In 1977, the Brethren Disaster Relief Auction began. There has been a steady growth in the decades to follow. Having become a tradition, there are many adults who do not know life without the auction.
Every 4th weekend of September, volunteers gather at the Lebanon County Fairgrounds near Lebanon, Pennsylvania, for a two-day event to raise money for victims of natural and man-made disasters. This event is supported by the Atlantic Northeast & Southern Pennsylvania Districts which represent more than 120 Church of the Brethren congregations. It has been unofficially stated that the Lebanon Disaster Relief Auction is the largest gathering of Brethren in the United States except for their Annual Conference, a national week long gathering of the membership for denominational business and worship. While most people gather in the main auditorium, vendors representing broad areas of interest setup their booths to display crafts, foods items, literature, and educational materials. Livestock and agricultural items are sold in outside sheds.