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A Bit of Our History

In the year 1879, a few dedicated Christians met and organized the first church in the Sandborn area. Under the leadership of C.M. McCormick and the following charter members: Amanda Crane, Martha Bailey, Mary A. McGinnis, Martha Halstead, Zerelda Farris, Katie Jerrel, George Hubbard, Bluford Gadberry, Lewis Brown, C.C. Cooper and George Anderson.

The congregation first met in the hall over the hardware store, then later in the old brick school across the street from the present church building. A frame church building was built on lot 60 in south Sandborn in 1884 at the cost of $2,000. The building was used until 1913. In August of 1910, as the church membership reached 275, a proposal to build a new church building was presented.

The size and kind of church building envisioned by the leadership was going to be a very large undertaking. The contract for the new church building was awarded to C.W. Willis and Son, for the cost of $9,480.

On Sunday June 8, 1913, the present Sandborn First Christian Church building was dedicated. The church was filled to capacity for both morning and afternoon services. The first to be baptized in the present building were Sarah Begeman and Ellis Dittemore.

What kind of church is this?

Anyone who is unfamiliar with the congregations who refer to themselves simply as Christian Churches or Churches of Christ may be wondering what exactly makes us different from other denominations.  Our core beliefs (see below) define much of what we profess concerning doctrine.  Even after studying those doctrines, which touch on the specific aspects of our faith (such as the Bible, the Holy Spirit, the plan of salvation, etc.), the questions still remain, “What kind of church is this?” and “What makes it different than any other church?” and “Why does it exist?”

First of all, we are a New Testament church, fully independent and nondenominational.  We have no man-written creed or formal terms of fellowship besides the Word of God.  Therefore, we appeal to the New Testament Scriptures alone for our guidance and teaching on how the church ought to function.  So, without a denominational set of guidelines and doctrinal policy, we live by this standard, “On nonessentials, we allow liberty; in essentials, we appeal to the New Testament.”  Where the Bible speaks, we speak; where the Bible is silent, we are silent.

Secondly, we are different from other churches in that we are independent, yet interconnected.  Christian Churches/Churches of Christ share a common theology, purpose, and history, but are not technically considered and do not wish to be named as a denomination.  Rather, we are a brotherhood of churches, without denominational structure, who work together to advance the kingdom of God.  We do not claim to be the only Christians; we are simply known as Christians only.

Lastly, we exist because there was a general unrest in the American churches in the early 19th century.  Those Christians desired to tear down denominational walls and unite together as Christians only, laying aside the traditions of men to rediscover the New Testament church found in the book of Acts.  The founders of the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ were not out to start another church but rather to call people back to the church of the New Testament.  They were restorers, not reformers.  Nonetheless, they began a movement where huge gatherings of people started meeting in the name of Christ, referring to themselves as Christians only, seeking to restore the first Christian church.

See Christian Church Today website for more information.

What We Believe

The Bible is the inspired Word of God, and therefore is the final authority in our understanding of God, the practices of the church, and our lives.
(2 Timothy 3:16)

 There is one God, who is one being (or essence) but eternally existing in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
(Romans 8; Ephesians 1:13-14)

God, out of love for all people, sent His son Jesus to show us how to live a righteous life, to die for our sins, and to rise from the dead.
(John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8)

All have sinned, but all can be saved.  Salvation is a free gift of God that cannot be earned.  The death of Christ on the cross is the only sufficient payment for our sins.  This salvation is available for any who put their faith in Christ as their Lord and Savior.
(Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans  3:23; Romans 6:23)

Those who put their faith in Christ should repent of their sins, confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord and Savior, and be baptized.
(Romans  10:9, Acts 2:38)

The church is the Body of Christ on earth, empowered by the Holy Spirit to continue the task of reaching the lost and discipling the saved, helping them to become devoted followers of Christ.
(Ephesians 4:1-16)

Christ will return one day and reign forever.
(1 Thessalonians4:13-18)

How do I become a follower of Jesus?

© 2014 Sandborn First Christian Church