The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is a community of about 800,000 Christians in 3,800 congregations in the United States and Canada. Two groups of frontier Christians came together in 1832 to form the foundation of today’s Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). They shared the view that people should not be excluded from fellowship in the church because they didn’t adhere to a particular human-made creed. They used to say there is “no creed but Christ.” Today’s Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) still thinks that way. We study the Bible to deepen our connection to God through Jesus Christ, and to discover what God wants us to do.
Some Disciples have liberal views. Others have conservative views. But we share the belief that we are united in our faith that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, the Savior of the World.” Two really important things to Disciples are communion and baptism. We celebrate communion, or the Lord’s Supper, each time we get together to praise God. The communion table is open to all believers. We like it when there are a lot of different people at communion. We believe that Christ heals the pain of human separation around the communion table.
People who become Christians in a Disciples congregation do a couple of things. First, they say “I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Then, usually on another day, they are baptized – that is, they are lowered fully under water (we call that baptism by “full immersion”) in a small pool right in the church. When they come up they are new people in Christ and their congregation pledges to support them and help them grow into a deeper relationship with God through Jesus Christ. People who have been baptized in another way in another Christian tradition are welcome. They don’t have to be immersed to get in.
Disciples’ congregations own their own property and have full control of their budgets and program. They decide whom to call as a pastor. Pastors may be men or women.