Family Tree Flowchart

Religions, Cults & Worldviews: Valuable Answers for Valid Questions.

Denominationalism vs. Biblical Christianity

Christian denominations represent what some refer to as the “visible” church which can defined by ecclesiology of liturgy, tradition, architecture, culture, sight, sound, experience etc.

This visible church of denominations (represented in the chart below) is not to be confused with the “genuine” (sometimes called “invisible”) church from a Biblical perspective. The Biblical church can be defined as all those people throughout the world who have come to saving faith in the Biblically-defined person and finished work of the Lord Jesus on the cross (John 14:6; 5:24, Acts 2:21, Romans 10:13) and His subsequent resurrection from the dead. Upon authentic conversion to Christ, these former “unbelievers” become born again as brand new believers and are baptized into Christ. Together these believers throughout the world, comprise what the Apostle Paul referred to as the “body of Christ” – one Lord, one faith, one baptism:

There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism,

The following flow chart or “family tree” is based on historic schisms and/or splits due to theological disagreements, reformation, or geo-political relocation and nothing to do with those who are genuinely in Christ by faith.

  • Visibly, there appears to be seven major families of denominations which comprise the earthly organizational Christian “church”:
    • Oriental Orthodox
    • Roman Catholic
    • Eastern Orthodox
    • Four Protestant Families. 

I have represented these families in the chart below. Click each name to open a page with information about that denomination – this is a work in progress chart as not all pages have been added.

  • On the chart, I have colored each family separately to differentiate the direct and indirect relationships they bear to one another. Upon closer investigation of this chart, you will discover that the greatest contributor to the list of denominations is the Anglican church, followed by the Reformed family of denominations.
  • The chart is chronological from top down and works much like a family tree with the origin or “roots” of a denomination shown by a vertical line and a similarity or “sibling kinship” to another denomination drawn by a horizontal line. the top or beginning of the tree can be dated 30 A.D. and the bottom or last major denomination formed can be dated 1993 (International Church of Christ, formerly known as the Boston Church of Christ)
  • For a full screen view of the denominational family tree select the full screen icon at the upper right of the chart.

Much of this research has been compiled from the books “History of the Christian Church” by Phillip Schaff, “Church History In Plain Language” by Bruce Shelley, Frank Mead’s “Handbook of Denominations”, Max Anders’ “30 Days to Understanding Church History” along with the official historical information provided by each particular denomination’s historical web page.

To explore a more in-depth description of the history, reasons for, and origins of schisms and splits of the denominations below, click each denomination name to view more information about specific denominations use the drop down chart in world religions – christianity above.

Date Timeline ——30 AD Date Timeline —-500 AD 1054 AD 1200 AD Date Timeline —1500 AD Date Timeline —-1600 AD Date Timeline —-1800 AD Date Timeline —-1900 AD Date Timeline —2000 AD Christian Church Jesus Christ 30 A.D. Oriental Orthodox Chalcedon Council, 451 Coptic Orhtodox Alexandria, Mark, 1st cent Armenian Apostolic Thaddeus, Bartholomew 35-50 Syriac Orthodox Peter, Antioch, 37 AD St Thomas Christians Thomas, India 52 AD Church of the East Persia, 65-95 AD Eastern Orthodox Great Schism, 1054 Assyrian Church of the East Serbian Orthodox Founded 7-9th cent. Church of Greece Emerged From E.O. 1850 Romanian Orthodox Moldavia+Wallachia, 14th c. Ancient Church of The East,1968 Church Of England Cranmer, Henry VIII, 1534 Congregational Churches Separatists, Fitz 1567 Quakers - Friends Goerge Fox, 1645 First Baptists Williams, 1638 Baptists (Dissenters) John Smyth 1609 Episcopal Church Colonists, 1776 Church of Christ Kelly, 1793 Millerites William Miller, 1840 Methodist Wesley, 1791 Southern Baptists 1845 7th Day Adventist White, 1863 Church of God In Christ, 1897 United Church of Christ,1921 Salvation Army Booth, 1865 Holiness Churches,1835 Assemblies Of God, 1914 Church of God Indiana,1881 Church of the Nazarene, Ruth 1908 International Church of Christ, McKean 1967 Willow Creek Hybels, 1975 Church of God Cleveland, TN 1886 Int Foursquare McPherson, 1927 Calvary Chapel Smith, 1965 Vineyard Fellowship Gullickson, 1974 Potters House Mitchell, 1970 Reformed Church Zwingli, Calvin, 1523 Huguenots Luther, Calvin, 1530 Anabaptist Movement Blaurock, Grebel, Manz, 1525 Mennonites Menno Simons, 1536 Presbyterians Knox, 1560 Church of Scotland Knox, 1560 Amish Mennonites Ammann, 1693 Church of Brethren Mack, 1709 Disciples of Christ Stone-Campbell 1832 Evangelical Free Edquist, 1882 Waldensians Waldo of Lyons, 1182 Unity of The Brethren, Hus 1457 Moravians(Pietists) Zinzendorf, 1700 Grace Communion Intl (WCG) Joseph Tkach Sr., 1995 Lutheran Church Luther, 1517 Lutheran Evangelical N.Europe 1536 Lutheran - Missouri Synod, 1847 Evangelical Lutheran Church Roman Catholic Great Schism, 1054 Philippine Independent Church, 1902 Eastern Rite Catholic, 1595 Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church, 1945 Christian Missionary Alliance, 1887 Kingdom of The Cults LDS (Mormons), Jehovah's Witness, Oneness Pentecostal, Christian Science, New Apostolic Reformation Russian Orthodox Vladimir I, 988

**Disciples of Christ is the result of an 1832 merger between two groups of Presbyterian(Stone) and Baptist influence(Campbellites).

***It is worth noting that missing are the groups: Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Oneness Pentecostal, Christian Science, New Apostolic Reformation or NAR – (C. Peter Wagner, Rick Joyner, Bill Johnson, etc), United Pentecostal Church, The Apostolic Church, The Unitarian Church, and a few others. These belief systems are not generally “viewed” in a general sense as part of the historical Christian Christian church as they have theological beliefs which are aberrent pertaining to the nature and person of God, the Trinity, Christological belief etc. These doctrines are what have historically differentiated a Christian denomination from a Christian cult.  For more information about the differentiation between a denomination and a cult visit our page: Religious Cults page for more information.

The excluded groups named are mostly (if not entirely) based on the private interpretations of a charismatic leader or leaders, whereby the gods (and sometimes a ‘Jesus”) revealed by these “prophets” and “teachers” are wholly and completely different from the God of Christianity (despite having the same or similar names for their gods). It is for this reason that Christianity on the whole does not consider these groups e.g. LDS church, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, or Christian Science to be part of the Biblical and historic orthodoxy of the Christian church.

To explore a more in-depth historical description of the schisms, splits, and origins seen on the chart above, visit our Christian Denominations page.

No one receives eternal life and eternal presence with God by belonging to the right church or denomination. Only those who put their faith in the Lord Jesus preached by Moses, the Prophets and the Apostles. We will not think we need a Savior for sins that we don’t think we have or that we think aren’t deserving of hell. But the Bible says that ALL have sin and the wages of our sin is death (eternal separation from God). The Bible says that you can know that YOU have eternal life. Click the button below to see if you are genuinely saved from your sins according to the Bible:

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