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Christian Connection

CHRISTIAN CONNECTION, a denomination of Christians in North America formed by secession, under James O'Kelly (1735-1826), of members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in North Carolina in 1793. The movement resembled those under the Campbells and Stone in Kentucky in 1801-1804, and in Lyndon, Vermont, among the Baptists in 1800. The predisposing cause in each case was the desire to be free from the "bondage of creed." Some of O'Kelly's followers joined the Disciples of Christ (q.v.). Their form of church government is Congregational; they take the Bible as the sole rule of faith and practice, and while adopting immersion as the proper mode of baptism, freely welcome Christians of every sect to their communion. They number about 100,000 members, mainly in the states of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. The original seceders in Virginia and North Carolina bore for a time the name "Republican Methodists," and then called themselves simply "Christians," a designation which with the pronunciation "Christ-yans" is still often applied to them. Their position is curiously akin to that outlined by William Chillingworth (q.v.) in his famous work The Religion of Protestants (1637-1638).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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