Brotherhood of Saint Andrew

Brotherhood of Saint Andrew

Saint Andrew was a simple fisherman who listened and acted immediately. He was one of the twelve disciples and was responsible for bringing his brother Peter to Christ. When Jesus found St. Andrew and his brother fishing, Jesus called them to be fishers of men and they immediately left their nets and followed him.  St. Andrew was a man of action more than words, but his actions brought about the great fruits of St. Peter and set the stage for the miracle of the five loaves and two fish.

The Brotherhood of St. Andrew began as a prayer and Bible study group of young men led by a layman, Mr. James L. Houghteling, at St. James Episcopal Church, Chicago. The Rector, the Rev. W. H. Vibbert, asked Mr. Houghteling to have his group of twelve men work with a drunken man who had appealed to him for help. At one of their meetings, this man suggested they call themselves a Brotherhood of St. Andrew since they, like St. Andrew, were trying to reach out to their brothers and bring them to Christ. Mr. Houghteling then asked permission of the Rector to form a lay Brotherhood of St. Andrew to minister to men living in rooming houses and hotels around the church. Permission was granted, and the first meeting of The Brotherhood of St. Andrew was held on St. Andrew's Day, 1883, in a basement meeting room (now St. Andrew's Chapel) at St. James' Cathedral.

In the first year, the Brothers Andrew ministered to hundreds of men who participated in the prayer and Bible study. They also worked with a group of 40 men who, after being taught the elements of faith, were brought to the bishop for Confirmation. Sunday morning worship services at St. James saw nearly two hundred men coming from rooming houses and hotels at the invitation of the Brothers Andrew who, before and between services, would go into the streets actively seeking out men and inviting them to church. The brotherhood began putting Bibles in rooming houses and hotels around the church, nearly 25 years before the Gideons began their work in hotels. As word of the tremendous success of this lay ministry spread, other Brotherhood chapters were formed in Episcopal Churches in the area.

By 1900 the ministry was flourishing with a membership of over 15,000 in 1000 chapters in 17 countries. In 1908, an Act for the Incorporation of The Brotherhood of St. Andrew was passed and signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt. Section 2 of this Act clearly states that, "the sole object of said corporation shall be the spread of Christ's Kingdom among men."

The Brotherhood of Saint Andrew offers a twice-monthly evening Bible study for men of all ages at the church and also on every other Sunday during the summer months for all parish members. Contact the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.