CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN NETWORK

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. May the good Lord bless your digital journey with us.

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LEARN TO BE BRETHREN

The following list is a quick way to learn most of what it means to be Brethren. You'll start by learning the religious and political climate of our birthplace in Europe during the 16th-18th centuries, and finish with a general scheme of Brethrenism in the modern era.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first-fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.”

Proverbs 3:5-10

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