Old Order River Brethren
This body began about 1778 in Pennsylvania. It shares an early history with the Brethren in Christ Church. A group of brethren near the Susquehanna River that had separated from the Mennonites became known as the River Brethren. In 1843, a group left the larger body of River Brethren and established a separate Old Order group. They were sometimes referred to as the York Brethren or Yorkers, because most of the members in 1843 were located in York County, Pennsylvania. This minority group believed the majority of the church was becoming lax in nonconformity to the world and non-resistance, and desired to keep the old doctrines and traditions.
The church is composed of five congregations—four in Pennsylvania and one in Iowa—with 331 members in 2000. They retain many conservative practices that are generally associated with the Amish. They do not erect meeting houses, choosing rather to meet in homes or barns.
- Religious Congregations & Membership in the United States (2000), Glenmary Research Center
- Old Order River Brethren – unofficial Web Site
- Reynolds, Margaret. Plain Women: Gender and Ritual in the Old Order River Brethern, Penn State Press, 2001 ISBN 0-271-02138-1