We, the Moscow Church, are a community of believers committed to being faithful to God’s call through Jesus Christ to be Christian disciples. We seek to be faithful by:
- Affirming and celebrating our relationship with God;
- Teaching and learning the truths and spirit of the Bible;
- Learning from the traditions and practices of our Brethren heritage;
- Accepting Christ’s spirit to make of us a loving and caring community;
- Encouraging each other in Christ-like living and in faithful stewardship of life and resources;
- Going into all the world to make disciples;
- Offering compassion to those in need and participating in the ministry of reconciliation as Christ has reconciled us;
- Providing an environment of love where the gifts of every individual are called into ministry and where we join in building the Body of Christ.
Statement of Faith
The Brethren movement began under the leadership of Alexander Mack, Sr. in 1708 in Schwarzenau Germany as a natural outgrowth of the Anabaptist and Pietist movements following the Reformation. Circumstances have often required us to declare to the world and to other Christians what we understand the Word of God to teach on various subjects. Read More >>
Pastor Darren Howdyshell
Pastor Darren has been our Church Pastor since 2012. He completed the Shenandoah District Christian Growth Institute in the fall of 2007 and was given the opportunity to serve as an associate pastor. One June 1st of 2008, he accepted the position of associate pastor and was ordained into the ministry of Briery Branch COB. In 2012 he was called to minister to the congregation of Moscow Church of the Brethren. In 2022 he received his transferal and acknowledgment of ordination through the Covenant Brethren Church. Pastor Darren is married to his wife Deborah and they have 2 sons, Isaac and Ayden.
The story of the Moscow Church is typical of the Shenandoah Valley Dunkers. When our ancestors moved into the Shenandoah Valley, they first clustered around a few communities and developed strong congregations. The early Dunkers were mostly farmers. This was a primary motivation for our expansion in those days. The central congregation of our territory was Beaver Creek. In the early part of the 1800’s Brethren farmers began to purchase land and settle in the northwest portion of Augusta County.
Beaver Creek recognized the need to provide religious services for the Brethren in this new territory. Meetings were held in homes, schools, and barns. In 1854, the first church was built. It was a wooden frame building near Pudding Spring. This new Church of the Brethren first took the name of Pudding Springs Church of the Brethren. It soon became Moscow Church of the Brethren. The new congregation was quickly tested because the Civil War erupted in 7 years. Following the war, there was a time of rapid growth among the Brethren in this area. The Augusta County Brethren truly captured the missionary spirit of Alexander Mack. Quite a number of new congregations were planted. Moscow was part of this missionary enthusiasm. In 1911 the Griffin Church of the Brethren was built near Deerfield. This was a missionary enterprise of Moscow.
Over the years many improvements was made in the little wooden church. Moscow was always basically a congregation of rural people. They ministered to the community and they grew. In the early 1960’s, it was obvious that a larger and more adequate church was needed. Plans were made, money was raised, and ground was broken in 1964. The Dedication Service was June 13, 1965. This brings us to the present Moscow Church. The frame building served our ancestors very well for 110 years. Today it is only a memory to those who worshiped in it. The picture above will keep it alive for all of us.
We have used the present church for over 58 years. It has a long way to go to equal the life of our original building. However, the Moscow Church still sits on a hill inviting people to come worship the Lord. The appearance of the building is very different, but the character of our members has changed very little over one and a half centuries.
In 2022 our church made the decision to separate from the Church of the Brethren. We then joined the newly formed Covenant Brethren Church whose denomination stands strong on Biblical Authority.