History & Roots

The Mennonite Brethren Church was born in mission. Since our formation, we have been motivated by the Great Commission to make disciples of all people groups. Our passion has been to respond to people’s needs, preach the Good News, baptize people, and facilitate the formation of vibrant, multiplying churches and conferences.

When the Mennonite Brethren Church was organized in southern Russia in 1860, one of the first expressions of individual renewal was the sharing of the Gospel with fellow Mennonites and Russian neighbors. Within a few years, several leaders had been called before Russian courts to face charges of attempting to convert Russian laborers. Despite obstacles, the 1,800-member Russian Mennonite Brethren Church sent its first missionary couple to India in 1889.

In North America, the first united efforts of the Mennonite Brethren Church to engage in global mission work came in 1883 when one-third of the love offering from the table fellowship of the MB Conference was designated for overseas mission. Soon after, a regular mission committee was established. This was the beginning of MB Mission. In October of 1900, nine men signed their names to a document to form the American Mennonite Brethren Mission Union. It was an effort to unite the North American Mennonite Brethren churches in a common cause of global mission.  Could they have dreamed what the next hundred years would accomplish?

Since the creation of MB Mission, our team has included more than 2,400 people as long-term missionaries. Hundreds more have served for shorter periods of overseas ministry and thousands have served on short-term teams. Also included in our team are the churches and individuals who have helped to fund the work, prayed for missionaries and new believers, and hosted missionaries in their churches and homes. Thank you for your gifts, prayers, and hospitality! We look forward to the future with expectation that God will continue to do great things through MB Mission and the wider Mennonite Brethren family.