UB Church Archives

United Brethren Archives

The Church of the United Brethren in Christ is the first American denomination that was not transplanted from Europe. The denomination began as a meeting between two diverse preachers at a Grosse Versammlung (great meeting) in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on Whitsunday, 1767. At this meeting Martin Boehm, a Bishop of the Mennonite Church, preached a powerful sermon that moved Philip William Otterbein, a German Reformed minister, to the point where Otterbein embraced Boehm and exclaimed "Wir Sind Bruder!" or "We Are Brethren". 

For the next 33 years this movement spread among the German colonists in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Finally in 1800 the first annual conference was held at Frederick, Maryland and the United Brethren movement was established as The Church of the United Brethren in Christ, electing Boehm and Otterbein as the first Bishops. 

The United Brethren movement also helped to spawn other pietistic German American denominations including the Evangelical Church, Churches of God, and the Brethren in Christ. 

For further information on the history of the United Brethren please visit Our History on the denominational website

The United Brethren Archives includes information related to the Church of the United Brethren in Christ (1800-1889) and the Church of the United Brethren in Christ (Old Constitution, 1889- ). For information pertaining to the Church of the United Brethren in Christ (New Constitution, 1889-1946) or Evangelical United Brethren Church (1946-1968) please contact the United Methodist Church. If you are not sure which denomination your church belonged to you may contact us and we will assist you in referral to the right archival location.

Guide to the United Brethren Collection

  • RG 0 General Denominational History
  • RG 1 General Conference
  • RG 2 General Board of Administration
  • RG 3 Annual Conference
  • RG 4 Missions  
  • RG 5 United Brethren Publishing Establishment
  • RG 6 Department of Religious Education
  • RG 7 Department of Christian Education
  • RG 8 Department of Stewardship (1973-19881)
  • RG 9 General Church Treasurer
  • RG 10 Department of Church Ministries (1977-1981)
  • RG 11 Department of Church Services (1981-)
  • RG 13 Archives of the United Brethren Church
  • RG 14 Education Department
  • RG 15 UBHope

Photographic Collections