Who We Are
"Where the scriptures speak, we speak, Where the scriptures are silent, we are silent."
We are the Evangelical Christian Church in Canada (Christian Disciples). As a mainstream, non-denominational Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement in North America, it traces its historic roots to the formal organization of the Christian Church in 1804 in Bourbon County, Kentucky, U.S.A., and in 1810 near Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada. The denomination was under the leadership of Barton Warren Stone (1772-1844), a former Presbyterian minister. This group reformed their beliefs regarding Christian unity in the church during the Second Great Awakening of the early 19th century.
The Stone Movement later merged with the efforts of Thomas Campbell (1763-1854) and his son Alexander Campbell (1788-1866). The Stone and Campbell movement are known today as the Restoration Movement that gave birth to the Churches of Christ (Non-Instrumental), the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and The Christian Connection. This movement sought to restore the whole Christian church, and the unification of all Christians, in a single body patterned after the church of the New Testament by continually pointing all Christians back to Christ and the Holy Scriptures alone.
In a nutshell, we believe that the church globally had departed from the New Testament mission by following the traditions of man. This movement sought to end the divisiveness that had arisen from within denominational differences while appealing to many Christians to disassociate from the lunacy of denominationalism which only became a recipe for segregation within many Christian circles. This movement believed in governing themselves under the Lordship and Headship of Jesus Christ, as opposed to being governed by a denominational hierarchy and man-made laws which were unheard of in the early church. Because our founders wanted to abandon the use of denominational labels, they used biblical names for their followers that they found in the Bible. Barton Stone's concept of unity grew from a belief that Christians could extract Biblical truth through the reasoning of the scriptures, and approached it without human presuppositions.
These biblical truths would replace human forms of disunity in the body of Christ, leading to the persistent belief that Christians would not in an attempt reform any particular denomination, but rather in an effort "restore" the "original" church according to its original forms of faith according to Acts 3:20-21.The preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ and his kingdom became the central themes of this organization. Both groups were opposed to the use of creeds as tests of faith for membership and believed that simple confession and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior was sufficient to unite all Christians as a priesthood of believers around the world as one church, one baptism, and one faith.
On June 28, 1804, they adopted the name the "Christian movement" to identify their group with Barton Stone based on its use in Acts 11:26 which became the remnants of the Springfield Presbytery. Of the majority of independent churches that aligned with the "Disciples movement" which identified with the Campbell's group, decided to use the name the "Christian Disciples," until it was named, The Evangelical Christian Church (Christian Disciples) in 1860.
The Evangelical Christian Church in Canada is conservative in Christian doctrine, and its member churches and ministries are self-governing in the tradition of congregational ecclesiastical government. Ministers are held accountable only to the holy scriptures and to Jesus Christ, and guaranteed freedom of thought and conscience to practice their faith without human restrictions. The Evangelical Christian Church in Canada permits from their members only those practices and beliefs that are in the guidelines of New Testament living and worship taught by the early church.
Today the Evangelical Christian Church in Canada continues the historical tradition of sound, moral, biblical Christianity and humanitarian work. They believed that divisions in the church come from church polity, not from the Bible. Each of the Evangelical Christian churches and affiliated ministries has a sound doctrine founded only on grace alone through faith. All Evangelical Christian Church affiliated ministries and churches offer assistance to the poor and homeless, home missions, and a wide array of counseling services, etc. Also, they continue to provide a strong, vital ministry to the afflicted and homeless which has been carried on to this day.