The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the first denomination founded on American soil, is rooted in a passion for Christian unity. Our founders were appalled by the deep divisions they saw in the Body of Christ. One of those founders, Barton Stone, declared that “Christian unity is our polar star” and that continues to be true. The identity statement of the denomination declares that we strive to be “a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world.”
Having come into existence as a reaction against the rigid orthodoxies and exclusive denominationalism of the early nineteenth century, the Disciples have a heritage of openness to other traditions. From the beginning, Disciples have been at the forefront of the modern ecumenical movement.
Rejecting creeds as part of the reasons for the divisions in the church, the Disciples declared that “we shall have no creed but Christ and no book but the Bible.” The only test of fellowship for membership is the simple New Testament confession:” Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and do you take him as your personal Lord and Savior?” Looking to the earliest church as our model, we practice baptism by immersion at an age of accountability. And, like the early church, we celebrate weekly communion. All are welcome at the table, regardless of religious background.