On the heels of the Protestant Reformation, in 1708 a handful of believers under Anabaptist and Pietistic influence, embarked upon a journey of faith seeking a deeper reformation of doctrine and practice. Seeking a life that followed the Scriptures more literally, eight souls were baptized by immersion in the Eder River in Schwarzenau, Germany. This was a radical departure from the state churches’ practice of infant baptism. With a genuine desire to live the New Testament, these brethren were led to practices such as the Love Feast including feet-washing, the agape meal, and the emblematic bread and cup, non-resistance, the refusal to take an oath, and the practice of the holy kiss.
The group grew in Germany and Holland and migrated to America in the 1700’s establishing congregations beginning near Germantown, Pennsylvania. From there the Brethren migrated to Virginia and the West growing to a fellowship of approximately 70,000 members. In 1881, a small portion of these members, calling themselves Old German Baptists, separated from the larger group in a quest for a more godly and simple life. From this body of believers, the New Conference emerged in 2009.
It is not for men to craft a vision for the church, but rather to embrace the vision that God gives us in His Word. This vision is expressed in the Scriptures in the overarching goal of bringing glory to God through 1) the glorious work of perfecting the saints within the church, and 2) the demonstration of the work of God’s Spirit in His redeemed people as they take His Gospel to the world in word and life. In brief, the call is to glorify God through the edification of the saints and the discipling of the nations.
In the power of the Spirit, our calling is to live and preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, centering upon the person and work of the Savior and the teachings of His kingdom. We believe the Holy Spirit will use this message to convict the hearts of men, calling them to repentance, salvation, holiness of life, loving obedience to His Word, and unity of faith. He will, through the diversity of gifts given to the church, gently feed, instruct, and discipline, that every man may be presented perfect in Christ. The lives of transformed saints living in a humble, closely-knit fellowship of believers will clearly display to all men the person of Jesus Christ as King, Redeemer and Judge of the world.
With this understanding in view, we desire to abandon this world's philosophies and treasures, and to heed the clear Scriptural call to simple and holy living. The redeemed, living collectively as the church, are to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We desire to be united in doctrine, functionally organized in structure, and the visible presentation of a holy people walking together in committed discipleship with the Lord Jesus. In so doing, we will effectively bring glory to God as we show others the love, teachings, and peace of the Savior.
Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Eph 3:21)