About Church of the Brethren

A little about us…

The Church of the Brethren has about 100,000 members in about 1,000 congregations in the United States and Puerto Rico; as many as a million people attending services at Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (Church of the Brethren in Nigeria); and hundreds more in India, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti.

In the New Testament, the word "brethren" describes a community of men and women who chose another way of living: the way of Jesus. The Church of the Brethren, begun three centuries ago in Germany, still draws people who want to continue Jesus' work of faithfulness and loving service.

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.  While times have changed, the Church of the Brethren today maintains the basic beliefs of the first Brethren and seeks to find new ways to continue the work of Jesus in the world.

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