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Church of the Brethren records

Identifier: MSS-030

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the records of the Church of the Brethren from 1850 through 1965. Included are several series, including: correspondence; financial records, 1899-1938; membership lists, baptisms and transfer records, 1850-1897; minutes of the congregational meetings, 1879-1959; records of the officers of the church; visitors lists and records of their junior program, 1913-1957.


  • Creation: 1850-1965

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections.

Historical Note

The Union Grove Church of the Brethren is one of the early churches of Delaware County. Its early history was written by Elder George L. Studebaker in 1902. "About 1838, several families of Brethren located in Delaware County. This same year, Elders Isaac Karns, John Darst and John Younce, a minister from Miami County, Ohio moved in and the Church was organized."*

In those days the denomination was called Dunker, or German Baptist Brethren. The congregation was called the Mississenewa German Baptist Church. It met in the homes of various members for many years. Finally a meeting house was built just south of Eaton, Indiana, close to the River for which it was named. A cemetery was started and still exists on Indiana 3, just west of the original church (it is now known as the Union Cemetery). The congregation grew and meetings were held in Shideler, Royertown, Hartford City, and Union Township, as well as the original Mississenewa Church. In 1885, the Union Grove meeting house was built and it is the only one existing today of the Mississenewa Church. Other congregations were formed at Bethel Center, Northwest of Hartford City, and in Muncie which included portions of the area of outreach of the Mississenewa Church.

Early leaders, whose descendants have continued long in connection with this church are 1841, John Younce, George W. and John U. Studebaker, 1843, David and John S. Studebaker, David Rench and Jacob Kunkle, others were Alexander and John Snyder, Jacob Gump, John Rarick, Scott Richardson, Isaiah Howard, Christian Davis, William and Manly Deeter, C.F. Eiler and A.C. Young, J. W. and A.C. Miller, V.B. Browning and Clavin Moomaw, A.P. Wenger, Ira Shoemaker and Elton Brinson. Many of these and their descendants went out from Delaware County and were leaders in the Dunker Denomination and founded churches elsewhere in Indiana and west across the United States. Most of these originally came to the Mississenewa from western Ohio and previous to that from Dunkard settlements in Lancaster and York Counties, Pennsylvania, and the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.

*Excerpts from History by Rev. Merle C. Rummel


0.8 Cubic Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged alphabetically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Archives and Special Collections as a donation from Rev. Merle C. Rummel and Ross S. Johnson on 1976/02/23.


No further additions are expected.

Existence and Location of Originals

Original records are currently located at the Funderberg Library of Manchester College in North Manchester, Indiana. Archives and Special Collections retains photocopies of these records.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 1980/11/24 by D. Tambo. Collection processing revised N. Turner 1992/02/29. EAD finding aid created 2012/09/10 by Bethany Fiechter.

Church of the Brethren records
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Stoeckel Archives of Local History Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA