The “Chambersburg Meeting” at which about 50 persons from 13 districts—District Executives, Standing Committee members, prominent pastors—gathered in an “exploratory meeting” to evaluate the concerns for the direction of the Church of the Brethren and how to respond. After several hours of vigorous discussion and earnest prayer, the group agreed to “explore the process to separate from the denomination.” Three primary concerns were cited as reasons for this move:
- The need to provide a haven for congregations who are making the decision to leave, but want to retain their Brethren values, and do not want to be independent.
- The failure of the denomination to stand strong on Biblical Authority.
- The recent compelling vision process that completely skirted around the homosexual issue and will likely do little, if anything, to bring closure to this major point of division.
A ten point vision was proposed. A temporary Executive Board was named out of the group as well as several sub-committees who are to begin researching all aspects of this move.
August 2019 – February 2020
The subcommittees selected at Chambersburg had numerous meetings in person and by phone/ZOOM to research, discuss, and propose to the Temporary Executive Board, the various details of location, faith statement, bylaws, name, and structure.
All of these activities were bathed in prayer.
September 2019 and February 2020
Face to face meetings of the Executive Board with the Church of the Brethren Leadership Team. While these meetings were useful for communication, they bore no fruit as to repairing and healing the Church of the Brethren.
A larger meeting of about 160 persons met at Calvary Church in Winchester, VA, to follow through with reports and further suggestions for the subcommittees.
A yet larger gathering at the Antioch Church in Woodstock, VA, to hear more information, and choose a name and a preferred location for a central office. The name Covenant Brethren Church was selected from three proposals, and the Fairmont/Clarksburg, WV area was chosen as the preferred location. The Statement of Faith and the Bylaws were reviewed with further input from the gathering.
An official Facebook page and website were established.
January 2020 – Present
Executive Board members responding to requests for more information from congregations and clusters of congregations in Indiana, West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland. We respond as we are invited.
February 1, 2020
Meeting of Executive Board and subcommittees to approve the Statement of Faith and the Bylaws. The Bylaws incorporated the Statement of Faith as an integral part. The group formalized the decision to incorporate.
February – October 2020
Planning for first Annual Meeting. It was delayed twice due to COVID-19.
May 22, 2020
After technical formatting and revisions of the Bylaws, the State of West Virginia approved the formal establishment of Covenant Brethren Church, Inc. as a West Virginia non-profit religious corporation.
May 29, 2020
A logo for CBC was revealed, with the Cross as central, our roots in the Brethren heritage, and our commitment to be led by the Word of God as illumined by the Holy Spirit.
July 15, 2020
Denominational insurance secured.
July 17-18, 2020
First congregations received as CBC members and first credentials received for CBC ministers in meetings at Hawthorne Church in Tennessee and Brummitt’s Creek Church in North Carolina.
Informational pamphlet with Frequently Asked Questions developed. Publication of separate Statement of Faith and Bylaws Pamphlets.
Office space secured at 503 Morgantown Avenue in Fairmont, WV.
More ministers and congregations received.
October 23-24, 2020
The first Annual Meeting and Worship Conference of the Covenant Brethren Church.