Decades of Destiny: History of Churches of Christ 1900-2000
An Extraordinary Century This book captures the vision of crucial leaders of churches of Christ in their efforts to restore the faith and life of the first century church while utilizing methods suitable to the twentieth century. Looking back over the past two centuries, the decade of the 1890s was the nadir for churches of Christ. They had never been so weak before, they have not been so weak since. They endured the confusion and humiliation of a debilitating division with the rapidly-growing and more progressive Disciples of Christ, and their plight was anything but encouraging. Nevertheless, against all odds, they got off the floor and entered the twentieth century with zealous determination and remarkable vision. This volume recounts the history of that extraordinary century. For example, at the beginning of the twentieth century, there were less than a dozen congregations of the church of Christ in California and only one owned a church building. At the close of the century, there were nearly 700 congregations dispersed throughout the state. This pattern was repeated in many states. In the wake of World War II, churches of Christ experienced a missionary explosion and became a global fellowship, eventually eclipsing the other two major wings of the Restoration Movement. The church is always well-served when its people possess both a prophetic vision and a historian's wisdom. If we are willing, this timely volume can assist us in developing both of these elusive attributes.