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Evangelical United Brethren Church Origins, History, Traditions.

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Presentation on theme: "Evangelical United Brethren Church Origins, History, Traditions."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evangelical United Brethren Church Origins, History, Traditions

2 Evangelical United Brethren Church The United Brethren Church and the Evangelical Church merge in 1946 to form the Evangelical United Brethren Church. The United Brethren Church and the Evangelical Church merge in 1946 to form the Evangelical United Brethren Church. From what traditions did these two denominations arise? From what traditions did these two denominations arise?

3 United Brethren From the Pietist movement in the mid to late 1700's among German speaking folk in Pennsylvania. There was a fervor of spiritual awakening sweeping through Lancaster County in the 1760's. Many of these individuals professed the necessity of holiness and especially the assurance of "new birth" conversion as a real experience to be remembered.

4 United Brethren Leaders Spearheading the movement were two evangelistic preachers of very different backgrounds. Spearheading the movement were two evangelistic preachers of very different backgrounds. One was Philip William Otterbein, a German Reformed minister who came from Germany in He discovered that formal religious practices were the common standard in the American colonies. His training and subsequent heart change prompted him to preach a message based on a deeper, life-transforming spiritual experience. One was Philip William Otterbein, a German Reformed minister who came from Germany in He discovered that formal religious practices were the common standard in the American colonies. His training and subsequent heart change prompted him to preach a message based on a deeper, life-transforming spiritual experience.

5 United Brethren Leaders Martin Boehm was the other man. He came from the Mennonite faith, and had been selected by lot to be a preacher among his people. Initially, Boehm felt that he had no message to present, but that changed when he had a personal experience of God's saving grace through faith. Then Boehm became a flaming evangelist, proclaiming the salvation experience wherever he had the chance. Martin Boehm was the other man. He came from the Mennonite faith, and had been selected by lot to be a preacher among his people. Initially, Boehm felt that he had no message to present, but that changed when he had a personal experience of God's saving grace through faith. Then Boehm became a flaming evangelist, proclaiming the salvation experience wherever he had the chance.

6 United Brethren Leaders Both Otterbein and Boehm did extensive evangelistic preaching in inter-denominational gatherings. However, they didn't meet until Pentecost Sunday, A "great meeting" was held that day in the barn of Isaac Long near Lancaster, Pa. These great meetings were usually held over weekends in groves, barns, or wherever a large congregation could assemble. The congregation in Long's barn included preachers and laypersons from various denominations, including the German Reformed, Lutheran, Moravian, Mennonite, Amish, and Dunker groups. Both Otterbein and Boehm did extensive evangelistic preaching in inter-denominational gatherings. However, they didn't meet until Pentecost Sunday, A "great meeting" was held that day in the barn of Isaac Long near Lancaster, Pa. These great meetings were usually held over weekends in groves, barns, or wherever a large congregation could assemble. The congregation in Long's barn included preachers and laypersons from various denominations, including the German Reformed, Lutheran, Moravian, Mennonite, Amish, and Dunker groups.

7 United Brethren Leaders Martin Boehm preached that afternoon. Otterbein was so thrilled with Boehm's powerful message that this man of great stature threw his arms around the diminutive Boehm and exclaimed in German, "Wir sind bruder!", which in English translates as, "We are brethren!" They were different in many ways--in background, appearance, and some aspects of theology--but Otterbein realized they were alike in the areas which really counted. Martin Boehm preached that afternoon. Otterbein was so thrilled with Boehm's powerful message that this man of great stature threw his arms around the diminutive Boehm and exclaimed in German, "Wir sind bruder!", which in English translates as, "We are brethren!" They were different in many ways--in background, appearance, and some aspects of theology--but Otterbein realized they were alike in the areas which really counted. From that enthusiastic greeting came the name "United Brethren." From that enthusiastic greeting came the name "United Brethren."

8 United Brethren There appears to be no formal structure to the United Brethren until 1800, when they officially organized themselves near Frederick, Maryland. In order to distinguish themselves from the Moravians who were also called United Brethren from their Latin title Unitas Fratrum, they appended the words "in Christ." There appears to be no formal structure to the United Brethren until 1800, when they officially organized themselves near Frederick, Maryland. In order to distinguish themselves from the Moravians who were also called United Brethren from their Latin title Unitas Fratrum, they appended the words "in Christ."

