"I Love the Church of the Brethren"
By Dennis L. Brown
Ashland Brethren, Interim pastor -
Bethlehem Congregation in Harrisonburg, Virginia
One of the reasons I love the Church of the Brethren is because of the people who have been significant influences in my journey with the Brethren. The Gilbert Lightner family and the congregation at Troy, Ohio as well as their then pastor Gale Crumrine were blessings to me as I began my journey as a member of the Church of the Brethren.
After graduation at Manchester ('68) I continued to serve the North Webster congregation. I sought counsel from Brother Wilburn Lewellan, who was at that time the District Executive of Northern Indiana. I spoke to him about going to Assoc. Mennonite Biblical Seminay in Elkhart, Indiana and continuing my work at North Webster. He advised me that I should go to our own seminary if I wanted to be a pastor in the Church of the Brethren.
Rachel and I gave up our ministry at North Webster, our beloved cat, George, our friends from college, and the Everett Kirkdorffer family from New Paris, and headed to Bethany Theological Seminary. They were not the easiest years for me. But, they were some of the best.
I'll always believe that my success in ministry over the years is because of the challenging atmosphere at Bethany at Oak Brook. For those who have missed the Bethany experience, I can only say, you missed something great.
Dennis L. Brown