A Brief History of Our Church
Lawrenceville First Christian Church held its first worship services in a tent meeting that began on July 18, 1909 on the square of Lawrenceville’s historic courthouse. Our first building was on Perry Street and dedicated on May 1939. We worshipped and served there until the church relocated to our Sugarloaf Parkway location in 1997.
Today we continue a tradition of strong family togetherness fostered by a host of activities. We hope to continue blessing each other and our community by the grace of God and the power of God’s spirit for years to come.
Early History of the Disciples
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) grew out of two movements seeking Christian unity that sprang up almost simultaneously in western Pennsylvania and Kentucky – movements that were backlashes against the rigid denominationalism of the early 1800s.
Thomas and Alexander Campbell, a Presbyterian Scotch-Irish immigrant father and son in Pennsylvania, rebelled against the dogmatic sectarianism that kept members of different denominations – and even factions within the same denomination – from partaking of the Lord’s Supper together. Walter Scott, an immigrant from Scotland, was a successful evangelist of the resulting Campbell movement as it separated from the Baptists.
Barton W. Stone, a fifth-generation American in Kentucky and also a Presbyterian, objected to the use of creeds as tests of “fellowship” within the church, which were a cause of disunity, especially at the Lord’s table. He was a key participant in the Restoration Movement following the Cane Ridge Revival of 1801 near Paris, KY.
“Christians,” the name adopted by Stone’s movement, represented what he felt to be a shedding of denominational labels in favor of a scriptural and inclusive term. Campbell had similar reasons for settling on “Disciples of Christ” but he felt the term “Disciples” less presumptuous than “Christians.” (For an introduction to some of their ideas, see the Last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery – 1804 or the Declaration and Address – 1809.)
The aims and practices of the two groups were similar, and the Campbell and Stone movements united in 1832 in Lexington, KY after about a quarter of a century of separate development. (For key dates and more detail, go to the Disciples of Christ Historical Society website.)