The Church of the Brethren represents the largest body of churches that descended from the original pietist movement began in Germany by Alexander Mack and 7 other believers. Early in the 20th century some members began to feel that there was a drift away from apostolic standards. Because of this, a small group of conservatives withdrew from the Church of the Brethren and formed the Dunkard Brethren Church in 1926. The name Dunkard or Dunker is derived from the German word tunken, meaning "to dip". This emphasizes the method of immersion observed by all of the various branches of Schwarzenau Brethren - trine immersion. A believer is immersed three times, once in the name of the Father, once in the name of the Son, and once in the name of the Holy Spirit. Some of the Dunkard Brethren exhibit the plainness of dress associated with the "Old Order" Brethren and Mennonites.
The Dunkard Brethren Church has 25 congregations in the United States with approximately 900 members. They support a mission among the Navajo Indians in New Mexico, and a mission in Africa. The church's publication is called The Bible Monitor. The majority of the churches are located in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Ohio.