The Evangelical Christian Church in Canada

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The Evangelical Christian Church in Canada (Christian Disciples) as an evangelical mainstream Canadian church[1] body in North America can be traced to the formal organization of the Christian Church in 1804,[2] in Bourbon County, Kentucky [3] under the leadership of Barton Warren Stone (1772–1844).[4] The Stone Movement later merged with the efforts of Thomas Campbell (1772–1854) and his son Alexander Campbell (1788–1866) to become the Restoration Movement that gave birth to the Churches of Christ (Non-Instrumental), the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, and the Christian Church Disciples of Christ. The Evangelical Christian Church (Christian Disciples) as a new group within the Restoration tradition was reorganized in 2001.[5] The Evangelical Christian Church's national office in Canada is in Waterloo, Ontario.[6][7]

The Evangelical Christian Church, also known as "Christian Disciples" became the Stone-Campbell Movement, also called the American Restoration Movement [8] which arose on the frontiers of early nineteenth-century America. Like minded Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians abandoned denominational labels in order to be "Christians only" from the Stone group, and "Disciples" from the Campbell group.[9] They called followers from both groups to join in Christian unity and restore the ideals of the primitive New Testament church, holding only the Bible as authoritative.[10]

The Evangelical Christian Church (Christian Disciples), founded in 1804, joined with other Canadian branches in 1832, and the first work of the Canadian Evangelical Christian Church to formed was in 1810 in Ontario, and in the Maritime provinces Canada.[11] After the Second World War, a collaboration between an All-Canadian and North American (Evangelical Christian Church) Movement began as a way to coordinate and unite the various churches of the Restoration Movement in order to reform the church along non-sectarian, non-creedal lines. Several church bodies identifying with the Stone-Campbell movement were very creedal and range from ultra-conservative to ultra-liberal as can be seen in the United Church of Christ which is an attempt to unite all Christian denominations into one national body. In the beginning of the early 1940s, this movement organized a Great Western revival meeting, causing an increase in religious interest and excitement in the Canadian Evangelical Christian Church, unifying Christians based on their interpretations of New Testament principles.[12][13]

During the early twentieth century, many Restoration Movement churches not affiliated with the three larger Restoration bodies existed under such names as Canadian Evangelical Christian Churches,[14] Evangelical Christian Churches, [15]Independent Christian Churches, Christian Churches of North America, Christian Missionary Churches, Bible Evangelical Churches, Community Churches, Evangelical Congregational Churches, Congregational Christian Churches, and the Evangelical Protestant Churches which traces its roots to various Lutheran and Reformed churches from Germany in 1720. The Congregation Christian Church itself was the product of a merger in 1931, between the Congregational Church and a number of Christian Churches. The Congregational Church developed in England before migrating to the United States.[16] Some of these united in 1966 as the Evangelical Christian Churches, Farmland, Indiana. The majority of these congregations that have not been otherwise absorbed, continue as the Evangelical Christian Churches, Albany, Indiana.[17][18]
Contents
[hide]

  • 1 Restoration Movement history
    * 2 History
    * 3 Organization and structure
    * 4 Ministries
    * 5 Membership trends
    * 6 Sacraments
    * 7 Doctrine
    * 8 Colleges and universities
    * 9 Board of directors
    * 10 Memberships
    * 11 Key figures
    * 12 See also
    * 13 References
    * 14 External links

[edit] Restoration Movement history

The Second Great Awakening at Cane Ridge, Kentucky helped advance the liberation of black slaves and women's rights within American-Canadian society. Several African American Christians who were born into slavery went on to become prominent figures in society, marked as a "central and defining" moment in the development of Afro-Christianity. The Restoration Movement influenced many Evangelical Christian Church (Christian Disciples) clergy, and those who were followers of the Stone movement, to believe that all men, including blacks, are created equal under God according to the Holy Scriptures. This was later adopted in its constitution of beliefs in Canada [19] because of its political and religious anti-slavery views. [20] In Laura, Ohio, in 1854, many African American ministers were welcomed to preach in the pulpits of various Evangelical Christian Churches, while many of the white Evangelical Christian Church's clergy continued to minister to mixed congregations, which was unprecedented. [21][22]

In the midst of shifts in theology and church polity [23] the Evangelical Christian Church became the first institution where both women and blacks made an important contribution in leadership roles within many Evangelical Christian Churches in North America.[24] The Evangelical Christian Church (Christian Disciples) exercised its independence under God by becoming one of many Restoration Movement denominations to recognize the ordination of women. Women in many black Evangelical Christian Churches became, to an even greater degree than in white churches, the backbone of church life; many became preachers. Black women so reared, upon joining integrated churches, found it difficult to accept less crucial roles where men dominated.[25][26]

