We are a membership driven, unofficial web site of the Church of the Brethren, a Protestant denomination with churches in most of the United States and a few other countries. COB-NET is the first denominational Brethren web site, and the most comprehensive. We offer resources concerning beliefs and perspectives, heritage and genealogy, and the only Brethren Web Directory listing districts, congregations, agencies, educational institutions, blogs, church outdoor ministries, and discussion groups. Enjoy perusing our Brethren glossary, learn about the Brethren encyclopedia, examine our lengthy record of Annual Conference business, worship, and statements. We also provide Bible games, puzzles, and quizzes. You can send greeting cards with a distinctive Brethren touch. Learn about meanings and interpretations. Discover the symbolism behind the official Church of the Brethren logo, displayed above.
Out of the Anabaptist movement of 16th Century Europe and the later fervency of 17th Century Pietism, our founder Alexander Mack organized a small group of believers. In the autumn of 1708 they baptized each other in the Eder River near the village of Schwarzenau, Germany. This group originally used no label for themselves but outsiders began referring to them as the Schwarzenau Täufer (Baptists) or Neue Täufer (New Baptists) to distinguish them from older Anabaptists bodies such as the original Swiss Brethren who later became the Mennonites and Amish.
To escape persecution, our Brethren later emigrated to America and throughout the New World using the label German Baptist Brethren so as to distinguish themselves from English Baptists and Moravian groups. Following doctrinal schisms in the late 19th Century, the largest remaining body dropped the words German and Baptist in 1908, to become known as the Church of the Brethren. Additionally, you can learn more about all the many other groups that include the word Brethren in their denominational label.
We responded to a trickle of online members back in the middle 1990's when most Brethren were unaware of the Web side of the Internet. Only a few Brethren had discovered e-mail, newsgroups, and listserv communications. Many years later, an official Church of the Brethren denominational web site came online. Thanks for stopping by and please come again whenever it is convenient. Please do not hesitate to Contact Us with questions or suggestions.