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Disciples of Christ


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A religious body which began in the United States of America among Presbyterians concerned for evangelism on the American frontier in the 19th cent., particularly Alexander Campbell and Barton W. Stone (1771–1844). It became a separate communion in 1832. The Churches are congregationally organized, regard the Bible as the only basis of faith, practise believers' Baptism, and celebrate the Lord's Supper every Sunday. Minor theological differences, enhanced by sociological ones, led to the formation of three main groups in the USA after 1906: (1) the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); (2) the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ; and (3) the Churches of Christ. These divisions are to some extent reflected in other parts of the world, but without the same distinction of name. Disciples have joined in a number of unions; in Britain the majority of the Churches of Christ joined the United Reformed Church in 1981.

(1) the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); (2) the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ; and (3) the Churches of Christ.

Subjects: Christianity.


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