Christian Church, General Convention
After the Revolutionary War members of different Protestant churches united in evangelistic and sacramental services.
In 1792 Reverend James O'Kelley withdrew, with many others, from the Methodist Episcopal Church, and they organized under the name of "Republican Methodists."
In 1794 they became known as "Christians," using the Bible as guide and discipline, and accepting Christian character as test of church fellowship.
A similar movement began among the Baptists of New England under Dr Abner Jones who organized a church at Lyndon, Vermont, 1800; he was joined by Elias Smith, Baptist minister of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and many others.
This same year the "Great Revival" started in the Cumberland Valley of Tennessee and Kentucky.
Two ministers, Richard McNemar and John Thompson, with John Dunlavy, Robert Marshall, and Barton W. Stone, withdrew in 1803 from the Synod of Kentucky and organized the Springfield Presbytery, adopting the same principles as O'Kelley in the South and Jones in New England.
In 1829 Alexander Campbell and followers separated from the Baptists of Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Barton W. Stone, one of the original leaders of the "Christians," joined them in 1832 on condition that the Bible should be basis of union.
The greater part of the original body remained, although a large number of "Christians" in Kentucky and Ohio followed Stone.
In 1854, on account of a resolution adopted condemning slavery, delegates from the South to the general convention withdrew and formed a separate organization until 1890, when Southern delegates resumed their seats in the convention.
They have no creed or doctrine other than the Bible.
No follower of Christ is barred because of difference in theological belief, Christian character being the only test of church fellowship.
They practise open communion, and labor to further the spirit of unity among Christians.
The general government of the body is congregational, and each local church is independent in its organization.
They publish six periodicals.
Foreign missionary work is carried on in Japan and Puerto Rico.
New Catholic Dictionary