Historical video online

A new YouTube historical channel features vintage films and videos from the archives of the Church of the Brethren.

     Among the programs are:

  • copies of the popular General Board live reports shared at Annual Conferences during the 1980’s and ‘90s
  • the early NOAC Wrap-up summaries and
  • National Youth Conference and Annual Conference Wrap-ups from the 1980s and 90’s to the present

     Also included are some rare programs featuring significant Church of the Brethren ministries and events, including:

  • the original ABC News segment on the death of Ted Studebaker
  • the CBS News story of Enten Eller’s trial for failure to register with Selective Service and
  • a rare performance by legendary singer Slim Whitman at the 1982 Annual Conference

There are more than 50 historical presentations available for viewing, some that date back 40 years or more.

Following is a partial listing of the programs available for viewing in roughly chronological order. Click the headlines to watch the videos. To search for a specific name or word, click the three dots or lines in the upper right corner of your browser and choose the “find” option.

ABC News Story on Ted Studebaker

1972 ABC News story, including lead in by Anchor Harry Reasoner, about the death of Brethren volunteer Ted Studebaker in Vietnam. It was narrated by ABC News correspondent Jim Kincaid.

CBS Story on Enten Eller

Report from CBS News with Dan Rather in 1982 on the one day trial of Bridgewater College student Enten Eller, the first person in the nation to be charged with failure to register for the  reinstated Selective Service System. The story was presented by CBS correspondent Fred Graham.

Nigeria: A Thing of Wonder

This was an award winning documentary filmed and released in 1982 by the Church of the Brethren General Board, detailing the growth of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN), the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria.

Slim Whitman at the 1982 Annual Conference

Legendary singer Slim Whitman, who at the time was associated with a Church of the Brethren in Florida, made a guest appearance at the 1982 Annual Conference held in Wichita, Kansas, where he performed a song for the delegate body. Slim Whitman sold over 120 million records and accumulated a huge worldwide following. The video, which is public, has been viewed thousands of times since it was posted on the main Church of the Brethren YouTube channel in 2017.

M.R. Zigler: Portrait of a Peacemaker

This is a documentary produced in the mid 1980’s by David Sollenberger. It includes an interview with him in 1984 at New Windsor, Maryland, less than a year or so before his death. The documentary also includes the observations of a number of Church of the Brethren leaders, including historian Don Durnbaugh, who noted the significance of MR on both the Church of the Brethren, and the wider church.

National Youth Conference Wrap-Up 1986

Theme: Vision from the Mountain
Coordinator: Brian Harley
Speakers include Miller Fuller, David Parker (signer), Andy & Terry Murray concert excerpt

Moderators Bill Hayes and Elaine Sollenberger – the “Odd Couple”

Moderator Bill Hayes passes the Moderator gavel to Elaine Sollenberger at the 1988 Annual Conference and remarks how gender and race should no longer play a part in choosing leadership for the Church of the Brethren, calling the two of them the “odd couple”. Bill was the first Black Church of the Brethren Moderator; Elaine, the first woman Moderator.

BVS: Who is My Neighbor – 1989

This is the first video created for Brethren Voluntary Service, featuring profiles of BVSers in various places around the country and the world, including Bill and Jeanne Chappel, Mark Bucher, Ida May Van Baale, Gerry Tyrrell, Jody Ellingson, Melissa Bell, Tom Hickey, Pam Rutter, and Nancy Shallenberger.

Church of the Brethren 1989 General Board Live Report

Theme: I am doing something New. Can you not perceive it?
Host: Don Miller
Video segments include: Signs of Newness – Shalom Walk, Koreatown, Lighting Torch of Conscience Campaign, Suzanne Bosler, Gilbert Romero, Bella Vista, California

Andy Murray – Story behind “There’ll Be No Lines for the Brethren”

Brethren song singer and song writer Andy Murray tells the story of how he wrote, “There’ll be no lines for the Brethren at the Microphones in Heaven”, recounting his observations at the 1989 Annual Conference when a delegate was trying to speak on an issue at the microphone and was unsuccessful. (Editor’s note: The young lady who wanted to speak was later identified as Darla Kay Bowman from Virginia).

Church of the Brethren 1990 General Board Live Report

Theme: Called to the Border
Host: David Radcliff (as border guard)
Video segments include: Russian Orthodox Church, Jennifer Casolo, former kidnapped volunteer in El Salvador. Creation – Noel Grove from National Geographic magazine, Joyce McFadden’s story, Chicago First Church Choir, Nicaragua workcamp with Mission Christiani from Cuba.

