Churches of Christ

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Denominational Profile

History

Christian Church/Disciples of Christ

split into  Churches of Christ (1906)

 

The Churches of Christ (Non-Instrumental) is one of the several branches of the Restoration movement begun in the early 19th century by Barton Stone and Thomas and Alexander Campbell. Originating primarily among those Restorationist congregations in the South, it has become a national movement. It has been most identified for its disavowal of the use of instrumental music in worship and ultra-congregational organization. Over the years, the decentralized polity has allowed for a number of factions to develop over various beliefs and practices not accepted by the majority of churches. The Churches of Christ (Non-instrumental) represent the largest faction of the movement.

Membership Data

Year Clergy Churches Members
1929 2,507 6,226 433,714
1931 - - 433,714
1933 - - 433,714
1935 2,507 6,226 433,714
1936 - 3,815 309,551
1937 - 6,226 -
1946 - - 309,551
1947 - 10,000 682,172
1950 7,000 - -
1951 - 14,500 1,000,000
1952 15,500 16,000 1,500,000
1953 - 15,000 1,500,000
1954 - 16,500 1,600,000
1955 15,500 16,500 1,600,000
1956 8,500 16,250 1,700,000
1957 - 16,500 1,750,000
1958 12,500 17,500 2,000,000
1959 - 17,850 2,007,650
1960 8,366 18,680 2,163,493
1961 10,000 18,500 2,250,000
1965 7,000 18,500 2,350,000
1968 6,200 18,000 2,400,000
1976 12,800 17,000 2,500,000
1978 16,200 17,550 3,000,000
1979 - 12,700 1,600,000
1980 - 12,271 1,600,222
1982 - 12,750 1,605,000
1983 - 13,056 1,600,000
1984 - 13,100 1,600,500
1985 - 13,150 1,604,000
1987 - 13,364 1,623,754
1989 - 13,375 1,626,000
1990 - 13,134 1,683,346
1992 - 13,174 1,684,872
1993 10,000 13,013 1,651,103
1994 10,000 13,013 1,651,103
1995 10,000 13,020 1,655,000
1996 13,000 14,000 2,250,000
1997 15,850 14,400 1,800,000
1999 16,350 15,000 1,500,000
2005 16,350 15,000 1,639,495
2006 - 13,000 1,639,495

Data were taken from the National Council of Churches' Historic Archive CD and recent editions of the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches. Denomination descriptions provided by Dr. J. Gordon Melton, Director, Institute for the Study of American Religion (ISAR). [More information on data sources]