Districts of the Church of the Brethren

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The districts of the Church of the Brethren are 23 regional divisions that serve to administer the 1,035 congregations[1] of the Church of the Brethren in the United States and Puerto Rico. Districts are divided along state and county lines with membership and geographic scope varying widely. The Church of the Brethren is present in 34 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D. C. in addition to their overseas missions.

History and purpose[edit]

The district system has existed amongst Schwarzenau Brethren since 1856—prior to the 1881–1883 split—and served the administrative purpose of determining delegates to the Annual Conference who could represent the interests of various communities and report back to them the proceedings.[2] The Church of the Brethren is governed by a Congregationalist model of church polity, so most decisions are made locally by individual congregations without interference from any hierarchical structure. Delegates from districts serve the purpose of raising issues at Annual Conferences (called "queries") which affect the Church of the Brethren at large or which have a scope greater than that of a single congregation or locality—e.g. the ordination of women or how to regulate funds for missions activities. Due to the increase in queries presented to the Annual Conference, in 1856, the Brethren approved the establishment of districts of no less than five churches that would answer queries that had a local scope.[3]

List of districts[edit]

Name Territory(ies) Congregations
Atlantic Northeast[4] Delaware (1), Maine (3), New Jersey (1), New York (3), Pennsylvania (71) 79
Atlantic Southeast[5] Florida (19), Puerto Rico (9)[6] 28
Idaho[7] Idaho 6
Illinois and Wisconsin[8] Illinois (38), Wisconsin (1) 39
Michigan[9] Michigan 19
Mid-Atlantic[10] Delaware (1), Maryland (46), Pennsylvania (2), Virginia (8), Washington, D. C. (1), West Virginia (4) 62
Middle Pennsylvania[11] Maryland (1), Pennsylvania (54) 55
Missouri and Arkansas[12] Arkansas (2), Missouri (13) 15
Northern Indiana[13] Indiana (39), Michigan (1) 40
Northern Ohio[14] Michigan (1), Ohio (50) 51
Northern Plains[15] Iowa (26), Minnesota (6), Montana (1) 33
Oregon and Washington[16] Oregon (4), Washington (12) 16
Pacific Southwest[17] Arizona (3), California (25) 28
Shenandoah[18] Virginia (87), West Virginia (10) 97
South/Central Indiana[19] Indiana 48
Southeastern[20] Alabama (3), North Carolina (13), South Carolina (1), Tennessee (17), Virginia (8) 42
Southern Ohio[21] Indiana (1), Kentucky (4), Ohio (49) 54
Southern Pennsylvania[22] Pennsylvania 44
Southern Plains[23] New Mexico (1), Oklahoma (4), Texas (3) 8
Virlina[24] North Carolina (6), Virginia (79), West Virginia (5) 90
Western Plains[25] Colorado (9), Kansas (27), Nebraska (4), New Mexico (1) 41
West Marva[26] Maryland (15), Pennsylvania (1), West Virginia (47) 64
Western Pennsylvania[27] Pennsylvania 70

Churches by territory[edit]

Territory District(s) Number
Alabama[28] Southeastern 3
Arizona[29] Pacific Southwest 3
Arkansas[30] Missouri and Arkansas 2
California[31] Pacific Southwest 25
Colorado[32] Western Plains 9
Delaware[33] Atlantic Northeast (1), Mid-Atlantic (1) 2
Florida[34] Atlantic Southeast 19
Idaho[35] Idaho 6
Illinois[36] Illinois and Wisconsin 38
Indiana[37] Northern Indiana (45), South/Central Indiana (48), Southern Ohio (2) 95
Iowa[38] Northern Plains 26
Kansas[39] Western Plains 27
Kentucky[40] Southern Ohio 4
Maine[41] Atlantic Northeast 3
Maryland[42] Mid-Atlantic (43), Middle Pennsylvania (1), West Marva (19) 63
Michigan[43] Michigan (19), Northern Indiana (1), Northern Ohio (1) 21
Minnesota[44] Northern Plains 6
Missouri[45] Missouri and Arkansas 13
Montana[46] Northern Plains 1
Nebraska[47] Western Plains 4
New Jersey[48] Atlantic Northeast 1
New Mexico[49] Western Plains (1), Southern Plains (1) 2
New York[50] Atlantic Northeast 3
North Carolina[51] Southeastern (14), Virlina (6) 20
Ohio[52] Northern Ohio (51), Southern Ohio (47) 98
Oklahoma[53] Southern Plains 4
Oregon[54] Oregon and Washington 4
Pennsylvania[55] Atlantic Northeast (71), Mid-Atlantic (2), Middle Pennsylvania (54), Southern Pennsylvania (44), West Marva (1), Western Pennsylvania (70) 242
Puerto Rico[56] Atlantic Southeast 9
South Carolina[57] Southeastern 1
Tennessee[58] Southeastern 17
Texas[59] Southern Plains 3
Virginia[60] Mid-Atlantic (8), Shenandoah (87), Southeastern (7), Virlina (79) 181
Washington[61] Oregon and Washington 12
Washington, D. C.[62] Mid-Atlantic 1
West Virginia[63] Mid-Atlantic (4), Shenandoah (10), Virlina (5), West Marva (47) 66
Wisconsin[64] Illinois and Wisconsin 1

Churches outside the United States[edit]

