The church of Christ dates back to the days of the New Testament (Romans 16:16). It was founded by Christ on the Day of Pentecost, A.D. 33 (Acts 2), not long after His ascension back to heaven. In the years that followed, it rapidly grew to fill Jerusalem, then Judea, Samaria, and finally the whole Roman Empire (Acts 1:8; Colossians 1:23). In America, the first churches of Christ were planted in the late 1700s, a movement that began in order to go back to the Bible and do Bible things in Bible ways and call Bible tings by Bible names (cf. 1 Peter 4:11).
We believe that Jesus is the Son of God (John 20:30-31), that the Bible is inspired of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17), and that Christ will return to take His kingdom home to God (1 Corinthians 15:24). We emphasize sincere worship (John 4:24), every-member evangelism (Acts 8:4), godly living (Titus 2:11-12), love for each other (John 13:34-35), and helping those in need (James 1:27). We believe the Bible teaches that sinners are saved by learning of Jesus, faith in Jesus, repentance of sin because of Jesus, confession of Jesus, and baptism into Jesus (John 6:44-45; John 3:16; Mark 16:15-16; Romans 10:9-10; Acts 2:38). The church of Christ is organized with elders, deacons, preachers, and members, as a New Testament time (Philippians 1:1). It has no governing body on earth higher than the local congregation.
The church of Christ is noted for its emphasis upon returning to New Testament Christianity and for its desire to unite all Christians into one body (1 Corinthians 1:10). We believe that the New Testament is the only rule for faith and practice in religious matters (2 Timothy 3:17; Revelation 22:18-19). Thus we try to strictly follow the New Testament. We believe that it is possible to have religious unity in a day of division, by simply following the New Testament pattern and putting aside human traditions.
To put it simply, the church of Christ is seeking to be the same church one reads about in the New Testament. We aim to restore its doctrine, its practice, its lifestyle, and its zeal.
The church of Christ strives to a “visitor friendly” church. Since many of our members were at one time visitors feel on their first visit. We make it our goal to be “the friendliest church you have ever visited.” We aim to treat others the way we want to be treated, like Jesus said (Matthew 7:12). You’ll receive a warm greeting and find assistance to locate your class (or your children’s) and/or a comfortable seat in the worship service. You will not be singled out, made to stand, encouraged to give any “testimony,” or in any other way made to feel embarrassed. The services are simple, reverent, practical, and meaningful.
What should I expect?
The apostle Paul wrote, “Whatsoever ye do, in word or deed, do all in the name of Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17). To do a thing “in the name of Christ” means to do it by His authority (see Acts 2:38; 1 Corinthians 1:10). Thus, whatever we teach or practice must be authorized by Christ. Regarding worship, Jesus said, “God is a spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). The word “must” is an obligatory word; that is, if worship is to be acceptable to God, it has to be exactly as He prescribes. To worship Him “in spirit” means that our worship must be sincere (from the heart). To worship God “in truth” means that our worship must be according to the way He directs in His word for His word is truth (John 17:17). Our worship consists of the following:
SINGING: One of the beautiful elements of our worship is the “a cappella” singing. That is, we sing without the use of mechanical instruments. The Scriptures do not authorize instrumental music; therefore, we do not use it. Paul writes, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19). Note that the melody is to be made “in your heart.”
PRAYER: One of the practices of the early Christians when they came together for worship was prayer. They “continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine, and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). Prayers are led by the men.
PREACHING: Preaching and teaching is important to Christians. During the worship period a sermon from God’s Word is presented to the congregation. This provides another opportunity for every person to learn what the Bible teaches and for us to be edified and encouraged to live a faithful life. Again, the early Christians “continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine…” (Acts 2:42).
THE LORD’S SUPPER: If you visit on a Sunday morning you will find that the observance of the Lord’s Supper will be a part of our worship. The bread and the fruit of the vine symbolize the body and blood of the Lord as He was crucified (1 Corinthians 11:23-25). Furthermore, this memorial supper is observed each first day of the week in keeping with apostolic example: “Upon the first day of the week when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them ready to depart on the morrow and continued his speech until midnight” (Acts 20:7).
GIVING: Paul writes, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store as God hath prospered him that there be no gatherings when I come” (1 Corinthians 16:2). Thus, each Sunday Christians give to the Lord as they have prospered (2 Corinthians 8-9). The offering is used to carry on the work of the church including evangelism, edification, and benevolence.