Community Churches

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The common name, apparently dating from the 19th cent., for independent local congregations with no formal denominational affiliation. In origin, they grow out of a local community and are often composed of people dissatisfied with denominational Protestantism. They welcome everyone to their services, without seeking to persuade them to renounce membership of other bodies. The International Council of Community Churches was formed at Lake Forest in Illinois in 1950 through a merger of the Biennial Council of Community Churches (dating from the 1930s and consisting mainly of Black congregations) with the Council of Community Churches (founded in 1940 and consisting largely of White congregations). Though membership of this body is limited by the principle of congregational autonomy, in some parts of the world the term ‘community church’ has been added to the title of some Churches belonging to established denominations.

Subjects: Christianity.

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