Bible Study Moment

Acts 11:19-30 is about Barnabas as he goes from Jerusalem to Antioch. In verse 26 it is noted that it was in Antioch that the disciples of Jesus Christ were first called “Christians”.

Now may be a good time to talk a little about Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) history.

Why do we have two names?

In the years after 1800, two new Christian groups began on the American frontier both with a goal of dissolving into an undivided church – unity movements.

In Kentucky, near Lexington, were the Christians whose main leader was Barton Stone, who expressed this goal with sayings like “We are Christians only, not the only Christians.”

Further north in Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh, was a group begun by Thomas Campbell. In a short time his son, Alexander became the more prominent leader. Alexander Campbell looked at the meaning of the word Christian, Christ-like, and believed that was a prideful statement to make about one’s own self.  He preferred the phrase “disciple of Christ” meaning a follower or pupil, someone striving to become Christ-like. So that group became Disciples of Christ.

As people in the groups came to know about each other they started asking why shouldn’t they unite. The leaders met and agreed.

So we remember and honor both groups with our name of Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Mark Phillips