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Here is a great video on the history of Congregationalism. As it pertains to our history, the reference can be found around the 8:50 minute mark. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3iNClnUabw
The history of The Conference of Congregational Christian Churches in Ontario (now known as the Congregational Christian Churches in Canada) finds its roots in the Second Great Awakening in the United States. In common with Church reformers of former times, the founders of this fellowship of churches believed that Christianity had become burdened by man-made traditions which, they believed, had to be jettisoned so a pristine New Testament Church might be restored; a church without restrictive traditions and denominational encumbrances.
They amalgamated from three distinct traditions:
1. James O’Kelly, a presiding elder and evangelist of the Methodist Church, formed the "Christian" Church in Virginia and North Carolina in 1794.
2. Abner Jones and Elias Smith, Baptist preachers, organized another "Christian" group in New England in 1802.
3. In 1804, Barton Stone, a Presbyterian evangelist, was instrumental in the formation of yet another “Christian" fellowship in Kentucky. All three movements formed independently of each other.
The three “Christian” groups became aware of each other and began to communicate and fellowship together. In 1817, they joined together for the first national conference and in 1820 it was agreed that the United States Christian Convention be organized. By 1832, they had 1,200 "Christians" and 20 of their churches were in Upper Canada.
In the last decade of the twentieth century some felt the need to break ranks with the United Church of Canada in order to reaffirm the infallibility of the Scriptures and the autonomy of the local church.
On September 13, 1988, some seventy-five ordained ministers and church workers along with approximately one hundred lay people met at Niagara Falls, Ontario. A National Steering Committee was elected and empowered "to begin steps to formally establish what would become known as, The Congregational Church of Canada.
Within days of the Niagara Falls meeting, the National Steering Committee became aware of the existence of the remnant of churches that had refrained from the 1925 union of Methodists, Congregationalists and Presbyterians that formed the United Church of Canada. That remnant of churches was, The Conference of Congregational Christian Churches in Ontario. Both groups met and voiced the common goal to establish a national association of churches. Discussions, conferences and committee meetings took place over the next year and resulted in the decision to amalgamate under the Charter of Christian Churches. On December 4, 1989, the Congregational Christian Churches in Canada was formed.
Thankful and appreciative of the faith of our ancestors, the Congregational Christian Churches in Canada looks to the future with a passionate desire to see Canada and the world come to know our Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour.
The Congregational Christian Churches in Canada is a fellowship of churches committed to carrying on the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our mission is to Proclaim Jesus Christ, Make Disciples, and to Grow Healthy Churches.
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