Churches of Christ, conservative body of evangelical Protestants in the United States. Its founders were originally members of what is now the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) who gradually withdrew from that body following the Civil War. They objected to the use of musical instruments in the church and to the introduction of new titles and more power for the pastors. They were first listed as a group separate from the Disciples of Christ in the U.S. census of religious bodies of 1906. Each church is entirely self-governing. The Bible, especially the New Testament, is considered its complete and sufficient authority. They have about 1.8 million members (1997) in the United States and Canada.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.