1741 In Enfield, CN, Jonathan Edwards preached his famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” –
“the people were so stirred that they held on to benches and tree trunks lest the ground open up and they be swolled by hell.”
Edwards and George Whitfield were the leading preachers of the “Great Awakening” of the middle 1700’s. In New England alone, upwards of 50,000 of the 300,000 population were converted. A “Second Great Awakening” began in the early 1800’s led by the Methodists’ circuit riders, directed by Francis Asbury.
1764 First “Church of Christ” in America – Danbury, Connecticut. Started by Ebenezer White, a follower of Sandeman. Converted to adult immersion in 1817.
1791 Meeting house erected at Cane Ridge, KY. (Presbyterian)
1793 James O’Kelly (1757-1826) withdrew from the Methodist Episcopal Church and soon formed a group called the Republican Methodist Church. Within a few months, 10,000 Methodists followed O’Kelly.
1794 O’Kelly’s Republican Methodists (influenced by Rice Haggard) adopted the name Christian Church as proposed in O’Kelly’s Plan of Christian Union.
… the name Christian swallows up all other names in one common and agreeable appellation. He, who broke down the middle wall of partition, has taken away partition names, and united all his followers in his own name, as one common denomination. And it is but a due honor to the Lord Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity, that they, who profess his religion, should wear his name. Those, therefore, who take their denomination from his subordinate ministers, pay an extravagant, and almost an idolatrous compliment to them.
1798 Barton W. Stone was ordained as a Presbyterian minister and assigned to two churches, one at Concord, and one at Cain Ridge.
1801 Abner Jones (1772-1841) and Elias Smith (1769-1846) withdrew from the Baptist church and dropped all denominational names, preferring the name Christian or Christian Connexion. Centered in New Hampshire and Vermont. Rejected Calvinist views on predestination and election.
by Abner Jones
Of all unscriptural names that are
In christian churches, claim’d so fair,
‘Gainst them I enter my dissent;
On Christ’s sole name my mind is bent.
The church of Rome and England too,
Are names of men, which once were new;
The highly boasted Baptist name,
And Methodist are all the same.
The Presbyterian, polite,
And Universalist so light;
The honest Quaker, thee and thou,
Are merely names of men, I trow.
Disciple, follower, Christian, friend,
For these I equally contend;
With every other scripture sound,
In gospel rule that can he found.
Altho’ these names, I do reject,
Yet those who hold them I respect
As brethren in the Lord of life;
So live in love and quit all strife.
My fellowship in Christ is bound
To all those souls where love is found
Of every order, sect and name–
In Christ I count them all the same.