Brethren Revival Fellowship (BRF) is a concern movement among the [Schwarzenau] Brethren, seeking to call the Church to a firm stand for the authority of the Scriptures, and to an emphasis upon the teachings of the New Testament as historically understood by the Brethren.
We work in the interest of proclaiming and preserving Biblical values for living today. We believe the Bible is the infallible Word of God, the final authority for belief and practice, and that to personally accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour is the only means of salvation.
BRF was organized in 1959 during a prayer meeting at the Ocean Grove, New Jersey, Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren, out of concern about the neglect and disregard of New Testament beliefs and practices. Brethren W. Hartman Rice and Linford Rotenberger, both pastors, were key early leaders of the fledgling movement. Several early area meetings were held, but real influence began with the regular publishing of the BRF WITNESS in 1966 with Harold S. Martin as editor. Bro. Martin has served as staff member of BRF since 1977.
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What are BRF's concerns?
- The fact that many Brethren have set aside a firm belief in the trustworthiness and authority of the Bible, and knowingly or unknowingly have embraced the historical-critical views of Biblical interpretation.
- The drift from a balanced Biblical-Anabaptist-Pietist and Brethren-oriented understanding of church and state, war and peace, church discipline, and New Testament ordinances (such as the three-part Love Feast).
- The turn from preaching the Gospel of reconciliation of the individual to God through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, to a human-centered program of political involvement.
- The diminishing membership and the need for revival and evangelism within the Church of the Brethren.
- The content of the Church of the Brethren produced materials that so often call for the acceptance of more diversity, and give evidence of more drift toward a broad inclusiveness that embraces even those who practice a sexually immoral lifestyle.
- Participation in the National and World Councils of Churches (and their local affiliates) with their slant toward syncretism, and their reimagining God and allowing room for multiple gods and goddesses.
We are slanted:
- in favor of teaching and preaching the Bible as the authoritative Word of God, without error in the original autographs.
- in favor of belief in the deity of Christ, His virgin birth, His visible second coming, and His substitutionary atonement.
- in favor of the Ten Commandments, the biblical codes of decency, the rights of others, and the need to carry out the responsibilities that should go with our privileges and freedoms.
- against the new theology which rejects many orthodox Christian beliefs, and views God as being in the process of growth and change.
- against the new morality which accepts situation ethics as its premise, and sets no limits to diversity within the church.
- against the new evangelism which emphasizes dialogue instead of proclamation, and mutuality in mission instead of winning people to Christ.
- in favor of declaring that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation, and we are slanted against the commonly held idea that other religions are pathways to salvation, or that one can be in a right relationship with God apart from repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
- in favor of accepting biblical guidelines for human sexuality (chastity outside of marriage and lifelong fidelity in marriage) and we are slanted against premarital or extramarital relations, trial marriages, cohabitation outside of marriage and homosexual relations.
- in favor of affirming that the mission of the church is to evangelize the lost and to nurture believers, and we are slanted against discarding clearly mandated New Testament beliefs and practices which Brethren have historically observed.
- publishes the free bi-monthly publication, the BRF WITNESS, which contains one major article on a Bible teaching or current topic. Over 7,000 copies are sent to interested persons and congregations. To receive a sample copy, or to be placed on the mailing list, write or e-mail the BRF.
- published the Brethren New Testament Commentary series. This series simply takes the biblical text as it is, and give the exposition, along with applications for everyday life. The series of eighteen volumes was completed in 2011.
- meets with denominational officials on occasion to discuss vital issues.
- supervises the Brethren Mission Fund.
- conducts Brethren Bible Institutes.
- established three Brethren congregations in Maine.
- maintains a visible presence at the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference and some District Conferences.
- provides speakers for meetings, revival services, Bible conferences, teaching sessions, at no cost where requested.
- holds an annual General Meeting.
- sponsors the biennial Brethren Alive event at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania.
- maintains an Internet presence at http://www.brfwitness.org/
If you are reading this, you are already there.
There is no “official” way to become a member of the BRF. There are no cards to sign, no subscriptions to buy, and no dues to pay. Your name can be placed on our mailing list by requesting it here. Or you may write to the address below.
Brethren Revival Fellowship
P.O. Box 543
Ephrata, PA 17522-0543
If you find that you identify with the concerns and convictions of the BRF, you may consider yourself to be a part of the movement.
BRF certainly appreciates any support that is sent our way. BRF is recognized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and contributions are tax-deductible. Receipts are promptly sent. Contributions to help support the Brethren Revival Fellowship ministry should be sent to the Treasurer (made out to Brethren Revival Fellowship):
Carl L. Brubaker
1425 Furnace Hills Pike
Lititz, PA 17543
Or make a donation online, using the “Make A Donation” button in the right sidebar.
BRF also maintains an Endowment Fund and an Annuity Plan. For more information on these funds, please contact James F. Myer, 234 Keener Road, Lititz, PA 17543.
Who is BRF?
Often, BRF is identified by its leadership. Brethren Revival Fellowship is directed by a steering committee called the BRF Committee, approved on a regular basis by an annual meeting of all who identify with BRF. The Committee consists of the following, all of whom are ordained or licensed ministers in the Church of the Brethren:
The BRF Committee in early 2007: (L to R) Carl L. & Marilyn Brubaker, Walter & Peggy Heisey, David & Shawn Wenger, Samuel & Miriam Cassel, Paul Schildt, Craig Alan & Laura Myers, James F. & Faye Myer, Mervin & Rachel Groff, Harold S. & Priscilla Martin, Eric & Linda Brubaker, Kenneth Leininger, John & Sandy Shelly
Additionally, there is an Advisory Council made up of evangelical members from the 23 districts in the Church of the Brethren. The BRF Committee meets with this larger group annually.