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. The denomination in the United States 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 Christian Disciples in Canada whose faith was influenced by Scotish Baptist theology, was founded in 1810, near Stratford, PEI, where a small Georgian/Colonial style church was built in 1813, by John R. Stewart, an immigrant from Perthshire, Scotland. The church was designed by members of the congregation, which were then Christian Disciples whose faith was influenced by Baptist theology. Alexander Crawford, who was then also working in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Crawford would remain with the Cross Roads congregation for almost two years before moving to Tryon, PEI. As early as 1813, Steward was holding worship services in his home. The young congregation decided to establish their first meeting house - a crude log cabin which was only thirty feet long by twenty feet wide. At this time, all of the adherents were of Scots ancestry.
From 1907 to 1947 the church was operated as a Baptist charge in conjunction with Baptist churches in Alexandra and Hazelbrook, when it apparently again became an Evangelical Christian Church.https://littlebritaincommunitybaptist.com/who-we-are-and-have-been/
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 Judeo-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. See the beginning of our roots in the OLDEST - Christian Disciples Church in Canada - Stratford, PEI .
This movement had roots in an 18th century reform that drew revival energy from the Evangelical Welsh Revival in England, and the Great Awakening in America. It begun within Scotish Presbyterianism and spread to an English-Baptist movement in Scotland. This led to the formation of a small fellowship of "Churches of Christ" in Scotland and England by the mid-19th century, a growing movement to North America, then spreading around the world. Achieving a period of general unity during the 19th century, the movement stumbled into some separation in the 20th century. This introduction focuses upon these restoration experiences as they developed in the Old World and then spread throughout Canada.
The theological beliefs of the Christian Disciples advocated simple congregational life: They taught the supreme authority of as the Scriptures, the restitution of primitive Christianity, the church as the New Israel, the "mystical body of Christ" made up of visible members of the church, autonomous congregations, the rejection of a national "established" Church, congregational leadership by a plurality of elders, weekly observance of the Lord's supper on the first day of the week, love feasts, mutual exhortation, a weekly collection for the poor, justification being an act of God through faith of the believer, baptism as a sign and seal of the New Covenant, and following the pattern established in the books of Acts regarding worship, church structure, and Kingdom living.
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" of the Evangelical Christian Church in 1810 in Canada.
The Evangelical Christian Church in Canada (Christian Disciples) 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 (Christian Disciples) 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 as Disciples of Christ.