Medford Church History

Medford, OR, Church of the Brethren. It was organized on May 15, 1944, with forty--three charter members. Many Brethren who had settled in Medford were members of the Ashland congregation, which gave permission for the organization. Members bought a barracks structure from a military camp, erected it on a lot, and converted it as a church building. Later a wooden sanctuary was added and the original building used as a educational wing. Stanley Keller was the first pastor, 1940-53, followed by Joseph Jennings and Escil Heiser. Membership reach 138 in 1963, and the peak number. unfortunately, dissension centering on fundamentalist issues weakened the congregation and led to a number or withdrawals. Other staunch Brethren families moved away. In  1968 membership had dropped to 101. By the late 1960's the congregation was faced with the necessity of making a concerted effort to revitalize itself with district help or to terminate. A council meeting on May 13, 1870, decided to disorganize the congregation and rent the property. 

History taken from The Brethren Encyclopedia Vol. 2. page 806 (1983)

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