Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada
130 E. Washington St.
P.O. Box 1986
Indianapolis, IN 46206-1986
Born on the American frontier in the early 1800s as a movement seeking the unity of all Christians, this body drew its major inspiration from Thomas and Alexander Campbell in western Pennsylvania and Barton W. Stone in Kentucky. Developing separately, the "Disciples," led by Alexander Campbell, and the "Christians," led by Stone, came together in 1832 in Lexington, Ky.
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is marked by openness, diversity, a reasoned faith, and a commitment to the priesthood of all believers. The Disciples claim no official doctrine or dogma, and have rejected the use of creeds as "tests of fellowship." Membership is granted after a simple confession of belief in Jesus Christ and baptism by immersion--although most congregations accept transfers baptized by other forms in other denominations. The Lord's Supper--generally called Communion--is open to all Christians, and is practiced weekly, although no church law insists upon it.
Thoroughly ecumenical, the Disciples helped organize the National and World Councils of Churches. The church is a member of the Churches Uniting in Christ. The Disciples and the United Church of Christ have declared themselves to be in "full communion" through the General Assembly and General Synod of the two churches. Official theological conversations have been going on since 1967 directly with the Roman Catholic Church.
Disciples have vigorously supported world and national programs of education, agricultural assistance, medical care, urban reconciliation, and aid to victims of war and calamity. Operating ecumenically, Disciples' personnel or funds work in more than 100 countries outside North America.
Three expressions of the church (congregational, regional and general) operate within strong but voluntary covenantal ties to one another. Entities in each expression manage their own finances, own their own property, call their own staff, and conduct their own programs. A General Assembly meets every two years and has voting representation from each congregation.