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Church of God (New Dunkers)

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Church of God (New Dunkers)

The Church of God (New Dunkers) is a now-extinct body that divided in 1848 from the Schwarzenau Brethren (The group originating from the Schwarzenau Brethren were also called 'Fraternity of German Baptists', or 'German Baptist Brethren', referenced as Dunkers or Tunkers. The group's official name changed in the 1880s to 'Church of the Brethren').

The New Dunkers appear indebted to Peter Eyman for their origin. In the Fall of 1827, the "Dunker" Church in ca. 1805–1852), who was the church's first preacher. Then Eyman moved from Ohio in 1828 to Carroll County, Indiana, serving in what became the Bachelor's Run and Lower Deer Creek churches.

Bachelor's Run was the first Brethren Church in Carroll County. The congregation was organized by Peter Eyman in 1829. In 1838 trouble began between Eyman and fellow minister Peter Replogle, which resulted in a division of church territory. Replogle started the Deer Creek congregation. Around 1845 Peter Eyman and another minister, George Patton, advocated "variant practices" for which they were disfellowshipped by the Annual Conference in 1848.

The Eyman/Patton group were popularly known as the New Dunkers, but they called themselves the Church of God, insisting that Bible things should be called by Bible names. They took the position that Church of God was the only scriptural church name. In doctrine and practice, they were close to the Brethren from whom they evolved, faithfully observing trine forward immersion, feet washing, the holy kiss, anointing with oil, etc. In the 1940s there were eight churches with about 500 members. The Church of God (New Dunkers) disbanded in August 1962.

References

  • Handbook of Denominations (1956 edition), by Frank S. Mead
  • The Small Sects in America, by Elmer T. Clark


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