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Brethren – Glimpses From Bowman

by on September 10, 2014


Brethren Society – The Transformation of a Peculiar People (pp.301-302).

In one paragraph Carl F. Bowman outlines the move from elders to district control among the Brethren.

1. …the 1921 creation of the General Ministerial Board with satellite ministerial boards at the district level.

2. The purpose of these boards was to … encourage ministerial elections…

3. They would be careful to not encroach upon district elders’ supervision of ministerial affairs.

4. This cautious strategy was soon abandoned.

5. A more authoritative strategy replaced the cautious strategy.

6. Ministerial boards were given direct jurisdiction of a variety of ministerial matters.

7. Ministerial boards jurisdiction included ordaining elders.

Why did the ‘conservative’ Brethren accept this progression of district control?

Bowman further asserts “Their loyalty to Annual Meeting would compel them to revise their traditional elder-centered system, even though it still worked.

So, Annual Meeting and keeping the family together trumped the long heritage of the Brethren as a separated people.

The Brethren who once taught the need for the transformation of Romans 12:1-2 now were being transformed way from the Scripture by the acculturation process.

Conservatives were placed on the defensive and soon the progressives/liberals were in control.

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