Skip to Main Content
Banner Image
Fort Wayne and Arizona Resource Centers
Academic Center for Excellence/Writing Center
United Brethren Historical Center/Archives

United Brethren Historical Center

The United Brethren have published a variety of periodicals since 1834. The main newspaper style publication for several years was the Religious Telescope which began publishing in December of 1834. After 1889 the publication became the official organ of the the Church of the United Brethren in Christ (New Constitution).

In 1887 in response to what was considered a the increasingly liberal Religious Telescope the conservative members of the denomination began publishing the Christian Conservator. After the division of 1889 the publication became the official organ of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ (Old Constitution).

Religious Telescope

The Religious Telescope was first published December 31, 1834 at Circlevile, Ohio. The editors included:

  • William R. Rhinehart 1834-1839
  • William Hanby 1839-1845
  • David Edwards 1845-1849
  • William Hanby 1849-1852
  • John Lawrence 1852-1863
  • Daniel Berger 1863-1869
  • Milton Wright 1869-1877
  • J. W. Hott 1877-1889
  • Isaiah L. Kephart 1889-1908
  • J. M. Phillippi 1909-1926
  • W. E. Snyder 1926-1946

After 1889 the Telescope became the publication of The Church of the United Brethren in Christ (New Constitution). It merged with the Evangelical Messenger after 1946 to become the Telescope-Messenger. The Religious Telescope Digitization Project is an ongoing work that digitizes sections of the Religious Telescope required for study by genealogists and researchers. Each issue is digitized on "as needed" basis. Not all sections of each issue are digitized. Many sections are made up of articles reprinted from other religious periodicals and beyond the scope of this project. If you do not see the issue you need, contact the Historical Center to request that it be added to the list. Please allow four to six weeks for the Historical Center to process your request.

Digitized issues of the Religious Telescope can be found at the United Brethren Historical Center Digital Repository.

Christian Conservator

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 it merged with The Missionary Monthly and the name was changed to The United Brethren.

Digital Issues for the Christian Conservator can be found on the United Brethren Historical Center Digital Repository.

Other United Brethren Periodicals