Brotherhood of Christ Church – Essene Community

south central, Iowa, United States

  • Last updated: December 7, 2017 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: December 28, 2013

Mission Statement

Daily living your Love for God

Community Description

We are a present day Essene Community. We live a primitive, simple life based on our deeply held convictions of keeping the First Commandment and rejecting worldliness. Each person strives to give 100% of their life to God, not counting the cost, but attempting to make each thought, feeling, and all one’s energy given to loving the Lord. We call ourselves “Brotherhood of Christ” because we view Him as our Brother, not because we are patriarchal – we’re not.

We are a deeply religious community. We allow no violence, swearing, drugs, smoking or alcohol use, nor any sexual activity outside the context of marriage. Our religion is soundly Christian, although no one would recognize it as modern, western Christianity because it comes from an ancient background. We believe in the spiritual empowerment that Jesus taught in John 14:12 where He said, “Verily, verily I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.”

No one person leads, but we have a community Council that makes decisions dealing with long term community issues. There are several other leadership bodies, all of which make decisions by “common consent” which is conditional unanimity. The mothers of children under 14 make decisions about family needs, medical, special diets, clothing, and other special needs. The fathers of children under 14 manage all the farming and land usage. The grandparents or “older elders” decide on matters dealing with equality, parenting needs, education, wisdom and advice. All men of religious service decide about worship matters. There is a Storehouse Board made up of members of each of the other groups who decide financial expenditures each month. Only two people drive or spend money for all the full members in Community. We keep a version of the Community Rule found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. We encourage interested persons to listen to our class series Christ View: A Perspective for Christian Community available at the “business, project” link in the upper right corner of this page. This series gives a good taste of our religious viewpoint. Hope you enjoy it!

We are a horse and buggy community. We use draft horses to farm nearly 1200 acres. We raise almost all our own food, although we still buy salt, sugar (in small quantities), cooking oil, and yeast. We sew much of our own clothing. We use horses to power our machine shops and all our equipment, including the laundry houses.


  • Type(s): Spiritual or Religious Community
  • Location: Rural


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 1160 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes
  • Current Number of Residences: 23
  • Planned Residence Types: Single-family homes, Natural built structues
  • Housing Provided: Included in Membership
  • Land owned by: The Community


  • Adult Members: 27
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    People wishing to visit must make contact either by email, phone, or post in order to share information about themselves, the purpose of seeking a visit, and to propose dates for visiting. The secretary or other community member will return contact to provide a Visitor Application which must completed before we can confirm the visit. Please include your phone number or email address when contacting us so we can answer your inquiry. If you wish to visit please allow sufficient time to establish contact with us so that we can arrange for your visit. Visitors who “show up” will not be housed within the Community until sufficient personal relationship has been established.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    After coming for a short visit (a week or less) a visitor may request an extended visit. Together we will decide on the length of time for this visit. At the termination of the extended visit a visitor who desires to move to our Community may request to become a resident. This initiates a 3 year process to become a full-member (more information on this process is available upon request.)

  • Additional Comments:

    Because of our religion’s ancient Christian nature, and a predessesor of Judiaism, we are compatible with the Jewish faith, Native American religions, and even earth religions – but it is focused on Christ.


  • Decision Making: common consent
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Council of the Community – leadership group

    Decisions all made by Common Consent which is conditional unanimous agreement.


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: No
  • Shared Income: All or close to all
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 40
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    If arrangments are made to service the debt

    Daily work crews are mandatory; however, we keep the Sabbath and do not work then. Work ranges from around 30 hours a week in mid-winter to 60 + hours per week in mid-summer. We work a lot so please don’t be afraid of work.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We are totally off grid.
  • Current renewable energy generation: 100%
  • Planned food produced: 100%


  • Common Facilities: Garden(s), Vehicle Share, Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Outdoor Kitchen, Tractor & Farm Equipment
  • Internet Available: No
  • Shared meals: 1-3 times per month
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms)
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Somewhat – there are some dietary restrictions or customs.
  • Alcohol Use: No, this community does not permit alcohol use.
  • Tobacco Use: No, this community does not permit tobacco use.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    Church potlucks and celebrations is when we usually eat together

    Realistically nearer 90-95%, only buying salt, yeast, some sugar, and cooking oil

    No GMO foods, no pork, no coffee

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Christian
  • Education Style(s): Home Schooling, Private Schooling at the Community
  • Healthcare Options: Partial, Special, or Limited Community Plan

Additional Comments

Purchased land in 1987

Photo Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC)

Fair Housing Laws

This community acknowledges that their listing does not include any potential violations of the Fair Housing Law, or that they do not provide housing. For any questions about this topic please see our Content Policies and contact FIC with any questions or concerns: [email protected].


self-sufficiency, faith based, Zion, service to God and fellows