Christians, name taken by the followers of several evangelical preachers on the American frontier, notably James O'Kelley, Abner Jones, and Barton W. Stone, all of whom were antisectarian. Some congregations joined the Disciples of Christ (see Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a body with similar emphasis founded by Thomas Campbell and Alexander Campbell, and the name Christians continued to be applied often to members of the Disciples' church. Other congregations of Christians united as a separate body that ultimately took the name of the Christian Church; this was merged in 1931 with the Congregational churches and the merged group became known as the Congregational Christian churches (see Congregationalism). See also Christianity.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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