9 The Church Expands Otterbein and Boehm elected as bishops. Both men were 74 years old when chosen. Boehm served until his death in 1812, and Otterbein served until his death in Otterbein and Boehm elected as bishops. Both men were 74 years old when chosen. Boehm served until his death in 1812, and Otterbein served until his death in Between 1800 and 1815, meetings were held annually. However, ministers in Ohio felt that, because of distance, it would be better to hold meetings less often. So beginning in 1815, a "General Conference" was held every two years, with regional "annual conferences" held every year. Since 1821, General Conferences have been held every four years. Between 1800 and 1815, meetings were held annually. However, ministers in Ohio felt that, because of distance, it would be better to hold meetings less often. So beginning in 1815, a "General Conference" was held every two years, with regional "annual conferences" held every year. Since 1821, General Conferences have been held every four years.

10 The Church Expands Christian Newcomer was elected bishop in Under his leadership, the loose evangelistic fellowship became a more organized movement. And the church grew rapidly. Christian Newcomer was elected bishop in Under his leadership, the loose evangelistic fellowship became a more organized movement. And the church grew rapidly. As the young nation expanded westward, so did the church, with hundreds of new churches starting. People who had been associated with United Brethren in the east migrated west and settled in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. In the mid-1820s, Newcomer spearheaded the establishment of churches in Canada, taking the church into another country for the first time. As the young nation expanded westward, so did the church, with hundreds of new churches starting. People who had been associated with United Brethren in the east migrated west and settled in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. In the mid-1820s, Newcomer spearheaded the establishment of churches in Canada, taking the church into another country for the first time. In those early years, services were conducted almost exclusively in the German language. The congregations were led by "circuit-riding" preachers who might have responsibility for a dozen or more churches. In those early years, services were conducted almost exclusively in the German language. The congregations were led by "circuit-riding" preachers who might have responsibility for a dozen or more churches.

11 Hoffmanites A Pennsylvania group of United Brethren ministers and laymen under Rev. George Hoffman, broke away in the late 1860's over doctrinal issues. First known as "Hoffmanites," they later organized in 1878 as the United Christian Church. A Pennsylvania group of United Brethren ministers and laymen under Rev. George Hoffman, broke away in the late 1860's over doctrinal issues. First known as "Hoffmanites," they later organized in 1878 as the United Christian Church.

12 Great Split of 1889 By 1889, the United Brethren Church had grown to over 200,000 members, with six bishops and a full-blown denominational structure. But then controversy arose, and eventually a division occurred. By 1889, the United Brethren Church had grown to over 200,000 members, with six bishops and a full-blown denominational structure. But then controversy arose, and eventually a division occurred.

13 Great Split of 1889 Several General Conferences discussed proposed changes regarding three major issues: allowing proportional representation at General Conference (rather than a set number of delegates for each conference, regardless of size), allowing lay representation at General Conference (instead of ministers only), and permitting church members to also be members of secret societies (previously forbidden). In 1889, the General Conference delegates voted to change the Constitution's requirements concerning these issues. However, they chose to ignore the proper procedures for doing so, as spelled out in the Constitution, which stated that no changes could be made in the Constitution without a majority vote of all United Brethren members. Several General Conferences discussed proposed changes regarding three major issues: allowing proportional representation at General Conference (rather than a set number of delegates for each conference, regardless of size), allowing lay representation at General Conference (instead of ministers only), and permitting church members to also be members of secret societies (previously forbidden). In 1889, the General Conference delegates voted to change the Constitution's requirements concerning these issues. However, they chose to ignore the proper procedures for doing so, as spelled out in the Constitution, which stated that no changes could be made in the Constitution without a majority vote of all United Brethren members.

14 The Great Split A segment of the General Conference, led by Bishop Milton Wright (father of the Wright Brothers), left the General Conference meeting and resumed the session in another part of the city. They declared that the other delegates had withdrawn from the denomination by adopting a different Constitution. A segment of the General Conference, led by Bishop Milton Wright (father of the Wright Brothers), left the General Conference meeting and resumed the session in another part of the city. They declared that the other delegates had withdrawn from the denomination by adopting a different Constitution. This brought into existence two fellowships operating under the name "Church of the United Brethren in Christ." This brought into existence two fellowships operating under the name "Church of the United Brethren in Christ."

15 Onward to Merger The majority group became known as the "Church of the United Brethren in Christ (New Constitution)," with headquarters in Dayton, Ohio. They were also known as the "liberal" United Brethren. This group united with the Evangelical Association in 1946 to form the Evangelical United Brethren Church. The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged in 1968 to form the United Methodist Church. The majority group became known as the "Church of the United Brethren in Christ (New Constitution)," with headquarters in Dayton, Ohio. They were also known as the "liberal" United Brethren. This group united with the Evangelical Association in 1946 to form the Evangelical United Brethren Church. The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged in 1968 to form the United Methodist Church.

