For over 150 years those known as “Plymouth Brethren” were renown for their command of the Scriptures. This movement exerted great influence over their generation, and their impact continues to be felt in the church. They were held in high esteem by leaders of many denominations. A. T. Pierson, a Baptist minister and author, wrote concerning the spiritual stature of the brethren, “and in those days there were giants in the land.” He was referring to men such as John Nelson Darby, C. H. Macintosh, William Kelly and others. The spiritual power of the early brethren was unmistakable. The movement bore the marks of a mighty work of God. Powerful Bible teaching by deeply spiritual men, earnest prayer, and evangelistic zeal characterized this movement. God’s hand of blessing was evident. One writer reported that by the year 1878, 50 years after the first assembly was established, there were 1,388 gatherings of believers in 29 different lands. (1)
Many have speculated as to the reasons behind this remarkable spiritual growth.