Two Cents a Meal Concert

This concert at the 1990 Annual Conference celebrated the fund raising campaign, “Two Cents a Meal” which challenged people to earmark $.02 for every meal they eat toward a donation for hunger relief projects. Presenters include Andy Murray, Shawn Kirshner, Kim Murray, Ventriloquist Derwin and Sourdough, Steve Kinzie, Roger and Carolyn Schrock.

National Youth Conference Wrap-Up 1990

Theme: Challenged in the’90s, Committed for Life
Coordinators: Rhonda Pittman
Speakers include: Andy Murray, Tony Campolo, Ken Medema (music), Joan Deeter, James Fouther, David Parker (signer), Gilbert Romero, Deanna Brown, David Radcliff

Church of the Brethren 1991 General Board Live Report

Theme: Great Brethren Bus Tour
Hosts: June Gibble and Tara Durnbaugh, Ron Petry
Video segments include: Nigeria vitality, Celia and Owen Shankster, new church plant at East Cocalico, Bible school in Ellisford, Washington, Germantown vitality, Journey in Jesus’ Way resource introduced, Korea trip by Joan Hershey.

Church of the Brethren 1992 General Board Live Report

Theme: A New Heart and a New Spirit
Hosts: Andrew Wright, Carol Bowman, David Eastis
Video segments include: Evangelism examples – Germantown, Central Evangelical Chiques, Puerto Rico, Ottumwa, Iowa, Red Hill, Virginia, Oakland, Ohio, Mt. View, Idaho, LittleMiddleTall video introduced, Dominican Republic, Calling and Training Exploring Call to Ministry.

National Older Adult Conference 1992 Wrap-Up

Theme: “Say Yes to Years”
Coordinators: Alice and Hubert Newcomer.
Speaker excerpts from Earle Fike, Jr., G. Kermit Phelps, Paul Robinson, Patricia Helman, Barbara Cuffie, LaVon Rupel, Elizabeth Welsh, Tana Durnbaugh.

BVS The Real World

The story of Brethren Volunteer Service through the voices of volunteers across the U.S. and Europe. It was produced in 1993.

Church of the Brethren 1993 General Board Live Report

Theme: The church’s ministry to and with children
Hosts: Marie Weller, Dan Smith, Salem (Ohio) Children’s Choir
Video segments include: Ramona Pence on TV violence, Jubilee Curriculum, Brethren Service Center 50 years, child care, LA litter clean up, Sudan refugee camp

Freedom for Creative Living: The First 50 Years of the Brethren Pension Plan

This is a 1993 look at the first 50 years of Brethren Benefit Trust as it evolved from the early days of taking care of the pension needs of Church of the Brethren church leaders. It features interviews and profiles of several long-time Church of the Brethren leaders, including Galen Ogden, Dean Rohrer, Stanley Wampler. It includes observations from former BBT staff including Wil Nolen, Cheryl Ingold, Joel Thompson, Anne Myers, and others.

Church of the Brethren 1994 General Board Live Report

Hosts: LuAnne Harley, Barb Sayler, Brian Kruschwitz, Shawn Kirchner
Music by JOYA, Alan Boleyn drumming
Video segments include: Non-Conformity in the Church of the Brethren, Peg and Jim Lehman, Steve Kinzie, Gilbert Bond, NYC Preview, Chinese refugees sponsored by York, Pennsylvania, Brethren, Golden Dome response Yvonne Dilling, Journey of Hope death penalty march, Phil and Louise Rieman Sudan story

National Older Adult Conference 1994 Wrap-Up

Theme: “The Best Is Yet To Be” 
Coordinators: Gordon and Darlene Bucher
Speaker excerpts from Curtis Dubble, Dortha Fry, Phill Carlos Archbold, Bob Neff, Rosalita Leonard, S. Loren Bowman, Don Durnbaugh, Judy Mills Reimer, and Elaine Sollenberger

Love Feast last supper

Donna Shumate, an attorney and former General Board Chair, told the story at the 1995 Annual Conference of a client of hers who had been sentenced to death, but who became familiar with the Church of the Brethren practice of love feast while in prison. She told Donna that she wanted the newspapers to publish that her last meal would be love feast.

Church of the Brethren 1995 General Board Live Report

Theme: Continuing the Work of Jesus
Hosts: Chris Bowman and Judith Kipp
Video segments include: Columbia, Maryland, Church of the Brethren violent toy turn-in, Buena Vista and Bella Vista church partnership, SOS kits to Sudan, Ron and Harriet Finney on Lafiya congregations

Tom Mullen Plenary on Humor

Earlham School of Religion professor Tom Mullen speaks at the 1996 National Older Adult Conference of the Church of the Brethren meeting at Lake Junaluska. In it, he details the hierarchy of operations, to ensure that each recipient of an operation knows where his or her procedure ranks compared to others’ procedures.

National Older Adult Conference 1996 Wrap-Up

Theme: Reach for your Dreams
Coordinator: Em Davidson
Speaker excerpts from Stephen Reid, Keith Miller, Tom Mullen, David Waas, Nevin Zuck, Nancy Faus, Jean Hendricks.

Celebration of Service: 50 Years of the Brethren Service Center

This is a look at the first 50 years of the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor Maryland. Interviews include: Charlie Sackett, Ken McDowell, Hazel Peters, Wayne Buckle, Roy Hiteshew, Ralph Delk, Fran Nyce, Robert Ebey, Ray Bowman, Elsie Yohn, Helen Kyle Carlisle, Mac Coffman, William Eberly, Donna Derr, Carol Hulver, Elizabeth Bruckhart Miller, Julie Ann Roop Carins, Ken Morse. Produced in the mid 1990s

John Kline Bicentennial Celebration

Brethren from around the country gathered in Broadway, VA from June 13-15, 1997 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Brethren leader John Kline, a doctor and minister who served as Annual Conference Moderator during the Civil War, and was martyred as he returned from a preaching engagement.

Sister Helen Prejean on the Death Penalty and Dead Man Walking

Sister Helen Prejean talks about the death penalty, and tells the story of how her book was turned into the award winning film Dead Man Walking, including interesting behind-the-scenes stories of the filming of the movie, for which she was a consultant. The speech was presented in1997 to an Association of Brethren Caregivers event called “Caring Ministries 2000”, held at Manchester College.

Steve Engle Ventriloquist

Brethren musician and song writer Steve Engle from Huntingdon, PA provided his skills as a ventriloquist at the 1998 National Older Adult Conference. His program begins after some preliminary presentations by NOAC News and some announcements.

Building a multicultural church

This video, published in 1999, challenged the Church of the Brethren to become more of a multicultural church. It was filmed at a gathering of what was the Urban – Ethnic Consultation gathering in Kansas City, Missouri.

Celebrating God’s Word in Sudan

This video from 2000 tells the story of Church of the Brethren funding and involvement in the translation of the Old Testament into the language used by the Nuer people of Sudan. The work was done by Lester and Esther Boleyn through the American Bible Society. The video details their work, and the delivery of the first copies of the new Bible to the people of Sudan, complicated by the crashing of their plane in Mading, Sudan. Fortunately, they and everyone on board, including videographer David Sollenberger, escaped serious injury.

Sudan plane crash through the window of the plane

Unedited footage by David Sollenberger helps to tell the miraculous story from Sudan (2000). Last-minute changes to a major ceremony, a harrowing flight, and a land torn apart by war and famine couldn’t stop God’s Word from coming to the Nuer people. This short video shows the crash and aftermath.

Another Way of Believing: Bob Neff Interviews Dale Brown

This is a discussion between Former General Secretary and Juniata College President and Bethany Theological Seminary faculty member Bob Neff, and former Bethany Seminary professor Dale Brown. It was done in coordination of the publication of the book Another Way of Believing by Dale Brown and filmed at Annual Conference in 2005.

A History of the Camp Mack Murals by Bill Eberly

This is a presentation made by Former Annual Conference Moderator and Secretary Bill Eberly about the Church of the Brethren murals, painted by Medford Nehr and displayed at Camp Mack in Indiana. The lecture, with copious images of the murals, was presented at the Brethren Heritage Center in Brookville, Ohio, October 7, 2007.

History of “Move in Our Midst

The history of the popular Church of the Brethren hymn “Move in Our Midst” is explored in this short video, which includes interviews with hymn writer Ken Morse, as well as noted Brethren musicians Andy Murray, Nancy Faus Mullen, and other church leaders. The video was created for the 2013 Annual Conference, for which Move in Our Midst was the theme.

Vision Statement Presentation

The vision statement adopted by Annual Conference for the last half of the 2000 decade is presented by the Apostle Peter and the Apostle Paul, portrayed by Larry Glick and David Sollenberger for the Annual Conference in St. Louis in 2013.

Shawn Kirchner – Story behind “On My Way”

Brethren singer and composer Shawn Kirchner tells the story of how he wrote the much loved song, “On My Way”, including his interaction around the song with the widow of slain Civil Rights leader Medger Evers. He performs the song as part of the Good-Bye Still Night concert at Manchester Church of the Brethren in 2018.