Plymouth Brethren

Plymouth Brethren
a loosely organized body of Christians founded in Plymouth, England, about 1830, having no ordained ministry, no formal creed or ritual, and accepting the Bible as the only guide.

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▪ religious community
      community of Christians whose first congregation was established in Plymouth, Devon, England, in 1831. The movement originated in Ireland and England a few years earlier with groups of Christians who met for prayer and fellowship. Biblical prophecy and the Second Coming of Christ were emphasized. John Nelson Darby, a former clergyman in the Church of Ireland (Anglican), soon became the dominant personality in the movement. He founded groups of Brethren in many parts of the British Isles and in continental Europe, especially in French Switzerland, where he spent the greater part of the period 1838–45.

      After Darby returned to England in 1845, disputes over doctrine and church government split the Brethren. Darby's followers formed a closely knit federation of churches and were known as Exclusive Brethren; the others, called Open Brethren, maintained a congregational form of church government and less rigorous standards for membership. Exclusive Brethren have suffered further divisions.

      Brethren of all parties recognize no order of clergy or ministers as distinct from the laity. A communion service is celebrated every Sunday. Practically all groups practice believer's Baptism, although some Exclusive Brethren, following Darby's practice, baptize children of members.

      The Plymouth Brethren have been active in foreign missionary work, principally in Central Africa, India, and Latin America. Brethren are found throughout the English-speaking world and in most European countries. In the United States, which they reached in the early 1860s, there are at least seven separate groups. The Open Brethren, also called “Christian Brethren,” reported 100,000 U.S. members and 1,150 U.S. congregations in 1997. Christian Brethren in Canada reported 50,000 members and 600 congregations in 1997. Membership statistics are unavailable for the Exclusive Brethren.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Plymouth Brethren — Plym outh Breth ren The members of a religious sect which first appeared at Plymouth, England, about 1830. They protest against sectarianism, and reject all official ministry or clergy. Also called {Brethren}, {Christian Brethren}, {Plymouthists} …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Plymouth Brethren — The Plymouth Brethren is a conservative, Evangelical Christian movement, whose history can be traced to Dublin, Ireland, in the late 1820s.[1][2] Although the group is notable for not taking any official church name to itself, and not having an… …   Wikipedia

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  • PLYMOUTH BRETHREN —    one of the most influential NEW RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS to emerge in the nineteenth century; founded by John Nelson Darby (1800 1882) in 1830. The Brethren split into a number of different groups including the extremist EXCLUSIVE BRETHREN and… …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Plymouth Brethren —    See Brethren …   Encyclopedia of Protestantism

  • PLYMOUTH BRETHREN —    an anti clerical body of Christians, one of the earliest communities of which was formed in Plymouth about 1830; they accept, along with Pre Millenarian views, generally the Calvinistic view of the Christian religion, and exclude all… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Plymouth Brethren — plural noun a strict Calvinistic religious body formed at Plymouth in Devon, having no formal creed or ministry and emphasizing an expected millennium …   English new terms dictionary

  • Plymouth Brethren — /plɪməθ ˈbrɛðrən/ (say plimuhth bredhruhn) plural noun a Christian denomination which originated in the 1820s in the UK in Plymouth, Bristol, and Dublin, based on a conservative and puritanical theology, but having no formal creed and no order of …   Australian-English dictionary

  • Plymouth Brethren — a strict Calvinistic religious body formed at Plymouth in Devon c.1830, having no formal creed and no official order of ministers …   Useful english dictionary

  • Plymouth Brethren — Plym|outh Breth|ren n [plural] a Christian organization that has very strict moral rules and is opposed to religious ceremony …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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