The Evangelical Christian Church (Christian Disciples) participated in the holiness movement that occurred spontaneously in various parts of the United States during the latter part of the 19th century.[27] The converts needed to be established in holiness of heart and life, and opportunities were opening for the expansion of the work into other communities to ending abolitionism in the United States with the involvement of James O'Kelly, an American Methodist clergyman. [28] The distinctive characteristic of early Methodism in the United States that most appealed to people and resulted in conversions and joining the Evangelical Christian Church (Christian Disciples) was not a theological concept, such as Arminianism, but rather was "enthusiasm," including dreams, dancing, visions, supernatural impressions, miraculous healings, Speaking in tongues, praising God, laughter, swoons, and falling down in trances. It was also reported that those who came to the revival meetings scoff at these manifestations were not immune to these life changing experiences.[29]
[edit] History

The Union of Evangelical Christian Churches was founded in 1992 to continue the tradition of the Union of Evangelical Christians, which had been founded in Russia in 1909 and then banned under communist rule. [30] The leaders believed in the essential unity of the body of Christ, they could not accept the sectarianism that was all around them. Several church bodies identifying with he Stone-Campbell movement today are very creedal and range from ultra-conservative to ultra-liberal as can be seen in the United Church of Christ which is an attempt to unite all Christian denominations into one national Church body as well as the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches which merged English Christians with American-Canadian Christians in 1931. [31]

It was after the Second World War, that a collaboration between an All-Canadian and North-American (Evangelical Christian Church) Movement began as a way to coordinate and unite the various churches and ministries within Canada. [32] As this movement developed, in Canada, following up to the early 1940's, .... the Great Western Revival caused a tidal wave of religious interest and excitement in the Canadian Evangelical Christian Church to sweep across North America, revolutionizing a spiritual hunger for God, and unifying Christians on the basis of New Testament basic principles, while liberating the spiritual landscape in Canada. The leaders of this movement sought to reform the church along non-sectarian, non-creedal lines.
[edit] Organization and structure

The Evangelical Christian Church in Canada (Christian Disciples) is non-denominational[33] and its member churches are self-governing in the tradition of congregational polity. Ministers are held accountable only to the scriptures, and guaranteed freedom of thought and conscience to practice their faith without doctrinal restrictions. The ECCC permits only those practices that it believes are found in the guidelines of New Testament living and worship as taught by the early church. The ECCC divides the country into 10 districts assigned to district superintendents for liaison with the congregations and ministers in the appointed province. A hierarchical leadership is in place nationally, including the provincial superintendents, the general superintendent, the board of directors or general council, and regional field representatives. The general superintendent or bishop constitute the executive staff. Ordinations are approved by the Credentials Standing Committee and ministerial credentials come from Central Office.Ordained or licensed ministers, both male and female, provide leadership for the church and preside over the ordinances.[34][35] [36]
[edit] Ministries

The early participants in the Evangelical Christian Church (Christian Disciples) consisted of those who came away from a variety of fundamental, evangelical denominations, not in an attempt to reform any particular denomination, but rather in an effort to "restore" the "original" church according to the New Testament pattern.[37] They believed that history was moving toward a spiritual climax where God's power will be poured out on the church. Promoters of restoration believed that this supernatural move could be the Lord's final move where the church will be endued with power to Christianize the world before Jesus returns. In order for this dominion pursuit to be realized, the Five-fold ministry expounded in Eph.4:11 (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers) needed to be commissioned by the Church at large and given room to exercise their spiritual gifts [38] and authority in the church of Jesus Christ. [39][40]
[edit] Membership trends

Within the North America Evangelical Christian Church, the Region of Canada, which had 30 churches and some 3500 members in the mid-1990s (down from 38 churches in the 1980s), is unique in that it functions as a national church and has full denominational status at national and international levels. [41] All Christian faiths were free to establish places of worship, train clergy, and proselytize to their faith.[42] In Canada alone, The Evangelical Christian Church in Canada has 39 churches with 7300 members reported in 2009 the Yearbook of Canadian and American Churches.[43]
[edit] Sacraments

The Evangelical Christian Church (Christian Disciples) teaches that Jesus Christ instituted two ordinances as instruments of his grace, found in:[44]

  • Baptism, which is limited to those old enough to make a profession of faith and is commonly administered by immersion.
  • The Lord's Supper is performed weekly, at which time all members partake of the emblems.
  • The washing of feet is also practiced by members and clergy.