16 Evangelical Association: Origins In 1785, Jacob and Catharine Albright married and established their home at Fry’s Mill near Hahnstown, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. They affiliated with the nearby Bergstrasse Lutheran Church and occasionally had contact with itinerant Reformed Church evangelists, Revs. William Otterbein and Anthony Houtz. In 1790, several of Albright’s children died of dysentery and he and Mrs. Albright asked Rev. Houtz to preach the funeral sermons. Albright was deeply affected by Houtz’s evangelistic preaching and eventually surrendered his life to Christ. In 1785, Jacob and Catharine Albright married and established their home at Fry’s Mill near Hahnstown, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. They affiliated with the nearby Bergstrasse Lutheran Church and occasionally had contact with itinerant Reformed Church evangelists, Revs. William Otterbein and Anthony Houtz. In 1790, several of Albright’s children died of dysentery and he and Mrs. Albright asked Rev. Houtz to preach the funeral sermons. Albright was deeply affected by Houtz’s evangelistic preaching and eventually surrendered his life to Christ.

17 Evangelical Association: Origins Albright yielded to God’s call to ministry. Albright yielded to God’s call to ministry. He writes "I began my travels in the year 1796 in the month of October in order to obey the call of God in proclaiming his holy will as revealed in the Gospel." (Albright, Raymond W. A History of the Evangelical Church, p. 43) He writes "I began my travels in the year 1796 in the month of October in order to obey the call of God in proclaiming his holy will as revealed in the Gospel." (Albright, Raymond W. A History of the Evangelical Church, p. 43)

18 Evangelical Association: Origins Many homes were opened to Albright as "preaching places" and Albright boldly preached the Gospel. By 1800, Albright had formed three classes (small groups of believers engaged in Bible study, prayer and spiritual accountability) with approximately 20 believers. By 1803, the number had grown to five classes with 40 believers. Men and women, even entire households, had been brought to faith in Christ under the preaching and oversight of Albright. Many homes were opened to Albright as "preaching places" and Albright boldly preached the Gospel. By 1800, Albright had formed three classes (small groups of believers engaged in Bible study, prayer and spiritual accountability) with approximately 20 believers. By 1803, the number had grown to five classes with 40 believers. Men and women, even entire households, had been brought to faith in Christ under the preaching and oversight of Albright.

19 Evangelical Association The newly organized church, the Evangelical Association, grew as preachers were sent to cities and villages to preach the Gospel. The newly organized church, the Evangelical Association, grew as preachers were sent to cities and villages to preach the Gospel. By 1875, the Evangelical Association had more than 95,000 members. By 1891, the number of church members had grown to 150,000. By 1875, the Evangelical Association had more than 95,000 members. By 1891, the number of church members had grown to 150,000.

20 Evangelical Association Personal piety marked the development of the denomination. Albright chose the Methodist class structure as the organizational structure of the Evangelical Association. From its beginning, church tradition emphasized the necessity of a growing devotion to Christ as evidenced by prayer, Bible study and spiritual accountability. These class meetings eventually became prayer meetings. Personal piety marked the development of the denomination. Albright chose the Methodist class structure as the organizational structure of the Evangelical Association. From its beginning, church tradition emphasized the necessity of a growing devotion to Christ as evidenced by prayer, Bible study and spiritual accountability. These class meetings eventually became prayer meetings.

21 Evangelical Association Albright’s close association with Methodism brought the doctrine of Christian perfection or holiness to the denomination’s discipline, where it is described as "one of the cherished doctrines of the Evangelical Congregational Church." Albright’s close association with Methodism brought the doctrine of Christian perfection or holiness to the denomination’s discipline, where it is described as "one of the cherished doctrines of the Evangelical Congregational Church."

