Disciples of Christ

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

Birthed by the Stone-Campbell Restorationists

The Disciples of Christ was birthed out of the Stone Campbell Movement of the 19th century. After the three day Cane Ridge “revival” explosion subsided, Barton Stone would become more ecumenical and anti-denominational in his position. He would join with Alexander Campbell in what would eventually be referred to as the Restoration Movement. This movement believed that the denominations were evil and the church ceased from the earth and it was their “calling” to “restore” the true church to earth – one that is free of any denominational “tags” or names. Ironically this movement against splintering and division would splinter and divide into many cults and a couple of denominations itself: The Mormons, The Jehovah’s Witnesses, The Seventh Day Adventists, The Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

In 1804 these men would sign what they called the “Last Will and Testament” which renounced their service to the Presbyterian denomination. Despite disbelief in the Deity of Jesus and the Person of the Holy Spirit, Stone would still accumulate a following from those rallying to his revolutionary creed of “No creed but the Bible” (which, oddly enough, is itself a creed) and “No name but the Name of Christ”. While Alexander would call his churches simply “The Christian Church” and its members the “Disciples of Christ”. He preferred the latter name and his group became known simply as the Disciples of Christ. Both groups sought to get back to what they called a Biblical model of liturgy.

Bethany Christian Church est. 1852 Church of Christ Stone-Campbell Movement

Alexander Campbell

What seemed to matter most to Stone and his companions was unity by way of ridding the church of denominations as opposed to unity around the truthful doctrine delivered by the Apostles in Scripture. Stone would refer to his new followers simply as “Christians” and the church as simply the “Church of Christ”. Although in 1832 they would join with the Disciples of Christ, again ironically, his group would divide over issues like a liberal approach to baptism, permitting things not expressly forbidden in the New Testament etc. 

Without realizing it, Barton Stone and Alexander Campbell were the founders of two non-denominational denominations called the “Church of Christ” and the “Disciples of Christ”. Since both founders were essentially former Presbyterians, both groups technically come through the Swiss Reformed family of denominations and continue in operation today.

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