches back to living
>what the Bible teaches. Two phrases were common: "Primitive
>Christianity" - the example of the 1st Century Church (Acts); and
>"Imitation of Christ" -for personal living. Two churches came out
>of it in Germany: the Moravian Brethren -eastern Germany; and the
>German Baptist Brethren (1708)(Dunkers) -western Germany. Alexander
>Mack, a miller, is considered our founder. We try to practice
>literally what Jesus taught us to do. John Wesley went down to the
>Moravian Brethren, and similarly went back to England with a
>"Method" of living -the Methodist.
>Persecution was fierce -and the Dunkers fled. First they hid among
>the Anabaptist/Mennonites in Germany, then they followed the
>Mennonites to Germantown PA. The first shipload was 1719. Our
>Anabaptist heritage resulted in us being one of the "Plain People"
>and "Pennsylvania Dutch". In 1803, a Universalist Preacher said
>that we are God's People on Earth, that we SHOW in our life, what
>we SAY we Believe.
>The Brethren quickly spread out into Berks and Lancaster Counties.
>For more than a century, the Brethren were on the far frontier in
>America. They went to middle Pennsylvania: Morrisons Cove, and
>farther west -Brothers Valley (Somerset Co PA). Our people founded
>a migration route across E. Maryland, along the Monocacy River,
>crossed the Potomac at Harpers Ferry and down the Valley of
>Virginia, to the Carolinas and Tennessee, with many churches still
>in these areas. The Brethren settler was one of the very first
>into many areas, like the Boones in Kentucky, later whole
>communities following the first families. My Church, east of
>Cincinnati (1795), was the start of movement up into the Northwest
>Territory. A large Brethren Community of many churches is around
>Dayton OH (1805), another in Northern and Western Indiana (1835)
>and Northern Illinois. Colonies were started in Iowa (1855),
>Kansas, Nebraska, the Dakotas. Brethren went on the Oregon Trail
>to the Northwest in the 1840s, and a large settlement is in
>Southern California. We were German speaking peoples, among the
>German settlers, the Methodists and soon the Baptists were right
>with us, among the English peoples.
>Following the Civil War and the expansion west to the Pacific, the
>Industrial Revolution hit the church hard. There was considerable
>disagreement over what the meaning of relation to (or separation
>from) the World should mean. About 1880 the result was a 3-way
>split. The Old German Baptist Brethren retain the old ways of
>life, including church worship and dress. I love what Bro Flory,
>Elder at the Prices Creek GBB Church (OH) said, in response to my
>question about the Plain Garb: "It forces me to Always Remember
>that I am different from this world!" The Church of the Brethren
>began community and world service as witness of our Savior's
>teachings of Love, and our opposition to Force and War. This has
>become an important demonstration of our Christian Life. The First
>Brethren led into "modern" concepts of Sunday Schools and Revivals,
>but are very fundamental in the practice and belief of the New
>Testament Faith. The three denominations have themselves suffered
>division and splits, but one theme seems the same -Jesus said it -
>We are all BRETHREN!
>In the modern world, we give our witness in many ways. The Brethren
>have been the origin of many assistance and relief groups. The
>Peace Corps copied, and use for its leaders, our Brethren Volunteer
>Service youth. We formed Brethren Service to help needy people
>around the world, and Church World Service uses our facility at New
>Windsor MD -for shipping medicine, clothing, emergency aid.
>Heifers for Relief was started by the Brethren. CROP, Christian
>Rural Overseas Project, is another of our beginnings. It was said,
>following World War II, that the Brethren were better known in
>devastated Europe, than we were in our own United States. I myself
>heard Martin Luther King speak at the March on Washington, 1963
>(his "I Have a Dream"). Our Brethren Volunteers work in the Inner
>City -in settlement houses, with slum cleanup, and kindergartens.
>We are in retirement homes, to the Indian Reservations, in the
>Kentucky Mountains - there are Volunteers and Missions overseas.
>We believe in "helping our neighbor" where-ever he is - here and
>away. We believe we are responsible to SHOW Jesus -in US.
>Rev. Merle C. Rummel
>Stonelick Church of the Brethren
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