Evangelical Christian Church in Canada
|The Evangelical Christian Church in Canada|
|SERMONS, ESSAYS AND OPINIONS||
The Evangelical Christian Church in Canada, also known as the Christian Church (Christian Disciples), is an evangelical Protestant denomination of churches, ministries and clergy in Canada that was founded in 1810.
The Evangelical Christian Church in Canada (Christian Disciples) traces its beginnings to the formal organization of the Christian Church in 1804, in Bourbon County, Kentucky, under the leadership of Barton Warren Stone (1772-1844). The Stone movement later merged with the efforts of Thomas Campbell (1763-1844), and his son Alexander Campbell (1788-1866), to become the Restoration Movement that gave birth to the Churches of Christ (Non-Instrumental), the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ, and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The Evangelical Christian Church, as a new group within the Restoration tradition was reorganisied in 2001.
During the early twentieth century, many Restorationist churches not affiliated with the three larger Restoration bodies existed under such names as Canadian Evangelical Christian Churches, Evangelical Christian Churches, Christian Churches of North America, Christian Missionary Churches, Bible Evangelical Churches, Community Churches, Evangelical Congregational Churches, Congregation Christian Churches, and the Evangelical Protestant Churches which traces its historic roots to various Lutheran and Reformed churches from Germany in 1720. The Congregational Christian Church itself was a product of a merger in 1931, between the Congregational Church and a number of Christian Churches. The Congregational Church was formed in Germany before migrating to the United States and Canada. Some of these congregations that have not been otherwise absorbed, continue as the Evangelical Christian Churches, Albany, Indiana.
The Central Office of The Evangelical Christian Church in Canada is 125 Lincoln Rd. #410, Waterloo, Ontario N2J 2N9.
- Dr. David Lavigne
- Rev. Douglas Anderson
- Rev. Gord Horsley
- Rev. Louisa Providence
- Dr. Dave Hunter
- Dr. Gary Barkman
- Dr. Steve Smethers
- Rev. Cythnia Lavigne
The church is named "The Evangelical Christian Church in Canada - Christian Disciples" in the light of Paul's message in the gospel of Matthew 28:19:
- "Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"
The Evangelical Christian Church in Canada has a commitment to restore the church to the New Testament pattern.
Organization and Structure
The Evangelical Christian Church in Canada is headed by the Bishop (General Superintendent). Provincial District Superintendents report to the General Superintendent and oversee the various activities that take place in their districts or regions.
The early participants in the Evangelical Christian Church in Canada (Christian Disciples) consisted of those who came away from a variety of fundamental, evangelical denominations, not in an attempt to reform any particular denomination, but rather in an effort to "restore" the "original" church according to the New Testament pattern. They believed that history was moving toward a spiritual climax where God's power will be poured out on the church. Restorationist promoters understood that this supernatural move could be the Lord's final move where the church will be endued with power to Christianize the world before Jesus returns. In order for this dominion pursuit to be realized, the Five-fold ministry expounded in Ephesians 4:11 (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) needed to be commissioned by the Church and given to exercise their spiritual gifts and authority in the church of Jesus Christ.
The Evangelical Christian Church in Canada (Christian Disciples) believes that Jesus Christ instituted two sacraments as instruments of His grace:
- Baptism is limited to those old enough to make a profession of faith, and is commonly administered by immersion
- The Lord's Supper is a weekly ordinance which is given to all believers in Christ.
The washing of feet is also an ordinance that is practiced by all Christians in obedience to Christ's commands found in the scriptures.
The Evangelical Christian Church in Canada eleven Articles of Faith are considered to be their definitive doctrinal statement:
- The Bible as the written Word of God
- The virgin birth of Jesus
- The Deity of Christ
- The Person and work of the Holy Spirit
- The Trinity
- Salvation through the Atonement
- The guidance of our life through prayer
- The death and resurrection of Christ
- The return of the Savior
- The resurrection of the redeemed and the lost
- The millennial Reign of Christ
The church does not advocate any other doctrine unless it "lines up and is consistent with the whole counsel of God's Word and does not engender fear or confusion." Ministers and clergy have freedom of conscience and the liberty to hold other personal opinions or other Christian doctrinal beliefs, for example, pertaining to dress code, hair length, observations of days, and informal or formal worship.
In 1997, The Evangelical Christian Church in Canada started their ministerial training centre which was named the "School of Christian Ministry". In 2007, the school was renamed to Waterloo Bible College. The school operates in areas of Christian counselling, house churches, and church planting. The campus is in Waterloo, Ontario, the technology capital of Canada.