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Athens Christian Church

1411 W State Route 29, Athens, IL 62613
http://www.athenschristian.net
(217) 636-8463 Additional Contacts
 
History : Athens Christian Church is part of a brotherhood of churches which have their origins in what has been called variously The Restoration Movement, The Nineteenth Century American Reformation, and The Stone-Campbell Movement. The early leaders...read more
History : Athens Christian Church is part of a brotherhood of churches which have their origins in what has been called variously The Restoration Movement, The Nineteenth Century American Reformation, and The Stone-Campbell Movement. The early leaders of this movement were concerned about the lack of Christian unity among the church denominations of their time and how this disunity hindered the mandate of Jesus Christ to make disciples. But they also recognized that unity should not be obtained by compromising truth. Thus there was an emphasis on the Bible as the sole authority in areas of doctrine and practice. "Where the Bible speaks, we speak, where the Bible is silent, we are silent," a slogan coined by Thomas Campbell, one of the early movement leaders, is an illustration of this commitment to biblical authority. It was the understanding of the early leaders of the movement that true Christian unity could only be achieved by following the practices of the early church as recorded in the New Testament, and particularly the Book of Acts. The Bible was to be the only rule and guide. Doctrine, organization, and practices at Athens Christian Church are a reflection of this belief. Our congregation is governed by a plurality of elders as leaders, not an authoritative clergy. We are opposed to man made creeds as a test of fellowship, recognizing the Bible as our only creed. We practice weekly communion open to any Christian, acknowledging that the invitation to the Lord's Supper comes from Jesus, and it is not our place to invite or bar. We practice believer's baptism by immersion and for the remission of sins. We operate as an independent congregation, not governed by any ecclesiastical body. Even our congregational name "Christian" comes from the early days of the movement as leaders studied the scriptures and sought to pattern themselves after the New Testament church, using biblical names to identify the local body of Christ. They wished to be "Christians only." Today's Christian Churches began from several independent movements in various parts of the newly formed United States of America. Among them were James O'Kelly in North Carolina (1793), William Guirey in Georgia (1797), Elias Smith and Abner Jones in Vermont (1801), Barton W. Stone in Kentucky (1803), Thomas Campbell in Pennsylvania (1809), later joined by his son Alexander. Stone and the younger Campbell are recognized as the most influential leaders in the early days of the Restoration Movement. Their separate movements united in Kentucky in 1831 when they recognized that although they did not agree on everything, they did agree on the important things, including Christian unity so the world might be evangelized. Barton W. Stone was a prominent leader at the Cane Ridge, Kentucky revival in 1801 where he shared his understanding of the scriptures, and as a result was removed from association with the Presbyterian church. He continued preaching and organizing churches in Kentucky. He later moved to Illinois, living in Jacksonville. He died in 1844 and is buried at the Cane Ridge, Kentucky cemetery. Alexander Campbell followed his father from Northern Ireland and settled in Western Pennsylvania. He agreed with his father on the lack of biblical support for ecclesiastical bodies and creeds. This led him to break from his Presbyterian roots and associate himself with the Baptists. But by 1830 the same issues led him to leave the Baptists as well. Over the years he was involved in preaching and establishing churches. He was active in several publishing endeavors as a means to express his views to a wider public. He also was instrumental in launching a Christian college at Bethany, West Virginia, producing a steady stream of young preachers. Bethany College was the first of many institutions of higher learning began by the Christian Churches. Campbell died in West Virginia in 1866. Other men and women of equal talent and devotion have served the Christian churches in the
 
 

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History : Athens Christian Church is part of a brotherhood of churches which have their origins in what has been called variously The Restoration Movement, The Nineteenth Century American Reformation, and The Stone-Campbell Movement. The early leaders of this movement were concerned about the lack of Christian unity among the church denominations of their time and how this disunity hindered the mandate of Jesus Christ to make disciples. But they also recognized that unity should not be obtained by compromising truth. Thus there was an emphasis on the Bible as the sole authority in areas of doctrine and practice. "Where the Bible speaks, we speak, where the Bible is silent, we are silent," a slogan coined by Thomas Campbell, one of the early movement leaders, is an illustration of this commitment to biblical authority. It was the understanding of the early leaders of the movement that true Christian unity could only be achieved by following the practices of the early church as recorded in the New Testament, and particularly the Book of Acts. The Bible was to be the only rule and guide. Doctrine, organization, and practices at Athens Christian Church are a reflection of this belief. Our congregation is governed by a plurality of elders as leaders, not an authoritative clergy. We are opposed to man made creeds as a test of fellowship, recognizing the Bible as our only creed. We practice weekly communion open to any Christian, acknowledging that the invitation to the Lord's Supper comes from Jesus, and it is not our place to invite or bar. We practice believer's baptism by immersion and for the remission of sins. We operate as an independent congregation, not governed by any ecclesiastical body. Even our congregational name "Christian" comes from the early days of the movement as leaders studied the scriptures and sought to pattern themselves after the New Testament church, using biblical names to identify the local body of Christ. They wished to be "Christians only." Today's Christian Churches began from several independent movements in various parts of the newly formed United States of America. Among them were James O'Kelly in North Carolina (1793), William Guirey in Georgia (1797), Elias Smith and Abner Jones in Vermont (1801), Barton W. Stone in Kentucky (1803), Thomas Campbell in Pennsylvania (1809), later joined by his son Alexander. Stone and the younger Campbell are recognized as the most influential leaders in the early days of the Restoration Movement. Their separate movements united in Kentucky in 1831 when they recognized that although they did not agree on everything, they did agree on the important things, including Christian unity so the world might be evangelized. Barton W. Stone was a prominent leader at the Cane Ridge, Kentucky revival in 1801 where he shared his understanding of the scriptures, and as a result was removed from association with the Presbyterian church. He continued preaching and organizing churches in Kentucky. He later moved to Illinois, living in Jacksonville. He died in 1844 and is buried at the Cane Ridge, Kentucky cemetery. Alexander Campbell followed his father from Northern Ireland and settled in Western Pennsylvania. He agreed with his father on the lack of biblical support for ecclesiastical bodies and creeds. This led him to break from his Presbyterian roots and associate himself with the Baptists. But by 1830 the same issues led him to leave the Baptists as well. Over the years he was involved in preaching and establishing churches. He was active in several publishing endeavors as a means to express his views to a wider public. He also was instrumental in launching a Christian college at Bethany, West Virginia, producing a steady stream of young preachers. Bethany College was the first of many institutions of higher learning began by the Christian Churches. Campbell died in West Virginia in 1866. Other men and women of equal talent and devotion have served the Christian churches in the