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|DISCIPLES OF CHRIST|
|Protestant denomination, one of several known as "the
Christian Church"; began in the early 1800s through the work of three
ex-Presbyterian ministers (Thomas and Alexander Campbell and Barton
Stone). In 1832, their congregations joined together to form the Christian
Church. Initially strongly congregational in polity, the Disciples more
recently assumed a strong national body. The general assembly meets
biennially. It elects a general board, which then elects those to serve on
the administrative committee, which is in charge of implementing programs
between assemblies. The Disciples practice baptism of believers by
immersion and celebrate the Lord's Supper every Sunday as a memorial meal.
The Disciples has been subjected to church-sect analyses by Whitley (1955) and, more thoroughly, the Stone-Campbell movement generally, by Bungard (1985). Recently, the Disciples engaged in a major self-study, which relied heavily on research by social scientists.
J. E. Bungard, Becoming a Denomination , Doctoral dissertation, University of Kansas, 1985
O. R. Whitley, "The Sect to Denomination Process in an American Religious Movement," Southwestern Social Science Quarterly 36(1955): 275-282.
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