History of the Crest Manor Church of the Brethren

The Church of the Brethren has been a presence in South Bend and St. Joseph County since the 1840’s. Brethren families came into this area because of the rich farm land in Northwestern Indiana and formed house churches to meet regularly in worship and community. A formal meetinghouse was built two miles north of South Bend in 1868 to allow for larger gatherings. In 1877, the Wenger Church was constructed on the corner of Miami and Indiana Avenues.

In 1906, the group changed its name to become the First South Bend Church. This congregation grew and in 1922, they built a larger brick building on the adjacent corner which served them well until 1963. It became evident at that time that to upgrade the building would be too costly, the population of the church had moved out of the immediate area around the church and limited parking was available around the building.

The congregation chose to build a new building in a developing part of South Bend, the Crest Manor community on the south side, where it stands today. The name Crest Manor Church of the Brethren was adopted during the move.

The Crest Manor Church of the Brethren has a long history of vital ministries in the South Bend community, and continues today to have ties with many of the inner city ministries that address the needs of South Bend.

Crest Manor Church of the Brethren today continues to do as its mission statement says: “...continuing the work of Jesus simply, peacefully, together...” It is a family-oriented committed community of people striving to extend the love and compassion of God to all it encounters. Crest Manor Church of the Brethren strives to seek where the Spirit is leading and find ways to create and maintain vital ministries.