Origin & Rise of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ
at Lebanon and Vicinity.
"History of the East Pennsylvania Conference of the
Church of the United Brethren in Christ"
by Phares Brubaker Gibble - Copyright, 1951
The Otterbein Press, Dayton, Ohio
All but one of the ORIGINAL reformers (leaders in the
United Brethren movement) were of the Mennonite Order and
Mennonite Reformers. One had Moravian background.
Reasons for chartering new group: Differing positions on
Doctrine and Practice.
In the beginning, families were grouped, and one of the first
of such groups were "The United Brethren Shueys of Lebanon
An Amish brethren (Abraham Draksel) settled in the Eben-
ezer area and preached AGAINST their rigid OUTWARD rules,
forms or ordinances, and encouraged INNER peace and joy.
He offended the strict Amish who tried to silence him. They
did not succeed and he became associated with the United
Brethren and labored 43 years.
Light's Meeting House was erected in 1817 (by Trustees of
the Mennonist Society).
Shirk's Union Meeting House was erected in 1825.
The First Salem Church in Lebanon was built in 1845.
"It is evident that out of the soul of the Mennonite Reforma-
tion grew the Society known by the name (Allgemeinem) or
United Brethren In Christ". In 1817 it changed from "Univer-
sal, Impartial or Unparteiischen (Unsectarian) Mennonites" to
complete adherence to the United Brethren. It was a gradual
change and little noted or noticed.
Ebenezer grew out of Lebanon Salem and Light's Meeting
House as follows:
The "work of the Lebanon Congregation was heavy enough
for the preacher in charge, and the care of the rural CLASSES
was largely in the hands of local preachers, answerable to Salem
One of these RURAL CLASSES was known as the "Blauch's
Class". This class met in the homes of the community, which
in time was called "Ebenezer". It was in existence as early as
A board of trustees, consisting of Joseph T. Light, Jacob L.
Light, Josiah Meyer, Daniel W. Zeller and Henry Blouch was
constituted for the Ebenezer Class.
Under the trusteeship of these men, a brick church, costing
about $5,000 was erected in 1871 in the village of Ebenezer.
Minor improvements were made on this building from time to
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