Not a member? Join today!

Plans Underway for 2024 Heritage Service and Annual Meeting

After the 2023 Heritage Service at the Ringgold Meeting House.

Heritage Service, June 2, 2024, at 3:00 p.m.: We welcome you to attend the Annual Heritage Service at the Ringgold Meeting House, 14426 Misty Meadow Road, Smithburg. MD 21783. If you’ve never attended before, let this be the year you enjoy this simple service in a historic building.

The late Owen Alderfer (former professor and bishop) used to talk about the Brethren in Christ finding and being open to “new light.” The late Luke Keefer Jr. spoke and wrote about us being people “with a difference” (Anabaptists with a difference, Pietists with a difference, Wesleyans with a difference) as he examined each of our three historical theological streams. He also called us to be as intentionally different with Evangelicalism as we were with the other three.

When we talk about who we are we often find ourselves using the word “and”: (we are Anabaptists andPietists and Wesleyans and Evangelicals and. . .). This year we have asked Rob Patterson, bishop of the Allegheny Conference, to examine this theme in our history and speak to some of the challenges of working out the “ands” in current church life. We will gather to worship in song and to hear the word, with time for questions and further discussion.

Annual Meeting, July 2024: Our Annual Meeting this year will take place in Cincinnati, Ohio during the biennial General Assembly of the Brethren in Christ U.S. The specific schedule during these days is still to be determined, but it is likely we will meet over a meal or some other section of free time in the schedule. We are planning to invite people from the Great Lakes Conference to share stories from conference history; for example, a town in Ohio named after Brethren in Christ settlers, early church structures, the first racially integrated congregation, a church planting story, city ministries, and so on. Watch for more information in the assembly schedule.

The Brethren in Christ Church in Japan celebrated its fifth anniversary in 1959. Missionaries Doyle and Thelma Book are on the left and Pete and Mary Willms and their daughters Margie and Bonnie are on the right.

2023 Annual Meeting Celebrated Seventy Years of the Brethren in Christ in Japan

The 2023 Annual Meeting was held on Saturday, September 30, 2023, at the Grantham Brethren in Christ Church. The focus of the meeting was on the Brethren in Christ Church in Japan which celebrates its seventieth anniversary this year. Former missionaries to Japan Dan Deyhle, Ray Hock, and Ruth Zook  participated in a panel discussion about their time in Japan. We also heard greetings by audio from the church in Japan. In addition, John Yeatts, Historical Society president, presented his annual report.

Watch here.

2023 Heritage Service Featured our Old Order and United Zion Brothers and Sisters

The Annual Heritage Service was held on Sunday, June 4, 2023, at the Ringgold Meeting House. It was a joint service with the Old Order River Brethren, the United Zion Church, and the Brethren in Christ Church U.S. These churches are the three related groups in the United States that grew out of the original formation of the River Brethren in south central Pennsylvania in the late 1700s. Each group led the worshippers in song, and a representative from each group described three deeply held values or beliefs and one desire for their ongoing ministry as a church family.

The Old Order River Brethren presenter was Chris Brode. He spoke led a song in the Old Order style.  Representing the United Zion was Rev. Ethan Levengood, songleader, and Rev. John Leisey spoke. Dr. John Yeatts spoke for the Brethren in Christ U.S. and David Perry led the singing.

You can watch the entire service here.

2021 Annual Meeting

About 100 people attended the 2021 annual dinner and meeting Saturday, October 2, 2021 at the Grantham Brethren in Christ Church, where E. Morris Sider’s new book was released.

John Dietz, a board member representing the Old Order River Brethren, asks Morris a question.

With the intriguing title of Brown Sugar Sandwiches and Other Stories, the book features Sider’s memories from his life. During the program, Society president Ken Hoke moderated a panel of Society members who asked Sider questions about his book, giving him an opportunity to share “behind the scenes” about his writing process and some stories he chose not to include in the book.

All members of the Society will receive a free copy of the book, and additional copies are available for sale for $10 each plus postage. Email the Society for a copy.

If you missed the meeting, you can listen to the audio.


Annual Heritage Service, June 6, 2021

Two congregations tell stories of how they responded during the COVID-19 pandemic by serving others in their communities. Watch the video.