[edit] Doctrine

The Evangelical Christian Church in Canada (Christian Disciples) has eleven Articles of Faith that are considered to be their definitive doctrinal statement:[45][46][47]

  • The Bible as the written Word of God
    * The virgin birth of Jesus
    * The deity of Jesus Christ
    * The Person and work of the Holy Spirit
    * The Trinity
    * Salvation through the atonement
    * The guidance of our life through prayer
    * The death and resurrection of Christ
    * The return of Christ
    * The resurrection of the redeemed and the lost
    * The establishment of the Millennial Kingdom

[edit] Colleges and universities

  • Dayspring Christian University
    * Canada Chinese Reform Evangelical Seminary
    * Waterloo Bible College [48][49]
    * Beyond the Walls Life Coach Institute
    * Caribbean Divinity University & Seminary
    * Collegio de Formacian Theologica Ministerial, Inc.
    * Crossroads Theological Seminary
    * Escuela Apostolica de Desarrolla Ministerial
    * Forerunners Theological Institute
    * H.O.P.E. Bible Institute
    * Praise Bible College
    * Saint James The Elder Theological Seminary
    * Saint Jude's Seminary
    * The Institute of Theology & Christian Therapy
    * The Palm Tree Institute
    * Zoe Life Theological College

[edit] Board of directors

  • Dr. David Lavigne (Bishop)
    * Rev. Douglas Anderson (Assistant Superintendent)
    * Rev. Gord Horsley (General Secretary)
    * Dr. Dave Hunter (Director)
    * Rev. Louisa Providence (Director)
    * Dr. Gary Barkman (Director, Archbishop ECC)
    * Dr. Steven Smethers (Director)
    * Rev. Cynthia Lavigne (Assistant Director)

[edit] Memberships

  • Evangelical Fellowship of Canada

[edit] Key figures

  • Barton Stone (1772-1844)
  • Alexander Campbell (1788-1866)
  • Thomas Campbell (clergyman) (1763–1854)

[edit] See also

  • List of Christian denominations
    * List of Christian denominations by number of members
    * Christian Church
    * History of Christianity
    * Second Great Awakening
    * Restorationism
    * Restorationism (Christian primitivism)
    * Christianity in the 18th century
    * Christianity in the 19th century

