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Sunday, 2 June 2013

Brethren Church

In 1722 Nikolaus Ludwig Count von Zinzendorf (1700-1760) granted refuge on his estate in Herrnhut, Saxony to a group of persecuted members of the Bohemian Brethren in Moravia. The community became a refuge for other persecuted Protestant believers and after the coming of the Holy Spirit in 1727 the Moravians commenced a round the clock prayer watch. On August 27th of that year, 24 men and 24 women covenanted to spend one hour each day in scheduled prayer. They continued this non-stop for more than a century with at least one person in the community praying every minute of the day.

In 1832 a Young Church of Ireland curate John Nelson Darby and a former Roman Catholic Edward Cronin, founded The Plymouth Brethren denomination. Dissatisfied by the lack of spirituality in their own churches and opposed to church government and official ministry, they met together in Dublin each Sunday with several others for the breaking of bread. Soon the movement spread and finally settled in Plymouth, England.

George Müller,  leader of the Plymouth Brethren movement, opened his famous orphanage on Wilson Street in Bristol in 1836. By 1875, Mueller's orphanage provided care for over 2,000 children, a work sustained not by regular fundraising but by thousands of "answers to prayer." 

By the time of his death in 1898, George Müller had established five orphanages, seven day schools, twelve Sunday schools and distributed five million Bibles, books and tracts. He was able to finance all this by totally relying on God and never publicly appealing for money.

During the 1920s in Britain there was a debate among members of the Evangelical Alliance on whether the Salvation Army and Brethren Church are sects. 

Both Dwight Eisenhower and his parents belonged to the Church of Brethren in Christ, which opposed war and any kind of violence. Ironically, Eisenhower became a professional soldier despite his denomination's philosophy. Although his parents disapproved of his entering the military but none the less allowed him to choose his own career.

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