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The following terms reflect the culture of the Church of the Brethren, a denomination grounded on the principles of Anabaptism and founded through the Pietist efforts of Alexander Mack, in the summer of 1708 near the small German village of Schwarzenau. This resource is not an exhaustive compilation of all denominational terminology, which might also be garnered from other Brethren works, such as the Brethren Encyclopedia, Brethren Bibliography, European Origins, Brethren in America, Ephrata Cloister, 19th Century Acculturation, Brethren Timeline, Brethren Groups, and Brethren Genealogy. You are encouraged to share your comments, suggestions, or corrections with the Web Administrator.


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Letter K
Kline, John (1797-1864)

A horseback riding German Baptist Brethren preacher, farmer, and four time moderator of Annual Meeting (now Annual Conference). He was born June 17, 1797 in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, but, around the age of eleven or twelve, moved with his parents to Virginia along the Linville Creek. Later as a young farmer his German linage had taught him the value of hard work, and he prospered enough to generously share with others. Part of his farm was donated to the local Brethren congregation on which now stands the Linville Creek Church of the Brethren. It was this church that called him to be a deacon. In the coming years he proceeded through all three degrees of ministry and became a full Elder in 1848. Kline traveled on horseback to preach in surrounding territories, accumulating thousands of miles and the opportunity to accumulate many friends at the denominational level. He began serving on numerous committees and preparing reports for the Annual Meeting. In 1861 he was selected as its Moderator and remained in that office for another three years. During the Civil War he repeatedly crossed military front lines with passes that he received from both sides. Kline was strongly opposed to military service and slavery, two elements that made life increasingly difficult. As the intensity of the war and hatred of each side for the other increased, so did the warnings and death threats, because of his frequent traveling in both Union and Confederate. It would have been understandable for some people to believe that he was a spy, under the cover of ministry. He was ambushed on June 15, 1864 while returning home. A marker still commemorates the spot.

In his diary for Thursday, February 22, 1849, Kline expressed his feelings about what he deemed to be true patriotism.

“My highest conception of patriotism is found in the man who loves the Lord his God with all his heart and his neighbor as himself. Out of these affections spring the subordinate love for ones country; love truly virtuous for ones companion and children, relatives, and friends; and in its most comprehensive sense, takes in the whole human family. Were this love universal, the word patriotism, in its specific sense, meaning such a love for one's country as makes its possessors ready and willing to take up arms in its defense, might be appropriately expunged from every national vocabulary.”   Brethren Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 702.

Kulp Bible College

A Nigerian school of ministry created by the Church of the Brethren in 1960. The school is named after its Brethren missionary co-founder Harold Stover Kulp. On March 17, 1923, Kulp and Albert Helser, along with thirty-three Nigerians, conducted the first Brethren open air worship service in Nigeria, under a spreading tamarind tree near the village of Garkida.

Letter K
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““For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.””
Philippians 4:9