“May This Boy Be a Living Witness of the Blessed Jesus”: Church of the Brethren Mission Work in India

This past summer Warren Garner donated letters to BHLA that were written between his parents and his mother to her parents. These letters were written while the Garner family was living in India, and the letters were written while the Garner family was Church of the Brethren Missionaries in India. By the time the Garners arrived in India the Church of the Brethren already had a history of mission work in India. The Church started here in 1895 and continued until the Church of the Brethren in India became an independent church. The Garner family was in India from 1916 until 1932, and these family letters give us the chance to see the mission field through a different lens.

Brauer/Brower family documents

Hubert and Anna Brower, and their three sons and a daughter, were Mennonites from the small hamlet of Fuss Gonheim, just across the Rhine River from Mannheim, in the Palatinate. They were part of a Swiss-German Mennonite community who fled Switzerland under persecution, and who then fled Germany seeking religious freedom in William Penn’s colony of Pennsylvania.

“We must continue to labor to build the temple of peace.” Andrew Cordier: Brethren Peacemaker

Andrew Cordier did many great things in his life, but not many people recognize his name. An article about Cordier that was published in the year 1995 in the Church of the Brethren magazine Messenger said this about Cordier. “He wasn’t one of the eight Brethren ‘saints’ portrayed as call claimers at the recent Charlotte Annual Conference. He has never been romanticized like Dan West, M. R. Zigler, or Anna Mow. Many Brethren today don’t even recognize his name. But Andrew W. Cordier deserves a place in the Brethren pantheon.”1 Cordier did many things for the world; the major one was his role in the founding of the United Nations, an organization that continues to have effects on the world today. Sadly, his name has slipped into obscurity. It is time that the name Andrew Cordier came back into the history books, and the world should thank this great man from Canton, Ohio.

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