A worldwide Christian Church
Always ecumenically minded, the Moravians were among the first members of the National and World Council of Churches. The church established a number of schools in America, the most important of which are Salem Academy and College, Moravian College and Theological Seminary, and preparatory schools in Lititz and Bethlehem. In 1957 the worldwide Moravian Church was reorganized into more than a dozen semi-autonomous provinces that remain part of a single global church. A Unity Synod is held every seven years to decide matters that affect the whole Moravian Church.
Today there are more than one million members of the Moravian Church in the world. Most of them live in eastern Africa. Other major Moravian centers are the Caribbean basin (U.S. Virgin Islands, Antigua, Jamaica, Tobago, Surinam, Guyana, St. Kitts, and the Miskito Coast of Honduras and Nicaragua), South Africa, Winston-Salem, and Bethlehem, Pa. There are now 19 provinces of the Unity.
Though the Moravians played an important role in colonial American history, the church in North America numbers only about 60,000 (including Canada, Alaska, Labrador). One of the reasons for the difference in membership between the United States and the rest of the world is that Moravians saw their distinct calling as bringing the good news of God’s infinite love to the poorest and most despised people of the world.