Church of the Brethren Logo

The Church of the Brethren (COB) is pretty much creed-free, yet their emblem speaks volumes about their basic Anabaptist beliefs.

COB Logo

COB emblem

'Brethren', an archaic plural of 'brother', is seldom used these days unless it's referring to fellow members of a religious group. Like the word 'fellow' in academia, 'fellowship', 'fellow travellers ', etc., 'brethren' loses any masculine-gender meaning when referring to companions in a society, such as the Church of the Brethren.

Schwarzenau Brethren emblem
Schwarzenau Brethren logo. 

The Church of the Brethren is a Christian denomination, which can trace its roots to the early 18th century Protestant Reformation in Germany. A branch opened up in the US in 1723. The Church currently has around 123,000 members and over 1,000 congregations.

The logo comprises three shapes:

  • a Voided Cross with equal-length, open-ended arms
  • COB emblem
    BMF emblem
    part of a circle, or rather, an offset ellipse, centred a little higher and to the left of the middle of the emblem. The arc is slightly more than a quarter-circle, being about 110°, as shown more clearly in the Brethren Mission Fund (BMF) emblem
  • a wave, surging from the foot of the cross

Interpretations are:

  • the cross represents the Crucifixion of Jesus and baptism into Christ's death and resurrection. 
  • the part-circle represents the COB as part of the whole of Christ's Church and also the world, throughout which the Good News is to be spread. 
  • the wave usually represents waters of baptism. It can also refer to the waters of ultimate justice and "springs of living water". Further, although not waves, the basin of water Jesus used to wash the feet of his disciples  


The Schwarzenau Brethren (German Baptists) founded 1708 in Schwarzenau, Germany.

The logo includes a cross, heart, grapes, and the initials "AM" of Alexander Mack (1679-1735), first minister of the church. "AM" are also the initials of Abend Mahl (lit. "evening meal") refering to the Last Supper and meaning "communion"

John 3:16, Rom. 6:4 & Eph. 1:10

Rom. 12:5 & Eph. 4:4-5

John 17:21-23


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