The Church of Christ was created by God in Jerusalem soon after the life of Christ. Specifically, this happened on a Jewish holiday called “Pentecost”, 50 days after “Passover”, the time that Jesus was crucified and returned to life. (See Acts Chapter 2).
Our American version of the Church of Christ was born out of the American “restoration movement” in the 1800’s. At that time in history, there was a revolution going on in church organization. Unlike any time before, regular folks felt empowered to start up churches rather than mainstream in the big established churches. There was a feeling that these old Christian religions had become encumbered and encrusted with men’s opinions and church politics. There was a spirit of renewal, one that promoted the return to basic Christian principles.
The Church of Christ was one of the churches founded during this period. Its main tenet being a return to the simplistic church model that God established when he birthed the Christian faith. We do this by modeling our Christian lives, our church and our corporate worship after the model we read about in the New Testament.
Another tenet born out of the restoration movement was that everyone should be fully knowledgeable about God’s plan for man by promoting Bible education. Everyone was expected to gain a personal understanding of the scriptures through personal Bible reading, children’s Sunday school, and continuous adult education. Making every person Biblically educated insured that the church would not drift back to the man enriched religion these folks had come from.
Today, 170 years later, the Church of Christ is still built upon these premises. As such, we guide our Christian lives based upon the principles as established in the Biblical record to the best of our ability.
If you visit with us, you will see the following regarding us.
Sunday Corporate Worship :
The Bible tells us that the church met on the “first day of the week” for corporate worship. This equates to Sunday. We believe the fellowship, encouragement, and friendships gained through our assembling to worship is invaluable to our spiritual health. We also believe it is part of God’s plan for us in our service to Him and to each other.
Acapella Congregational Singing :
You will notice that we do not use musical instrumentation. Instead, we sing and harmonize together with both traditional and contemporary hymns written to worship God. Since there is no record of the earliest church using instruments, the original Church of Christ charter did not include them. Since then, acapella singing has become an integral part of the identity and fabric of Churches of Christ. We believe participation in congregational singing heightens the individual and corporate spiritual experience and is pleasing to God.
Weekly Observance of the Lord’s Supper :
The Biblical record shows that the early Christians observed the Lord’s supper when they met together for corporate worship. Jesus instituted this “memorial meal” for his disciples on the evening he was arrested. He told them that they were to remember him and the new covenant of grace by gathering together (communing), while eating unleavened bread, and drinking wine. In the Churches of Christ, “wine” is defined as natural red grape juice.
The “Communion Service” or “Lord’s Supper” is the cornerstone of our worship service. We do as Jesus asked. We remember him, his life, his teaching and his sacrifice as we eat the bread. We remember with thanksgiving the gift of grace when we drink the wine.
From the time of Christ forward to the end of scripture in the New Testament, God commanded that those who decide to follow Christ be baptized into Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins as the beginning step in their relationship with God. We believe that the Bible is very clear on this subject as there is no record in the New Testament of someone accepting Christ who was not then baptized into Christ in acceptance of the gift of God’s forgiveness and grace.
We also believe the act of being baptized is a personal decision made by the person who wants to follow Jesus. In other words, baptism can not be the decision of another person. As such, we do not baptize infants. We only baptize people who have chosen to begin their walk as a disciple of Christ. At the end of most every sermon, the minister will ask if there is anyone in attendance who recognizes the need for salvation who has not already been baptized.
Since “Baptism” actually means “Immersion”, baptism in the Church of Christ is defined as the full immersion of a person in water to “bury them with Christ”. (See Romans chapter 6)
Church Government :
The Church of Christ is a non-denominational church structure, as was the earliest form of Christ’s church. As such, each church is self-governed on all matters. Although there are many Churches of Christ, there is no governing relationship between them. The only guide used by the leadership of each church is the Bible. As some issues and concerns are matters of interpretation, Churches of Christ may differ on certain issues. This explains the subtle and sometimes, not so subtle differences between individual Churches of Christ.
Each church is under the spiritual care and direction of its Eldership. This follows the structure of the New Testament church as designed by Christ’s Apostles in the first century. In the Bible, Elders are referred to as Shepherds as a metaphor for their role in the church. The primary responsibility of the Elders is to care for the flock’s spiritual well being. Deacons are but another group of leaders under the Eldership’s direction who take care of the day-to-day activities in the church, and help implement the church’s vision as developed by the Elders. The Deacons relieve the Elders of worldly concerns that would take them away from the truly important matters of the people whom they serve.