A line-drawing of a world map with the United States and Puerto Rico in black; Ecuador and India in violet; Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Nigeria, and Sudan in cyan; and Argentina, mainland China, Denmark, France, Indonesia, Niger, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey in magenta.
A map of the worldwide scope of the Church of the Brethren:
  Headquarters of the Church (United States and Puerto Rico)
  Current overseas missions (Brazil; the Dominican Republic; Haiti; Nigeria and Oku, Cameroon; and Southern Sudan)
  Churches that are the result of mergers with other Protestant missions (Ecuador's United Andean Indian Mission and the Church of North India; a single Indian church still belongs to the Church of the Brethren)
  Foreign missions that have closed (Argentina, China, Denmark and Sweden, France and Switzerland, Indonesia, Niger, and Turkey)

The Church of the Brethren began missionary activities in the late 19th century, which included the establishment of churches in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Although most foreign missions closed by the middle of the 20th century, several remain worldwide.[65] The most successful such mission has been Ekklesiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria (EYN) (Hausa for "Church of the Children of the Same Mother"), the Nigerian church which was granted autonomy in 1975.

Current foreign missions[edit]

Former foreign missions[edit]

Canada
Alberta
  • Arrowwood, Bow Valley (1917–68)
  • Irricana (1910–68)
  • Mountain View (1907–22)
  • Pleasant Ridge (1908–17)
  • Pleasant Valley (1909–20)
  • Redcliffe Mission (1917–?)
  • Second Irricana (1924–64)
  • Sharon (1906–17)
Saskatchewan
  • Fairview (1903–33)
  • Merrington (1920–49)
  • Vidora: Battle Creek (1910–56)
Mainland China
Guangdong
  • On Fun, San Tai (1918–48)
Shanxi
  • Tsin (Chin) Chou
  • Liao Chou (1912–50)
  • Ping Ting Choll (1912–50)
  • Shou Yang Hsien (Show Yang) (1919–50)
  • T'ai Yuan Fu (1923–50)
Cuba
  • Omaja (1908?–19)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Church directory". Church of the Brethren. Archived from the original on 2011-08-11. Retrieved 2010-04-21. 
  2. ^ Durnbaugh, Donald F. (1997), Fruit of the Vine: A History of the Brethren 1708–1995 (Hardback), Elgin, Illinois, United States: Brethren Press, p. 219, ISBN 0-87178-003-8 
  3. ^ *Stoffer, Dale R. (1989), William R. Eberly, ed., Background and Development of Brethren Doctrines 1650–1987 (Hardback), Brethren Encyclopedia Monograph Series, 2 (1st ed.), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States: Brethren Encyclopedia, Inc., p. 103, ISBN 0-936693-22-3 
  4. ^ "Atlantic Northeast District churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  5. ^ "Atlantic Southeast District churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  6. ^ Note that one Puerto Rican church—located at Cipres Street 738 Highland Park in Rio Piedras, 00924-5139—is not listed in this database, but can be found searching for Puerto Rican churches.
  7. ^ "Idaho District churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  8. ^ "Illinois and Wisconsin District churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  9. ^ "Michigan District churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  10. ^ "Mid-Atlantic District churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  11. ^ "Middle Pennsylvania District churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  12. ^ "Missouri and Arkansas District churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  13. ^ "Northern Indiana District churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  14. ^ "Northern Ohio District churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  15. ^ "Northern Plains District churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  16. ^ "Oregon and Washington District churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  17. ^ "Pacific Southwest District churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  18. ^ "Shenandoah District churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  19. ^ "South/Central Indiana District churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  20. ^ "Southeastern District churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  21. ^ "Southern Ohio District churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  22. ^ "Southern Pennsylvania District churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  23. ^ "Southern Plains District churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  24. ^ "Virlina District churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  25. ^ "Western Plains District churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  26. ^ "West Marva District churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  27. ^ "Western Pennsylvania District churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  28. ^ "Alabama churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  29. ^ "Arizona churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  30. ^ "Arizona churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  31. ^ "California churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  32. ^ "Colorado churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  33. ^ "Delaware churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  34. ^ "Florida churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  35. ^ "Idaho churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  36. ^ "Illinois churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  37. ^ "Indiana churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  38. ^ "Iowa churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  39. ^ "Kansas churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  40. ^ "Kentucky churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  41. ^ "Maine churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  42. ^ "Maryland churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  43. ^ "Michigan churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  44. ^ "Minnesota churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  45. ^ "Southern Pennsylvania District churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  46. ^ "Montana churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  47. ^ "Nebraska churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  48. ^ "New Jersey churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  49. ^ "New Mexico churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  50. ^ "New York churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  51. ^ "North Carolina churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  52. ^ "Ohio churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  53. ^ "Oklahoma churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  54. ^ "Oregon churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  55. ^ "Pennsylvania churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  56. ^ "Puerto Rico churches". Church of the Brethren. Archived from the original on 2011-08-11. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  57. ^ "South Carolina churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  58. ^ "Tennessee churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  59. ^ "Texas churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  60. ^ "Virginia churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  61. ^ "Washington churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  62. ^ "Washington, D.C. churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  63. ^ "West Virginia churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  64. ^ "Wisconsin churches". Church of the Brethren. Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  65. ^ Durnbaugh, Donald F., ed. (December 1983), The Brethren Encyclopedia (Hardback), 3, Elgin, Illinois, United States: Brethren Press, pp. 1,482–1,483, ISBN 0-936693-03-7 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]