Our History and Heritage
United Brethren Church has the distinction of being the first
denomination to actually begin in the United States. Other denominations
existed at the time (Lutheran, Reformed, Mennonite, and others),
but they were transplants from Europe. The United Brethren church
was truly "Made in America."
All Started in a Barn
It was 1767, and an inter-denominational renewal movement was sweeping
through the colonies. Back then, Christians would gather in what
they called "Great Meetings." These were lively affairs.
Several hundred people from all over might spend several days
hearing a string of stirring speakers.
Long hosted a Great Meeting at his big
barn in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Martin Boehm, a Mennonite
preacher, told his story of becoming a Christian and a minister.
It deeply moved William
Otterbein, a German Reformed pastor. Otterbein left his seat,
embraced Boehm, and said loud enough for everyone to hear, "Wir
sind bruder" (German for "We are Brethren").
Out of this revival movement came a new denomination, and it took
its name from Otterbein's words: United Brethren in Christ.
If you would like to know more about the United Brethren Denomination,
visit our denominational website at http://www.ub.org.
Pixley United Brethren Church
In 1884, the Tulare Circuit of the United Brethren Church began
a mission Sunday School in the Lakeside area of Tulare County.
Soon after establishment, the new church relocated to the new
town of Pixley. Services were held in a house which doubled as
the parsonage until the present church building was constructed
in the 1920's -- the first church building in Pixley.
Church of the United Brethren in Christ, USA, consists of about
200 churches and other ministries throughout the United States.
It also oversees churches in Haiti and India. We are part of an
international United Brethren fellowship which includes work in
Long's barn, birthplace of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ.