What is the Grace Brethren, is it a denomination, and is it similar to Baptist denominations?
The Fellowship of Grace Brethren is a voluntary association of churches sharing common doctrinal beliefs in a voluntary association of churches in the USA, Canada, and around the world. Grace is technically not a denomination in that it does not operate under a hierarchal structure and attracts students from a wide variety of backgrounds, both Calvinistic and Arminian. The worldwide Grace Brethren movement includes over 1300 churches, with a heavy concentration in central Africa. Although the doctrinal beliefs of the Grace Brethren is very similar to conservative Baptist denominations, Grace has several ordinances that make them unique because of their Brethren/Pietistic background. These include the three-fold communion consisting of foot washing, the love feast, and communion. All believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are welcome at the three-fold communion service and is therefore an open communion of the body of Christ.
When you examine Grace’s doctrinal statement you will discover the following elements:
- Reformed theology
- Pietistic, with emphasis on a living faith and holy lifestyle
- Anabaptist, where only professing believers partake of baptism
More information about the beliefs of the Grace Brethren Fellowship can be found on http://gts.grace.edu/becomeastudent/doctrinal_statement.php.
History of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches is available at http://www.fgbc.org/whoarewe/our-history.cfm.