About Grantham bic Church

For more than 100 years, Grantham Church has been providing a welcoming place to worship Christ. Our unique location is just steps away from the Messiah College campus and gives us a unique opportunity to reach people in Grantham and the nearby Mechanicsburg community, as well as those who are studying at Messiah and their families.

We’re proud of this special aspect of our church. We claim many current and retired professors of the college, as well as a number of alumni, as members of our congregation. They value the balance we strike in appealing to people at different parts of their lives.

A Brief History of the Brethren in Christ

The Brethren in Christ (BIC) roots date more than 100 years before Grantham Church was erected.

Most historians believe the BIC began between the years of 1775 to 1788 when a group of Mennonites along the Susquehanna River believed it was necessary to have a Spirit-empowered faith that was transformative for the individual, the church, and the world around them. This was in response to the over-intellectualization of the faith among Anabaptists in those years.

These Anabaptists embraced Pietism and began referring to themselves as “the Brethren” or “River Brethren" to distinguish them from Mennonites. Around the time of the Civil War in the United States, the Brethren decided to record themselves under the present name, “Brethren in Christ.”

During the early years of the BIC, people met in others’ houses instead of establishing a place of their own to worship. The BIC eventually developed a strong focus on missions and church-planting and began to spread its influence —existing today in over 20 countries worldwide.

While the spiritual identity of the Grantham Church is unique to our local context, we’re guided by and committed to beliefs and practices from four major historical streams of the BIC:

  • Anabaptism — non-violence, peacemaking, service, simple living, etc.

  • Pietism — heart-felt conversion and personal experiences of renewed life in Christ

  • Wesleyanism — Arminian theology (free will), holy living, and women in ministry

  • Evangelicalism — a passion for Jesus, the Scriptures, and reaching the lost

As Luke Keefer Jr., a BIC historian and theologian, once wrote: when we blend multiple traditions, each are impacted by the other. So, like a mixed fruit drink, we must harmonize and synthesize these streams to create a unique ecclesial flavor. We are committed to this at Grantham Church.

Click here for more information on the Brethren in Christ U.S.