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Churches of Christ
Churches of Christ are made up of religious groups which believe that the Bible
is the inspired and authoritative Word of God. They believe the New Testament is
the main authority for churches and Christian life. Still, the Old Testament
is viewed as being extremely important to faith and true understanding. The
Churches of Christ recognize no creeds or manuals of doctrine. They see
Jesus Christ as the founder, head, and Savior of their church. Church of Christ
members believe that one is born again by faith, repentance, confession, and
baptism. The Church of Christ also believes that one must lead a faithful
Christian life to be saved.
The Churches of Christ are self-governing churches. There are no central
offices or officers. A group of church elders leads each congregation, assisted
by a group of deacons.
In the early 1800's, a lot of local church movements in areas like New
England, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Georgia pushed for a
return to the Bible. Because of this effort to bring back New Testament
Christianity and churches, congregations that make up the Churches of Christ are
now located in all 50 states of the United States and in more than 100 other
countries. Most church members, however, live in the south-central part of the
United States, especially in Tennessee and Texas. There are about 14,000
churches in the United States with about 1,300,000
church members. There are about 13,900 churches in other countries with an
approximate church membership of 750,000. The Churches of Christ have about 700
missionaries active in countries outside the United States.
Church of Christ congregations run over 200 primary and secondary schools,
several junior colleges, three colleges, and eight universities. They also
sponsor many graduate schools of religion, many schools of preaching, and around
100 children's homes and charitable agencies.
Researched from an article by F. Furman Kearley, Ph.D., Editor, Gospel Advocate.