The Brethren

Church of the Brethren Denominational Web Site

This is an additional website which has more about the history of the Brethren and quite a few additional resources.

Atlantic Northeast District Website

WHO WE ARE AS A DENOMINATION (Church of the Brethren)

Continuing the Work of Jesus. Peacefully. Simply. Together.

Continuing the Work of Jesus . . . Though the Brethren as a group have existed for nearly three hundred years, we subscribe to no formal creed. We simply try to do what Jesus did.

Jesus brought a message of life, love, and hope. But he offered much more than inspiring words: He understood that peoples’ spiritual needs also include day-to-day human ones – food, health, rest, comfort, friendship, and unconditional acceptance. I am the Way, He told His followers. He showed them how to trust, how to care, and how to help.

Peacefully …

Our longstanding commitment to peace and justice includes a deep regard for human life and dignity. Brethren reach worldwide to help repair the ravages of poverty, ignorance, exploitation, and catastrophic events. Along with our faith, we bring food, books, classes, tools, and medicine.

Living peacefully, to the Brethren, means treating each person with the attentive, compassionate respect that all human beings deserve.

Simply ...

Continually, though, we try to simplify our lives. Practicing a modest nonconformity, we think carefully about our daily choices. The ideal of simplicity guides our decisions: How will we conduct our business, raise our children, spend our leisure time, and tend our natural resources? How will we use our money, and why?

As we seek to live intentionally, responsibly, and simply, we find a deep sense of purpose, and we find joy.

Together …

Whether worshiping, serving, learning, or celebrating, Brethren act in community. Together, we study the Bible to discern Gods will; we make decisions as a group, and each person’s voice matters.

Our congregations welcome all who wish to share with us in another way of living: the way of Christian discipleship, life in community, fulfillment in service.


Some of the unique qualities and beliefs of The Church of the Brethren include:

  • The Brethren believe that one should be able to make a conscious and unforced commitment to Jesus Christ before becoming a member of the church. This is why we practice adult (or believers) baptism.
  • Along with the Friends and Mennonites, we make up the three traditional “peace churches.” We practice peaceful living and look to the example of Jesus Christ who gave Himself on the cross for others, even though we are unworthy.
  • Just as Jesus set an example for us, we believe in serving others and assist victims of natural disasters through Brethren Disaster Relief Service projects.
  • Also as a result of Jesus’ example, we practice several rites and ordinances – symbols which enrich our common faith. These include, among others, the Love Feast, anointing for healing, the laying on of hands, and (as mentioned above) baptism.
  • The Church of the Brethren continually works to address contemporary issues from a Biblical perspective. We seek Biblical guidance so we can better understand God’s revelation in today’s world and respond locally and globally.
  • We have no written creed, believing we should remain open to fresh truths with Christ as our final authority, as He is revealed in the New Testament.