Evangelical Association is an American denomination founded in 1800 in eastern Pennsylvania by Jacob Albright (hence often called in German "Albrechtsleute"), a Methodist lay preacher, who wished to reach his German brethren with the Methodist message, and because the Methodist church refused to work among the Germans, felt constrained to start a new group. The name Evangelical Association was adopted at the first general conference of the group in 1816. In earlier days a number of Mennonites joined the Evangelical Association both in eastern Pennsylvania and elsewhere. A secession in 1891 led to the formation of the United Evangelical Church, which was reunited in the parent body in 1922 under the name Evangelical Church. In 1946 this body (215,000 members) was merged with a majority group of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ (also known as the United Brethren Church, co-founded by Martin Boehm) to form the Evangelical United Brethren Church. A minority group of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, led by Bishop Milton Wright (the father of aviation pioneers Wilbur Wright and Orville Wright), continued under that name.
In 1968 the Evangelical United Brethren (EUB) in the United States merged with The Methodist Church to form the United Methodist Church. At that time approximately 50 congregations within the Evangelical United Brethren Church withdrew and formed The Evangelical Church of North America (eventually the Canadian branch of the Evangelical Church of North America withdrew to form its own denomination, the Evangelical Church in Canada, which later merged with the Missionary Church of Canada in 1993 to form the Evangelical Missionary Church in Canada). In Canada, EUB congregations joined the United Church of Canada in 1968, a 1925 merger of Methodists, Congregationalists, and some Presbyterians.
The branch of the Evangelical Association established in Germany in 1865 (first mission work in Germany in 1850) is called the Evangelische Gemeinschaft. The Evangelical Synod, which merged with the Reformed Church in 1934 to form the Evangelical and Reformed Church, was a different church, founded in 1840 in St. Louis and is not to be confused with the Evangelical Church (Association).
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1083. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Bender, Harold S. and Richard D. Thiessen. "Evangelical Association." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. December 2008. Web. 19 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/evangelical_association.
APA style: Bender, Harold S. and Richard D. Thiessen. (December 2008). Evangelical Association. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/evangelical_association.