Heritage

Roots and Wings!Church of the Brethren Logo

The Frederick Church of the Brethren (FCOB) has a rich and enduring heritage.

This heritage has been informed by our larger church family, the Church of the Brethren. The Church of the Brethren traces its roots back over 300 years to 1708. Eighteenth-century Europe was a time of strong governmental control of the church and low tolerance for religious diversity. Nevertheless, there were religious dissenters who lived their faith in spite of the threat of persecution. Some of these dissenters found refuge in the town of Schwarzenau, Germany. Among them was Alexander Mack, a miller, who had been influenced by both Pietism and Anabaptism.

    In August 1708 five men and three women gathered at the
    Eder River in Schwarzenau for baptism, an illegal act since
    all had been baptized as infants. They understood this
    baptism as an outward symbol of their new faith and as a
    commitment to living that faith in community.

    An anonymous member of the group first baptized Mack.
    He, in turn, baptized the other seven. This new group simply
    called themselves “brethren.”

    Though the early Brethren shared many beliefs with other
    Protestants, a number of issues separated them from the
    state churches. Relying on the New Testament as their
    guide, these men and women believed that Jesus had
    intended for his followers a different kind of life—one based
on peaceful action, plain and compassionate living, and a shared search for truth. They also shared their faith enthusiastically with others, sending evangelists to other parts of Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.  For more information on the Church of the Brethren, click here.

Building on this rich history, FCOB is soaring
toward new expressions of faithfulness in Jesus,
living out it’s vision:  to multiply the number of
persons turning to Jesus Christ by multiplying
the number of options for spiritual growth
and biblical outreach.

Credits:
Church of the Brethren Logo: (www.cob-net.org)
Alexander Mack Picture: (www.higherpraise.com)
NYC Picture: Glenn Riegel (www.brethren.org)