22 Christian Perfection “Entire Sanctification, or Christian perfection, is a state of righteousness and true holiness, which every regenerate believer may attain. It consists in being cleansed from all sin, loving God with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength, and loving neighbor as oneself. “Entire Sanctification, or Christian perfection, is a state of righteousness and true holiness, which every regenerate believer may attain. It consists in being cleansed from all sin, loving God with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength, and loving neighbor as oneself. This gracious state of perfect love is attainable in this life by faith, both gradually and instantaneously, and should be earnestly sought by every child of God; but it does not deliver us from the infirmities, ignorance and mistakes which are common to man." This gracious state of perfect love is attainable in this life by faith, both gradually and instantaneously, and should be earnestly sought by every child of God; but it does not deliver us from the infirmities, ignorance and mistakes which are common to man." (Discipline, Article of Faith 111) (Discipline, Article of Faith 111)

23 Christian Perfection The preaching and teaching of this doctrine received renewed emphasis with the founding of the National Camp Meeting Association for the Promotion of Holiness. The first such holiness camp meeting was held at Vineland, New Jersey in In 1868, the holiness camp meeting was held in Manheim, Pennsylvania and 25,000 people attended including 300 ministers. Many ministers and laity of the Evangelical Association were in attendance thus accounting for the renewed emphasis of the doctrine. The preaching and teaching of this doctrine received renewed emphasis with the founding of the National Camp Meeting Association for the Promotion of Holiness. The first such holiness camp meeting was held at Vineland, New Jersey in In 1868, the holiness camp meeting was held in Manheim, Pennsylvania and 25,000 people attended including 300 ministers. Many ministers and laity of the Evangelical Association were in attendance thus accounting for the renewed emphasis of the doctrine.

24 Schism of 1887 At the General Conference of the Evangelical Association, a major issue promotes a splitting of the denomination. At the General Conference of the Evangelical Association, a major issue promotes a splitting of the denomination. Bishop J. J. Esher wrote an article criticizing the Japan mission. Bishop J. J. Esher wrote an article criticizing the Japan mission. Rev. H. B. Hartzler, editor of the church’s magazine, refused to print the article. Rev. H. B. Hartzler, editor of the church’s magazine, refused to print the article. Esher responded by bringing Hartzler to church trial "for unchristian conduct, official misconduct and grievous offense as minister and as editor of our church." Esher responded by bringing Hartzler to church trial "for unchristian conduct, official misconduct and grievous offense as minister and as editor of our church."

25 Schism of 1887 The trial consumed 11 days of the 27 day conference. Hartzler was found guilty by a vote of 57 to 47. This vote was by ministers only. No lay delegates were present at the General Conference. The trial consumed 11 days of the 27 day conference. Hartzler was found guilty by a vote of 57 to 47. This vote was by ministers only. No lay delegates were present at the General Conference. Pastors and laity either identified with the majority, commonly called "The Esherites", or the minority, commonly called "The Dubsites" (so named for Bishop Rudolf Dubs, the leader of the minority party). Pastors and laity either identified with the majority, commonly called "The Esherites", or the minority, commonly called "The Dubsites" (so named for Bishop Rudolf Dubs, the leader of the minority party).

26 Schism of 1887 Lying behinds the scenes were a series of conflicts: Lying behinds the scenes were a series of conflicts: Use of German (favored by Majority) Use of German (favored by Majority) Episcopal Authority (favored by Majority) Episcopal Authority (favored by Majority) Theological Conservatism (Minority) Theological Conservatism (Minority) Sectionalism (Favored by Minority) Sectionalism (Favored by Minority) Old versus New Immigrants (Majority welcomed new immigrants into the movement) Old versus New Immigrants (Majority welcomed new immigrants into the movement)

27 Schism leads to Split In 1891, both parties called for General Conference. "The Esherites" met in Indianapolis while "The Dubsites" met in Philadelphia. The authority of the majority party prevailed and the ministers and congregations that supported the minority party were excluded from the denomination. These congregations lost their church buildings since the buildings were owned by the denomination. Efforts to reconcile the parties failed and, by 1894, the minority party had reorganized into a new denomination, the United Evangelical Church. In 1891, both parties called for General Conference. "The Esherites" met in Indianapolis while "The Dubsites" met in Philadelphia. The authority of the majority party prevailed and the ministers and congregations that supported the minority party were excluded from the denomination. These congregations lost their church buildings since the buildings were owned by the denomination. Efforts to reconcile the parties failed and, by 1894, the minority party had reorganized into a new denomination, the United Evangelical Church.

28 Healing the Schism 1922 sees the reunion of majority-led Evangelical Association with the minority founded United Evangelical Church sees the reunion of majority-led Evangelical Association with the minority founded United Evangelical Church. Adopt new name: The Evangelical Church. Adopt new name: The Evangelical Church. Had strong oversees involvement in Germany. Had strong oversees involvement in Germany.

29 Bringing the Two Together The Evangelical United Brethren Church was formed November 16,1946 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The Evangelical United Brethren Church was formed November 16,1946 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Represented decades-long discussion of merger between the United Brethren and Evangelical Church. Represented decades-long discussion of merger between the United Brethren and Evangelical Church.


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