Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was established on the American frontier in the early 1800s, through the coming together of two movements: the "Christians" who were associated with Barton W. Stone in Kentucky, and the "Disciples" who were associated with Thomas and Alexander Campbell in western Pennsylvania. Both groups were established as Christian unity movements, seeking to overcome the historic divisions transplanted from Europe and the British Isles to the North American continent, through an appeal to the restoration of the New Testament faith. In 1832, representatives of the two groups came together in Lexington, Kentucky, to form a single movement with a strong evangelistic witness and committed to weekly celebration of the Lord's Supper, to a rational faith, to congregational leadership, and to Christian unity expressed in freedom and diversity.
As a mainline Protestant church in the North American context, much of the life of the Christian Church is focused upon the broad societal and international issues facing all Christians and churches. Wherever possible and appropriate, the programmes of the church are carried out through ecumenical channels and organizations.
At its 2000 General Board, the church adopted the following statement of its Mission Imperative for the coming years:
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
In our quest to embody Christian unity, led and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we believe God calls us.
To be a faithful, growing church, that demonstrates true community, deep spirituality and a passion for justice. (Micah 6:8)
To be and to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, witnessing, loving and serving from our doorsteps "to the ends of the earth". (Acts 1:8)
To strengthen congregational life for this mission. (Ephesians 4:11-13, 15-16)
In accepting our Vision, Mission and Imperative, we affirm our need to be an anti-racist/pro-reconciliation church, strengthen relationships among all manifestations of the church, share mutually and more fully the stewardship of God's gifts of our life in Christ, encourage our growing diversity within our church family and community, work with our many ecumenical and global partners to heal the brokenness of the body of Christ and the human community.