The church of Christ has its beginnings with Christ Himself. He is the Creator of the universe who came and lived in human form among His creation. (John 1:1-18) He was tempted but was victorious and sinless (Hebrews 4:14-16), and died to pay the penalty of sin once for all time, for all sinners. (Hebrews 10:10-18) The blood that He shed, then, saves us from our sins. (Romans 5:6-11)
When people believe that Jesus is the Son of God, the Savior of the world, they are commanded to turn from their sins, and be baptized in water for the forgiveness of sins. When they do, the Lord adds them to His church. (Acts 2:38, 40-41, 47) This is why the Scriptures speak of Jesus "purchasing" the church with His blood. (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; etc.) So, while all man-made churches (and even some major world religions!) have more modern beginnings, the church of Christ was started in the first century. The New Testament book of Acts tells of the beginnings and the spread of the gospel, as the apostles and other disciples of Jesus went everywhere spreading truth. People who responded well were saved, and formed local congregations of Christians.
Our congregation has its beginnings in more recent times, in the summer of 2006. Many who had responded well to the New Testament gospel message had formed a congregation which meets on Gooch Lane in Madison, AL. That congregation had reached the capacity of its meeting place, and the original plan had always been to start a new congregation when that occurred. The elders of the Gooch Lane church were fully supportive of the new work, as were the members. The new work conducted a number of planning meetings over a period of about 3 months. Much attention was given to following the New Testament pattern for Jesus' church. All decisions were made by the men who would be meeting with the new congregation. All finances were handled independently of Gooch Lane, and solely by the members of the new group.
On April 6, 2008 we began meeting in our current building. Our aim is to be the church which Jesus purchased. As we realize that goal, we make every effort to glorify God by spreading His word in Madison County and wherever we may have opportunity. The Lord has blessed us richly. We have appointed three elders and five deacons in order to "set in order the things that [were] lacking." (Titus 1:5; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3) We would value an opportunity to sit down with you and discuss God's will for our lives and for His church.
Are you looking for a church that is NOT a denomination? You've come to the right place! Our aim is to hold the traditions of the first century church that Jesus built. We follow the pattern given by Jesus' apostles as closely as possible.
Since the beginning of the Lord's church, Christians have had to put up with misconceptions and criticisms by outsiders. It may even be that the very term "Christian" was originally intended to be derogatory (Acts 11:26), and it is clear that Christianity was initially viewed as a branch of Judaism. Jesus' apostle Paul said,
Paul belonged to "the Way," which calls to mind Jesus' statement in John 14:6, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." Jesus' church is not an off-shoot of Judaism. It is the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham (Genesis 12:3) and the culmination of the Jewish hope that the Messiah would one day reign in Zion. (Psalm 2; Isaiah 2; etc.) And Jesus' church is not made up of branches or sects. Each congregation is to have elders (there are three interchangeable Greek words from which we derive six English words), and those men answer to the Chief Shepherd, Jesus. (Acts 14:23; 1 Peter 5:1-4)
We are not part of any denomination. We are simply an independent congregation of Christians. There are several descriptions of Jesus' church in the Scriptures, for example, "the church of God" (1 Corinthians 1:2), "His body which is the church" (Colossians 1:24), "the household of God" (Ephesians 2:19), "a spiritual house, a holy priesthood... a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people" (1 Peter 2:5, 9), and "the church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven" (Hebrews 12:23). Jesus Christ called it "My church" (Matthew 16:18), so multiple congregations are called "churches of Christ." (Romans 16:16) So we could call ourselves any and all of these phrases. For practical purposes, we have selected "church of Christ," but we have no organizational ties to any other congregation, period. We are independent in our leadership and our decision-making. It should also be noted that there are other groups by the same name, even in this county, with varied practices which we reject. So please judge us for what we are -- an independent congregation, not part of any denomination.
We are an independent congregation and are not part of any denomination. As in New Testament times, Christ is our head, elders lead us, and deacons serve us. (See Ephesians 1:15-23; Philippians 1:1; Hebrews 13:17; 1 peter 5:1-5; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Acts 6:1-6; etc.)
Our elders, L to R: Mike Eison, Tim Smith, Allen Dvorak, Gary Copeland
L to R, top: Jim Boyd, Doug Childs, Phil Davis, Ralph
Our Worship See a tract with more detail.
We sing as a congregation, making melody in our hearts. We have a man leading us, and the songs usually come from a songbook, for our convenience. If you can't join in, just listen and follow the words. Ephesians 5:18-19; Colossians 3:16
Prayer is led by one man while the congregation prays silently. 1 Timothy 2:1-12
We usually listen to a sermon taken from the Scriptures. Acts 2:42; Acts 20:7 Sometimes we have a prayer or song service. See Acts 12:5
We encourage any who need prayer or spiritual assistance to share their need with us, usually after the sermon when we stand and sing a song. James 5:16
We take the Lord's Supper every Sunday. Each individual chooses whether or not to participate, while the items are passed to the entire congregation. 1 Corinthians 11:23-33; Acts 20:7
We collect money from the members on Sunday. 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 Our visitors are under no obligation to participate.
We conduct classes, divided by age, to study the Scriptures. Compare Acts 2:42; 17:11; Acts 18:26. Click here to see a bit about our Bible classes for children of all ages.
We try to follow New Testament instructions for worship, so we take great care to do all things "decently and in order." 1 Corinthians 14:40 We aim for the edification of the church, and for all to know that God is truly among us. 1 Corinthians 14:5, 24
Please come worship with us. You will treated as an honored guest and will never be called on or embarrassed in any way.
"Evangelism" is preaching the good news of salvation through Jesus. We provide financial support to our local preacher and missionaries and other preachers requesting help from time to time. (Philippians 4:14-15)
"Edification" is building up each other. We conduct Bible classes and worship services on a regular schedule and have special classes occasionally, as well. (Acts 2:42; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 14:26; Hebrews 10:24-25)
"Benevolence" is caring for needy Christians. While the church is to have a decidedly spiritual focus (1 Timothy 3:15; 1 Peter 2:9-10), the New Testament is replete with examples of congregations collecting and then giving money or even food to needy Christians in their own group (Acts 2:44-45; Acts 4:32-37; Acts 6:1-7) or to Christians in other congregations (Acts 11:27-30; Romans 15:26; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 8 - 9).
Please don't misunderstand: We enjoy good clean fun and good food. But in the New Testament, the works of the church are distinct from the works of the home (e.g., 1 Timothy 5:16). So, as individuals, we spend time together in our houses (Acts 2:46; 1 Corinthians 11:22), and each Christian looks out for the needs of his or her neighbor. (James 1:26-27; Galatians 6:10) The church, on the other hand, has a mission with a unique focus, as described above.
Following the New Testament pattern will make us pleasing to our Lord Jesus Christ. Individual Christians and congregations of Christians each have plenty to do to keep busy in the Lord's kingdom. We hope you'll join us in our work!