The Christian Conservator began publication soon after the General Conference of 1885. The Radicals (later known after the split of 1889 as the Old Constitution United Brethren) organized a denominational convention held at Hartsville, Indiana, August 4-6, 1885. At the convention it was decided to publish a newspaper devoted to maintaining the denominations original constitution and confession of faith. The Christian Conservator was first published in Dayton, Ohio on July 15, 1885. It succeeded two other publications published separately in support of the Radical position, the United Brethren in Christ published by William Dillon and the Richmond Star published by Milton Wright. The first editor was The Christian Conservator was William Dillon and it's publisher was Milton Wright (father of the Wright brothers).
After the United Brethren split of 1889 it became the official publication of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Old Constitution. The Christian Conservator was published continuously until March 1954 when the name was changed to The United Brethren.