Old Brethren German Baptist

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The Old Brethren German Baptists are the most conservative group of Schwarzenau Brethren.

The group was organized in 1939, having separated from the Old Brethren, who themselves had split from the Old German Baptist Brethren (OGBB).[1] Old Brethren German Baptists differ from their predecessor groups by stricter adherence to traditions, such as the use of horse and buggy, instead of automobiles, as a means of transportation. They also use neither electricity nor telephones. Production and use of tobacco, acceptance of pensions and insurances on life and property are also ruled out.

Annual meetings are held at Pentecost in a meetinghouse near Camden, Indiana.[2]

They are distinct from the Old Order German Baptist Brethren, another group with similar traditions that split off from the Old German Baptist Brethren in 1921. The Old Brethren German Baptists farm with horses, while the Old Order German Baptists use tractors and other motorized equipment in their farming.

In spite of the name, Old Brethren German Baptists do not use the German language anymore, neither a German dialect in everyday life nor Standard German for Bible and church as Old Order Amish and Old Order Mennonites do. Old Brethren German Baptists had already given up the use of the German language when the first split of conservatives from the main body occurred in the early 1880s.

Around 1980, the Old Brethren German Baptists had thee congregations and 45 members in 28 households. The largest congregation was at Camden, Indiana, followed by a congregation at Goshen, Indiana. The smallest congregation was at Arcanum, Ohio.[3]

There are about 130 members around 2012, including a newer group in Trenton, Missouri, which consists mainly of converts from the car driving Old German Baptist Brethren, who withdrew over concerns over a perceived slide to modernity in their church.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ On the Backroad to Heaven: Old Order Hutterites, Mennonites, Amish, and Brethren By Donald B. Kraybill, Carl Desportes Bowman
  2. ^ The Brethren Encyclopedia, Vol. II, Donald F. Durnbaugh, editor (1983) The Brethren Encyclopedia Inc. pages 965.
  3. ^ The Brethren Encyclopedia, Vol. II, Donald F. Durnbaugh, editor (1983) The Brethren Encyclopedia Inc. pages 965.