The current North Bend Church was organized in 1822 with 14 charter members. After meeting in homes and a barn, a house was built in 1850, but was later moved to its present location in Danville in 1870. It was known, as it is today, as North Bend Church because of the bend in the road around the current Danville church building. At that time, the women sat on the right hand side and the men on the left hand side of the church. The growth of the church resulted in the first addition in 1893. In 1927, the church had its first salaried pastor. Another change in the structure happened in 1963 when a basement was added.
In 1920, when driving in the church yard, there stood a beautiful country church with stables on the northwest side for the horses and buggies as automobiles were rare. Before the women entered the church, they put their prayer coverings on. Everyone was very reverent inside the church, and families sat together. There was not a piano or organ. A yearly picnic was held either at the church or at Horn’s Grove.
In 1985, the sanctuary was updated. The church continued to grow and change.
In 2007 planning started for remodeling the church as we had outgrown our facilities. Discussion about adding on, or building a new church a short distance from the current one continued for several months , but there was one obstacle after another that blocked that from happening. Then the idea of purchasing a vacant church at Butler came into view. On January 13, 2008 a church was planted with the district’s help at Butler, Ohio. There were 305 present at the first service. (God’s miracle) of the North Bend Church of the Brethren, Clear Fork branch. On July 27, 2008 the first baptism was held at the Johnson Family Farm pond when 13 were baptized and some transferred their membership with reaffirming the faith.
We now minister to 300 per week between the two sites.
Digging Deeper in the History of the Our Denomination
The Church of the Brethren was born in Schwarzenau, Germany in the midst of the Pietistic Movement in 1708. Their purpose was to restore the beliefs and practices of the early Christians and were led by Alexander Mack. After persecution by the state church, nearly all of the Brethren left Germany and moved to the Colony of Pennsylvania from 1719 to 1729.
The Brethren denomination accepts the New Testament as its rule of faith and practice. We affirm that Jesus Christ is Lord of all life, and stress the importance of Christian discipleship and service to others. We place a strong emphasis on fellowship and unity among its believers. The Church of the Brethren practice peace-making through non-violence and constructive loving service. There are over 1,000 congregations across the United States, as well as a network of local and overseas mission efforts. There are 40 congregations located in Northern Ohio.