The Brethren Historical Library and Archives (BHLA) recently acquired the papers of The Rev. H. Austin Cooper (1911-1999) from his son, Larry C. Cooper, of Landenberg, PA. The Rev. Cooper was a well-known Church of the Brethren minister who served congregations in Illinois, Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. A fine historian, he authored four books and various other publications.
Recently, the BHLA received several boxes of records from the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, MD. A large portion of these records originated with the now defunct Brethren Service Center in Modesto, CA. Among the usual photographs of the center and its activities lay one of Charles Schulz, the creator of the comic strip Peanuts.
Here are several photographic images of Church of the Brethren baptisms in the early 1900s. All are from the photographic collection of the Brethren Historical Library and Archives. Each minister baptizing was either already an elder or became one during the course of their ministry. The eldership was officially abolished by the Church of the Brethren in 1967.
Following are some images related to Alexander Mack, Sr. (1679-1735), founder and first minister of the Church of the Brethren and related Brethren bodies, which the general reader may not have seen and which may be of interest.
Described as “the foremost Pennsylvania German bibliophile and a widely known authority on the literature of the Germans in America…,” Abraham Cassel was a 19th-century Pennsylvania German book collector and antiquarian whose personal collection in his home in Harleysville, PA, – the “Cassel Library” –served as the major informational source for Martin Grove Brumbaugh’s History of