ANDREW AND PHILIP, BROTHERHOOD OF: An interdenominational religious society for men of all ages. The sole object, as declared by the constitution, is to spread Christ's kingdom among men. The brotherhood was founded by the Rev. Rufus Wilder Miller, of the Reformed Church, who organized the first local chapter at Reading, Pa., May 4, 1888. Other chapters were formed in the same denomination, conventions began to be held, and the Brotherhood Star, the monthly bulletin of the association was established. At the convention of Reformed chapters at Bethlehem, Pa., in 1890, the formation of brotherhood chapters in other denominations was recommended, the chapters in each denomination to be under the control of that denomination, and all to be united in a federation of brotherhoods. In this way the work was extended, until today there are 921 chapters in the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, India, and other lands, with about 40,000 members, representing some twenty-three denominations; there are also fifty-eight brotherhoods for boys.
Each local chapter is subjected to the supervision and control of the pastor and governing body of the congregation, and chapters of each denomination are associated in a denominational executive council. From these councils representatives are elected to a body known as the federal council of the brotherhood of Andrew and Philip. It is through this larger body that the literature of the association is issued. Denominational Councils are now organized in the Baptist, Congregational, Methodist Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Reformed Churches.
The distinctive characteristic of the brotherhood is the emphasis it places upon personal work. There are two rules of prayer and service. The rule of service is to make personal efforts to bring men and boys within the hearing of the Gospel, as set forth in the service of the church, men's Bible-classes, and prayer-meetings. The rule of prayer is to pray daily for the spread of Christ's kingdom among men, and God's blessing upon the labors of the brotherhood. Chapters sustain a weekly Bible-class, or men's prayer-meeting, and engage in a great variety of good works, as ushering, work in Sunday-schools, visiting jails, hospitals, etc.--all as the needs of the church may require. Chapters also maintain free reading-rooms and gymnasiums, organize boys' clubs and cottage prayer-meetings, provide for the evening church service, assist in the orchestra or choir, support home and foreign missions, and do other work of a similar character.
WILLIAM H. PHELEY.