Established on the frontier of Kentucky and Western Pennsylvania in the early 1800's, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) now numbers over 700,000 members in North America. Our founders were troubled with the rigidness and doctrine of denominations, and they sought to rise above the denominational walls that divided Christian brothers and sisters.
In 1832, two movements whose development had mirrored one another then joined together. One group, led by the father and son team of Thomas and Alexander Campbell rebelled against the various "tests of fellowship" which prevented Christians from gathering at the Lord's Table together to receive Holy Communion. They stressed a very intellectual approach to faith, which stood in stark contrast to the emotional faith that was rapidly growing on the frontier.
The other group, led by Barton Warren Stone, was birthed at one of the greatest Revival Camp Meetings in the history of Christianity: the Cane Ridge Revival. Over a two week period in 1801, over 12,000 Christians gathered to hear preachers from a number of religious movements and denominations proclaim the word of God, and worship God together. They were strongly against creeds, which they saw as being manmade walls of division within God's church.
As a denomination today, we have over 3,700 congregations in North America. We seek an openess to faith, and we work to unify the church around our faith in Jesus instead of building walls based upon our differences. Since 2001, we have been focused on our "2020 Vision" which seeks to transform our denomination into a growing, vibrant group of churches dedicated to working together to serve God and our fellow humanity. Our 20/20 Vision focuses us upon starting 1000 new congregations, revitalizing 1000 existing congregations, raising up and training the necessary leadership to meet the needs of these churches, and to continue to work towards being a pro-reconciliation/anti-racism church.
For more information visit our denomination's website at http://www.disciples.org/