[edit] References

1. ^ http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/pub/rc/rel/eccc-ecec-eng.asp Religions in Canada (2009) Retrieved on 17/10/09
2. ^ http://www.novelguide.com/a/discover/ear_01/ear_01_00100.html roots in the Christian Church (2009) Retrieved 23-04-09
3. ^ http://www.kentaurus.com/domine/protestant.HTM Restoration Movement denominations Retrieved on 01-14-10
4. ^ http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/567184/Barton-W-Stone 2010 Retrieved on 01-22-10
5. ^ http://www.lac-bac.gc.ca/genealogy/022-806-e.html Genealogy of Evangelical Christian Church (2008)Retrieved on 2008-14-10
6. ^ "Canadian Denominations from the 2005 Edition". ElectronicChurch.org. 2005. Archived from the original on 2007-10-22. http://web.archive.org/web/20071022111537/http://electronicchurch.org/canadian.html. Retrieved 2007-12-09.
7. ^ "Canadian Company Capabilities - Canadian Evangelical Christian Churches". Industry Canada. 2007. http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/app/ccc/search/navigate.do?language=eng&portal=1&subPortal=&estblmntNo=234567113463&profile=completeProfile. Retrieved 2007-12-09.
8. ^ http://people.ucalgary.ca/~lipton/christian1.html University of Calgary (2010) Retrieved on 01-22-10
9. ^ http://www.mun.ca/rels/restmov/texts/jsummerbell/summer1.html Christian & Disciples Retrieved on 11-01-2009
10. ^ http://www.interfaithcalendar.org/NorthAmericaChristians.htm Denominations in North America Retrieved on 11-06-09
11. ^ http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0001610 The Canadian Encyclopedia (2009) Retrieved on 11-05-09
12. ^ http://www.evangelicalfellowship.ca/NetCommunity/page.aspx?pid=848 Evangelical Fellowship of Canada Retrieved on 2004-01-01
13. ^ http://www.ecumenism.net/denom/directory.htm Canadian Headquarters (2007) Retrieved 2009-25-04
14. ^ http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/ecumenical-links/churches-in-mission-and-evangelism/link/getviewdetailsforlink/0/canadian-evangelical-chri-1.html?tx_ablinklist_pi1%5Bcategory_uid%5D=0&tx_ablinklist_pi1%5Bcid%5D=14109&cHash=e96ab48fdb World Council of Churches Retrieved on 01-07-10
15. ^ http://www.chaplainservices.org/denominations_52.html Retrieved on 07-05-10
16. ^ http://www.angelfire.com/pa4/GeneralConference/history.html 2010 Retrieved on 15-014-10
17. ^ http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/caninfo/ep02.htm Denominations in Canada (2008)Retrieved on 2008-14-08
18. ^ http://freepages.religions.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gentutor/religion.html History of Restoration movement religions in U.S., and Canada (2008) Retrieved on 07-05-10
19. ^ http://www.canadianpolitics5e.nelson.com/student/links.html#9 (2009) Retrieved on 10-07-10 Canadian religious and political history
20. ^ http://mises.org/pdf//asc/2002/asc8-herbener.pdf (2010) Retrieved on 10-07-10 Restoration Movement on the anti-slavery
21. ^ http://www.ecumenism.net/denom/evangelical.htm Ecumenical movement (2008) Retrieved on 12-04-10
22. ^ http://isae.wheaton.edu/links/ Institute for the study of American Evangelicals (2009) Retrieved on 17-10-09
23. ^ http://www.worldchristiandatabase.org/wcd/bot/list.asp?list=denomination (2009) World Christian Database Retrieved on 2009-09-10
24. ^ http://www.civilization.ca/cmc/explore/online-resources-for-canadian-heritage/history/history---canada-9#relig History of Evangelical Christian Church (2008) Retrieved on 2008-14-09
25. ^ http://www.islandnet.com/~cghl/region.php?cat=Ontario History in Ontario Retrieved on 2008-07-05
26. ^ http://www.greyroots.com/collections-research/archives/links/ Archives Retrieved om 12-07-09
27. ^ http://www.novelguide.com/a/discover/ear_01/ear_01_00070.html (2009) Holiness movements in the nineteenth century Retrieved on 08-04-10
28. ^ http://www.mywesleyan.com/nature-of-my-game/ (2010) Evangelical Christian Church Wesleyan movement Retrieved on 11-31-10
29. ^ http://www.restorationmovement.org/detail.php?id=1696 Restoration movement history (2009) Retrieved on 07-05-10
30. ^ http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/pub/rc/rel/eccc-ecec-eng.asp Religions in Canada (2009) Retrieved on 17/10/09
31. ^ http://gospellessons.info/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/10rest.pdf History of ECC Retrieved on 20-12-10
32. ^ http://www.novelguide.com/a/discover/ear_01/ear_01_00100.html roots in the Christian Church (2009) Retrieved 23-04-09
33. ^ http://churchdirectory.ca/browse (2010) Canadian denominations Retrieved on 07-23-10
34. ^ http://www.religioustolerance.org/int_rel9.htm Ontario Religious Tolerance (2007) Retrieved on 2009-24-04
35. ^ http://www.churchsearch.ca/denomination.html Canadian Church Search (2004) Retrieved on 24-04-2009
36. ^ http://www.religioustolerance.org/int_rel9.htm Ontario Religious Tolerance (2007) Retrieved 2009
37. ^ http://www.centenary.edu/religion/links (2010) evangelical denominations Retrieved on 08-04-10
38. ^ http://twu.ca/sites/cprn/research/denominations.html Charismatic Movement 2009 Retrieved on 21-10-09
39. ^ http://www.gtfeducation.org/About_GTF/Consultative_Bodies.html (2009) Retrieved on 08-07-09
40. ^ http://hirr.hartsem.edu/denom/homepages.html Hartford Institute for Religion Research Retrieved on 01-10-10
41. ^ http://guides.library.yale.edu/content.php?pid=45595&sid=337028 (2010) Evangelical restoration movement Retrieved on 11-26-10
42. ^ http://files.efc-canada.net/min/rc/cft/V01I02/Evangelicals_Canadian_Census.pdf Canadian Census (2005) Retrieved on 08-14-10
43. ^ http://www.electronicchurch.org/ Yearbook (2010)Retrieved on 08-14-10
44. ^ http://www.charitypages.ca/index.php?option=com_sobi2&sobi2Task=sobi2Details&sobi2Id=212&Itemid=204 (2010) Charity organization Retrieved on 07-06-10
45. ^ http://www.bible.ca/cr-Canadian-Evangelical-Christian-Churches-CECC.htm (2008) Retrieved on 10-17-08
46. ^ http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_eccdc.htm Beliefs Retrieved on 11-01-2009
47. ^ http://www.cccb.ca/site/Files/Declaration_Marriage_En.pdf Marriage declaration (2004) Retrieved on 08-14-10
48. ^ http://www.academicinfo.net/canreligchristian.html (2008) academic institutions Retrieved on 10-17-08
49. ^ http://www.bu.edu/sthlibrary/library-research-guides/christian-denominations/ denominational colleges Retrieved on 01-09-10

[edit] External links

  • Official ECCC website

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evangelical_Christian_Church_in_Canada"
Categories: Evangelical parachurch organisations | Christianity in Canada | Christian denominations | Restoration Movement | Protestantism | Non-denominational Christianity | Christian group structuring