Old Order River Brethren

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The Old Order River Brethren is a small Christian denomination with roots in the Mennonite church and German pietism.

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.[1]

The church is composed of five congregations—four in Pennsylvania and one in Iowa—with 331 members in 2000.


  1. ^ Frank S. Mead (1975). Handbook of Denominations in the United States (6 ed.). Abingdon Press. p. 72. ISBN 0-687-16569-5. 
  • Religious Congregations & Membership in the United States (2000), Glenmary Research Center

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