This 300th year since the founding of the Brethren movement provides unique opportunities to reflect on how God birthed, peopled, and has led the group we now know as the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches.
To help mark the 300th anniversary, BMH Books of Winona Lake, Ind., is publishing two distinctive books on Brethren history and is inviting financial participation to help make the project possible.
Heroes Who Live On, Volume 3 is the first of the books, celebrating the life and ministry of 12 colorful and important figures in Brethren history. Written and researched by Viki Rife and her parents, Robert Cover, Sr. and Joene Cover, this third in the “Heroes” series is again written for the upper-grade-school level and focuses on character traits of the 12 individuals who are portrayed.
Those whose ministries are featured include Christopher Sauer, Amy Greenlun, Elizabeth Tyson, Floyd Taber, Herman Koontz, Bernard Schneider, James Boyer, Keith Altig, Angie Garber, Marguerite Dunning, Walter Fretz, and Raimundo Cardoso.
The second book is tentatively entitled Restoring the Household: The Heritage and Quest of the Grace Brethren Church.
Originating from the doctoral dissertation of Todd Scoles (from the Marysville, Ohio, Grace Brethren Church), this book is an insightful work that provides historical context to the founding of the Brethren movement, including the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches (1939). It also offers teaching on the Brethren understanding of triune immersion baptism and threefold communion.
Because of the special focus of these books, coupled with a desire to make a copy available without cost to each Grace Brethren church, missionaries, and other Brethren workers, BMH Books is inviting donors to help with the project.
The total cost for editorial, design, printing, and distribution of each of the books is projected to be about $7,000 or a total of $14,000. Some contributions have already been received toward the production of the Scoles book.
Anyone interested in helping is invited to send a check, made payable to Brethren Missionary Herald, Co., to BMH, Box 576, Winona Lake, Indiana, 46590. Please mark the check “Brethren History Book Project.” The portion of your gift that exceeds the value of the book is tax-deductible and donors will be sent receipts along with copies of the books, which are scheduled to be released early in the summer of 2008.
“God has uniquely used and blessed the Brethren during our 300-year history,” says BMH publisher Terry White. “Each of these books is a valuable historical contribution. Considering the size of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, there is limited potential for large-scale sales, but we believe these are important enough that we want to publish them. As God leads, we will welcome gifts of any size toward the approximately $14,000 needed to get them into print and into the hands of our churches and missionaries.”
Further information about the 300th anniversary celebration scheduled for early August in Schwarzenau, Germany, is available at www.brethrenencyclopedia.org. A European tour, which will include participation in the 300th anniversary celebration, is being organized by Ted Rondeau of the staff of Grace Brethren International Missions. To learn more, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (574) 268-1888.