Newspapers of the German Baptist Brethren
(Church of the Brethren) 
before 1883

 This web site is here to provide a short history of the major church newspapers and a index to the obituaries & marriages out of these papers between 1851 and 1883. In 1883 the two major brethren newspapers The Primitive Christian and Brethren At Work merge into what is The Gospel Messenger. The Church of the Brethren has put out a index of obituaries for the The Gospel Messenger CD (1883-1964). 1964 was the last year the obituaries  were published Gospel Messenger paper.     

The Gospel Visiter (Visitor) was the first monthly Brethren paper. It was started in 1851 by Henry Kurtz as private undertaking. It was followed by Christian Family Companion a weekly paper in 1864, The Pilgrim in 1870,  the Der Bruderbote in 1875, later called The Brethren at Work and lastly the Primitive Christian in 1876. 

New periodicals appeared almost ever year (Thirty-four of them between 1870 and 1883), but many lasted only a year or two. Mergers of newspapers and name changes were frequent in this time period.

It was not until the 1882 Annual Meeting of the German Baptist Brethren (the Old German Baptist Brethren had withdrawn in 1881) that a The Primitive Christian (A merger over time of The Gospel Visitor, The Primitive Christian and Christian Family Companion papers) was recognized as the official organ of the church.



  Link to a history of the major newspapers of the church. 

Gospel Visitor

  The Gospel Visitor April 1851 - 1873
Before 1856 it was called the The Gospel Visiter

Christian Family Companion

  Christian Family Companion 1864 - 1873   

 The year 1872 Christian Family Companion and Gospel Visitor were combined


  The Pilgrim & The Weekly Pilgrim 1870 - 1876  

Primitive Christian

  The Primitive Christian 1876 -1883

  This includes the time the Primitive Christian and The Pilgrim were merged and  printed under both titles 1877

   to 1879

Brethren At Work

  The Brethren At Work 1875 - 1883 
Brethren's Advocate


 The Brethren's Advocate  Dec. 1878 - Sept. 1882   


Gospel Preacher & Progressive Christian


 Gospel Preacher & Progressive Christian 1878 - 1882


Marriage Index


 A combine index of the marriages notice that were found in all the above newspapers.




Some other Brethren links


  Link to Brethren Churches in Oregon and Washington 

South Dak.

  Brethren churches that  were in South Dakota


  Link to the only Brethren church organized in Utah


  Brethren Almanac's


  Please E-mail your comments or questions to Thank you.


  Link to COB Fellowship of Brethren Genealogists










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