That’s the question church historians and Pennsylvania historical experts are trying to answer before next year, when the state will erect a historical marker recognizing the home of a River Brethren founder.
Here’s more info, from Lancaster Online:
The River Brethren, indeed, may be not only one of the oldest but the oldest native religious society still operating, according to [Glen] Pierce [, director of the Brethren in Christ Historical Library and Archives]. Historians have yet to pin that down.
Jacob Engel, a Swiss Mennonite, was one of eight River Brethren to sign a 1780 confession of faith. The group seems to have originated several years before that signing.
In the 1860s, the group changed its name to Brethren in Christ, a denomination that now has congregations in 24 states, four Canadian provinces and more than 14 countries worldwide.
Two smaller denominations also trace their roots to the River Brethren.
Read the whole article.
Hopefully, the search for piety and obedience will have more to report on this historical inquiry soon!