Church of the United Brethren in Christ

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Concept.png Church of the United Brethren in Christ 
An evangelical Christian denomination

The Church of the United Brethren in Christ is an evangelical Christian denomination with churches in 17 countries. It is Protestant, with an episcopal structure and Arminian theology, with roots in the Mennonite and German Reformed communities of 18th-century Pennsylvania, as well as close ties to Methodism. It was organized in 1800 by Martin Boehm and Philip William Otterbein and is the first American denomination that was not transplanted from Europe. It emerged from United Brethren churches that were at first unorganized, and not all of which joined this church when it was formally organized in 1800, following a 1789 conference at the Otterbein Church (Baltimore, Maryland).

In 1889, a controversy over membership in secret societies such as the Freemasons, the proper way to modify the church's constitution, and other issues split the United Brethren into majority liberal and minority conservative blocs, the latter of which was led by Bishop Milton Wright (father of the Wright Brothers). Both groups continued to use the name Church of the United Brethren in Christ.

The majority faction, known as the Church of the United Brethren in Christ (New Constitution), merged with the Evangelical Church in 1946 to form a new denomination known as the Evangelical United Brethren Church (EUB). This in turn merged in 1968 with The Methodist Church to form the United Methodist Church (UMC).

The Wright-led faction, The Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Old Constitution, continues today as the denomination of about 550 congregations, with 47,300 members in fifteen countries. The US National Conference consists of about 200 churches and 25,000 members in the United States, plus mission districts in Haiti and India. The United States national office is located in Huntington, Indiana, as is the denomination's only college, Huntington University.


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Mark Souder18 July 195026 September 2022
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