“Darkness Seems To Be All Over This Earth”: William J. Swigart and the Church of the Brethren in World War I

While the entrance of the United States into World War I in 1917 challenged the very beliefs of the young Brethren men caught up in the draft, the war also challenged the leadership of the Church of the Brethren. During the war the church faced two major challenges. The first was how to inform the government and the public about Brethren beliefs while also demonstrating patriotism. Second was how to best serve and strengthen the Brethren men called into military service. This second challenge served as a complex and difficult issue for church leadership. […]

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Ken Morse: Brethren Hymnist with a Message

Even if you don’t recognize his name, you’ve probably sung Ken Morse’s Move in our Midst. Kenneth Ivan Morse was the son of Herman V. and Sadie Bennett Morse, born 1913 in Altoona, PA. He grew up in the Altoona congregation and graduated from Juniata College and Pennsylvania State University with a Masters in English Literature. […]

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Abraham Harley Cassel (1820-1908)

Described as “the foremost Pennsylvania German bibliophile and a widely known authority on the literature of the Germans in America…,” Abraham Cassel was a 19th-century Pennsylvania German book collector and antiquarian whose personal collection in his home in Harleysville, PA, – the “Cassel Library” –served as the major informational source for Martin Grove Brumbaugh’s History of […]

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James Quinter and the Creation of the Modern Church of the Brethren

By William Kostlevy Few dates in Church of the Brethren history are more important than February 1, 1816 for that is the date of the birth of James Quinter. The son of a day laborer, Quinter was raised in poverty and after his father’s untimely death became the sole supporter of a family of 4. […]

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The First Brethren Preacher in North America – Peter Becker

By Keith S. Morphew Alexander Mack was the founder of the Brethren faith, but Peter Becker was the first Brethren preacher to minister in America. His story begins in Dudelsheim, Germany where he and his wife, Anna were baptized as adults by Johannes Naas. Brethren refugees had been tolerated in the area previously, but as […]

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