Sunday, July 03, 2016

History of the Beginning of Some Modern Denominations

"The Church of the Rock," in Helsinki, Finland

Jesus prayed that all His followers might be one, just as He and the Father are one (John 17:20-21). In the beginning He established one church, which He called "My church" (Matt 16:18), to which all the apostles and other first-century disciples belonged. 

However, starting in the second century, changes were made to the leadership and organization of the church. Thus began a process which resulted over time in many departures from the original pattern, and in the formation of Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant groups which were unknown in the New Testament.

It is impossible to list all the religious groups that exist today. Many of those noted below, such as “Baptist,” actually consist of multiple groups (American Baptist, Independent Baptist, Freewill Baptist, Primitive Baptist, Reformed Baptist, Southern Baptist, etc.). The same can be said of Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, and so on.

Of course, in addition to these, the so-called non-denominational “Community” churches represent a fast-growing trend as well. These groups may take names like “Fellowship,” “Keystone,” “Met,” “Grace,” “Cornerstone,” "Northwood," and many others. They are often associated with the founding “pastor” or a key “pastor,” as the Lakewood Church in Houston is connected with Joel Osteen.

The more one considers these divisions, the more one can appreciate the plea to abandon all departures and restore the teaching given to the first-century church.

330 EASTERN ORTHODOX – These churches, organized in many eastern European nations, began at various times. The movement, however, was launched when Constantine moved his capital from Rome to Byzantium.

606 ROMAN CATHOLIC – An exact beginning date cannot be determined because Catholicism gradually evolved out of changes in New Testament doctrines and practices. The year 606 marks the time when the bishopric of Rome became more dominant than others.

1517  LUTHERAN – In this year Martin Luther registered his ninety–five theses against Catholicism, not intending to start a new church. However, the Lutheran Church became reality following the Longer and Shorter Catechism (1529), the Augsburg Confession (1530), the Smalcald Articles of Faith (1537) and the Formula of Concord (1577).

1525  MENNONITE – The Mennonite movement began in Zurich, Switzerland.

1560  PRESBYTERIAN – The Presbyterian church grew out of the teachings of John Calvin, which were further refined by John Knox.

1608  BAPTIST – The Baptist movement began in Holland under the leadership of John Smyth. Roger Williams led the development in Colonial America, with a Baptist church being organized in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1639. The largest Baptist organization, the Southern Baptist Convention, began in May, 1845.

1614 REFORMED CHURCH IN AMERICA – This group, better known as Quakers, were organized by George Fox.

1708 CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN – This group started in Schwarzenau, Germany, with eight members. Under the leadership of Peter Becker, the American movement began in 1719 near Philadelphia.

1740 METHODIST – Methodist societies began at Oxford University under the direction of John and Charles Wesley.

1783 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL – This American version of the Church of England began in Annapolis, Maryland.

1796 UNITARIAN – The Unitarian group tarted in Boston.

1830 LATTER–DAY SAINTS – Better known as Mormons, this group was founded by Joseph Smith.

1844 SEVENTH–DAY ADVENTIST – This church was founded by William Miller, who predicted the end of the world would come between March 21, 1843, and March 21, 1844.

1866 CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTIST – Also known as Christian Science, this movement was started by Mary Baker Eddy in Lynn, Massachusetts.

1878 SALVATION ARMY – This group was started in London by William Booth.

1881 CHRISTIAN AND MISSIONARY ALLIANCE – Started in New York by A.B. Simpson.

1844 JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES – Founded by Charles Taze Russell, this religious body was known as the Millenial Dawnist until 1931.

1903 CHURCH OF GOD – Many religious bodies have used this name. The movement now counts some 200 branches.

1907 CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE – The Nazarenes began in Chicago when groups centered in New York and New England merged with a California group.

1914 ASSEMBLIES OF GOD – Founded in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

1931 CONGREGATIONAL CHRISTIAN – Formed by a merger of the Congregational church and a branch of the Christian church.

1934 EVANGELICAL AND REFORMED – Organized in Cleveland, Ohio, with a merger of the Evangelical Synod of North America and the Reformed church in the United States.

1946 EVANGELICAL UNITED BRETHREN – Began in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, with a union between the United Brethren in Christ and the Evangelical church.