Patheos Watermark

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Early Developments

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) grew rapidly in the American midwest during the 19th century. State conventions began meeting in 1839, and the first national convention was organized in 1849.

Schisms and Sects

The Disciples suffered two schisms, in 1906 and 1920. The first resulted from disagreements over the introduction of instrumental music in churches and the organization of a missionary society, while tensions between liberal and conservative tendencies produced the second.

Missions and Expansion

The Disciples markedly altered the church's early Congregationalist structure in 1849 and again in 1968. The American Christian Missionary Society was organized in 1849, and a new form of church government was introduced in 1968.

Exploration and Conquest

The founders of the Disciples were pacifists, but not abolitionists. Disciples fought on both sides of the civil war. More recently, the church has pledged itself to an agenda that promotes reconciliation while opposing racism.

Modern Age

Disciples founded the influential magazine The Christian Century, and have built many American colleges and universities. In 1995, the Disciples partnered with the United Church to found the Common Global Ministries Board.