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Plowshares - The Church of the Brethren
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About this collection

The Church of the Brethren traces its history back to the village of Schwarzenau, Germany, where in 1708, Alexander Mack and seven others were (re)baptized in the Eder River. Drawing on the principles of Pietism and Anabaptism, these eight people formed their own congregation, dedicated to following the example of the New Testament Church. To escape religious persecution, Mack moved his church first to Holland and then to Pennsylvania, where it took root and began to grow. In the early 1880s, the Old Order Brethren and the Progressive Brethren separated from the main body of the church - the German Baptist Brethren, who later became the Church of the Brethren in 1908. Although they are non-creedal, Brethren believe in the importance of trine baptism by immersion, feet washing and the love feast, anointing for healing or restoration, witnessing for peace, and service work and disaster response. In addition to Manchester College, the Church of the Brethren is affiliated with five other colleges, Bethany Theological Seminary, and numerous missionary, peace, and service projects around the world.

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