We are Disciples of Christ: a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world. As part of the one body of Christ, we welcome all to the Lord’s Table as God has welcomed us.
Disciples of Christ Statement of Identity
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is a mainline Protestant denomination that was born on American soil in the early 1800’s. We are a people that share some common ideas regarding the nature of religious life in community. A few of those shared ideas are:
- The simple confession that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God, and an acceptance of Him as Lord and Savior.
- The acceptance of all people who wish to worship and share in the ministry of Jesus Christ.
- The centrality of communion at the Lord’s Table, which is open to all people of faith regardless of their denominational background.
- The serious study of the Bible as our guide for faith and witness.
- The commitment to serving others through mission and outreach opportunities in our community and around the world.
- The willingness to accept differences of opinion about matters of faith and life within the church.
- The commitment to working together with those of other faiths for the betterment of our communities and world.
“The organization of the Christian Church in Hopkinsville took place in the Old Court House on the fourth Lord’s Day in November 1832. Present were Isaiah Boone, Dr. A. Adams, and William Davenport, who assisted in the organization. After the preaching [16 charter members] appeared and agreed to unity as a congregation of Disciples of Jesus Christ by giving to each other the hand of fellowship, praying, enrolling their names, and taking the Bible as their only creed and source of authority in all religious duty and practice. The meeting closed with a song and benediction, to meet again on the second Lord’s Day in December 1832.”
… excerpts from Colonel George Poindexter, 1882
The first minister called was George Parke Street (1838), and there have been thirty-four since, not including interim ministers.
The first meeting house was on Virginia Street between Sixth and Seventh Streets, later the site of the Hotel Latham. There was a hiatus in meetings due to a decline in membership, and the house was leased to the Cumberland Presbyterians and shared until it was damaged by a storm in 1840, and the Cumberland Presbyterians went elsewhere. A new house was begun in 1849 with the lower floor occupied the fall of 1850. This site was on the northwest corner of Ninth and Liberty, where the congregation met in a series of remodelled and expanded structures until the site was abandoned and a new church (the present one) was built 1957-1958. Ninth Street Christian Church held its last service 26 January 1958 with a name change to First Christian Church and first service at the new site 9 November 1958.
The “banner” at the top of this page shows the red brick Ninth Street Christian Church as it appeared in the late nineteenth century. Note the turrets. Like the other vignettes click on it to see an enlarged image.
When Kentucky was only four years old (1796) Barton Warren Stone, a Presbyterian minister, arrived in Kentucky. In 1801 he learned of a revival in Logan County being conducted by James McGready, also a Prebyterian. The fervent preaching was associated with people swooning, fainting, or being “struck down”. Although he felt this was in part “fanaticism”, he felt there was much good coming out of these camp meetings. So he organized a revival at his Cane Ridge Church, worried by his Presbyterian demonination’s Calvinistic theology and its restriction of communion to the “worthy”.
Stone and four other ministers in January 1804 published “An Apology for the Renouncing of the Jurisdiction of the Synod of Kentucky”, and on 28 June 1804 they dissolved the Springfield Presbytery in a “Last Will and Testament”, giving birth to the church now known as the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Meanwhile Alexander Campbell and his father Thomas, both Presbyterian Scots, had come to America in 1809, having reached similar conclusions about the “shortcomings” of the Presbyterian Church. The Campbells travelled into Kentucky several times, and in 1824 Alexander met Barton Stone in Georgetown, Kentucky, where the two shook hands and in a sense joined their respective followers into the new movement. [See sources such as “From Camp Meeting To Church” by Richard L. Harrison, Jr.]
In 1887 a foot pump organ was bought for $ 75.00. Nevertheless, this failed to satisfy everyone; and those against use of the organ left to form Hille’s Chapel (later the Seventh and Cleveland Church of Christ). When the church was renovated in 1907, a new pipe organ was bought (for $ 3,100) to replace the pump organ. And that organ was moved from the Ninth Street facility to the present structure, where it was used until a new Moeller pipe organ was bought in 1976. This organ has 32 ranks of pipes and two manuals.
In 1984 Schulmerich handbells were purchased, and the set was expanded to three octaves.
A Baldwin grand piano was donated for the sanctuary in 1992.