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Evangelical Church

(Albrights; The So-called Albright People; Albrechtsbrüder). 1. Organized 1803 by Jacob Albright (Albrecht; 1759–1808; b. near Pottstown, Pennsylvania; confirmed Luth.; joined Meth. Ch. 1792). Under his instruction 20 converts from among the Ger.-speaking people in SE Pennsylvania formed 3 groups, called classes, in 1800 to pray with and for each other. Albright did not intend to found a new ch., but language barriers kept his group from uniting with Meths. In 1803 an ecclesiastical organization was effected at a gen. assem. Albright was consecrated and ordained as minister of the Gospel by laying on of hands in solemn prayer by his 2 associates, John Walter and Abraham Lieser. The 1st annual conf. was held Kleinfeltersville, Lebanon Co., Pennsylvania, November 1807. Albright was elected bp.; articles of faith were adopted. The 1st gen. conf. was held Buffalo Valley, Union, Co., Pennsylvania, October 1816; the name Evangelical Association was adopted. With increased use of Eng., work spread throughout the N part of the US from New Eng. to the Pacific and into Texas and Can. A Gen. Miss. Soc., organized 1839, worked in the US, Can., Ger., Switz., Poland, Latvia, Afr., China, Japan, Fr., Estonia. A Woman's Miss. Soc. was organized 1883. A division in 1891 resulted 1894 in the organization, by the minority group, of the United Ev. Ch. under Bp. Rudolph Dubs, Naperville, Illinois The 2 bodies reunited (see also Evangelical Congregational Church) 1922 as the Ev. Ch., which merged 1946 with the Ch. of the United* Brethren in Christ to form The Ev.* United Brethren Ch.; 1964 inclusive membership: 735,723. A pub. house was founded 1815; Der Christliche Botschafter, early official organ, was founded 1836. 1968 publications included Builders; Church and Home; The World Evangel. In 1968 The Ev. United Brethren Ch. became a part of The United Meth. Ch.

2. In doctrine the ch. is Arminian (see Arminianism); its articles of faith correspond closely to those of the Methodist* Chs..

3. Albright began a book of rules and order which was finished by George Miller (1774–1816) and adopted 1809. A connectional polity was est. Bps. were elected by the Gen. Conf.

R. W. Albright, A History of the Evangelical Church (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1942); see also Religious Bodies (US), Bibliography. of.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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