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Seventh Brethren World Assembly Set for July 26–29

Mar 13, 2023

Members and friends of Charis Alliance churches are invited and encouraged to attend a three-day Brethren World Assembly that will focus on historical aspects of the Brethren coming to America, settling in the new land, and beginning church expansion westward.

The Seventh Brethren World Assembly will be held at the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies on the campus of Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Penn., the week of July 26–29, 2023. Papers, speeches, panels, and field visits will highlight the program under the direction of the Assembly’s general chairman, Dr. Jeff Bach, who is the retired director of the Young Center.

The opening session will feature Dr. Dale Stoffer from Ashland Theological Seminary on the topic, “What Led The Brethren to America?” Additional major presentations will be by faculty members, scholars, and clergy from the nine Brethren groups descended from Alexander Mack, who founded the movement in 1708 in Schwarzenau, Germany.

Dr. David Guiles of Encompass World Partners will be the speaker for the opening worship service, and Dr. Jared Burkholder, chair of the Grace College history department, will speak on “The Influence of Alexander Mack, Jr. on the Brethren: His Eldership and His Poetry.”

On Saturday, the entire conference will be bussed to Germantown, Penn., the site of the first Brethren church in America. In addition to sessions held there, additional enrichment field trips will include optional visits to the first Brethren baptismal site in the Wissahickon Creek, tours of the Germantown cemetery, and more.

The Brethren World Assemblies are held every five years and are sponsored by Brethren Encyclopedia, Inc. The sponsoring organization compiles and publishes a compendium of all the major content from the Assembly, and the paperback book version will be available about a year after the Assembly concludes.

Retired Brethren Missionary Herald executive director and publisher Terry White has served on the Brethren Encyclopedia board since 2004 and was general chairman for the 2018 Assembly, which was held in Winona Lake, Ind. Pastor Dan Thornton, pastor of Maranatha Brethren Church in Hagerstown, Md., is on the planning committee for the Seventh Assembly and will participate in the programming, including leading music. Pastor Bruce Barlow from the Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church is also a member of the board of Brethren Encyclopedia.

Full program information, lodging, and pricing information are available on the website here. Registration is now open and the registration deadline is June 15, 2023.

Information provided by Terry White on behalf of the Brethren Encyclopedia.