Faiths and Denominations

Subcategories:
  • No categories
Clear

Entries - Entry Category: Faiths and Denominations - Starting with C

Christadelphians

Christadelphians have had a presence in Arkansas since 1852, but their impact upon the state is difficult to measure. Christadelphians, following an interpretation of Christianity as basically apolitical, consider themselves to be strangers and pilgrims on the earth. Consequently, they neither individually nor as a group engage in civic affairs but await political change to be effected upon the return of Jesus Christ. The Christadelphian movement was founded in 1847 by John Thomas, a medical doctor from London, England, who sailed to New York in 1832 and later traveled on to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he became associated with Alexander Campbell and the Restoration movement. His studies during this period led to debates with Campbell, and the two parted company. Those …

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

The Christian movement called “Disciples” (among other names) came to Arkansas in the 1830s. Ministers who were initially associated with other denominations began work in the state, and then, as Disciples moved west, they were caught up in the wave of those leaving behind their former ties and becoming “Christians only.” Disciples in the United StatesThe Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is one of three denominations descending from the Stone-Campbell movement of the nineteenth century, which has its source in the Second Great Awakening—a period during which a number of Christian denominations underwent changes due to revivals and several new sects were created. Along with Churches of Christ and the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, Disciples help make the “three streams” …

Christian Scientists

aka: Christian Science
aka: Church of Christ, Scientist
Despite smaller numbers of followers than other denominations in Arkansas, the Christian Science movement has had a significant impact upon the state. A review of the Arkansas code yields numerous citations and accommodations for Arkansans who find that religious nonmedical healthcare meets their healthcare needs. These citations and accommodations are found in both criminal and civil codes and have been introduced in large part by Christian Scientists. Mary Baker Eddy, “the only American woman to found a lasting American-based religion,” according to the National Women’s Hall of Fame, founded the First Church of Christ, Scientist in 1879 “to commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing.” Thirteen years earlier, …

Church of God in Christ (COGIC)

The Church of God in Christ (COGIC) is a predominantly African-American Pentecostal Christian denomination, headquartered at Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee. Its doctrine and practice are charismatic in nature, much like the Assemblies of God, meaning that they emphasize personal religious experience and divinely inspired powers, such as healing, prophecy, and speaking in tongues. Founded in Arkansas in 1897, the COGIC is the fourth-largest Christian denomination in the United States (as of 2003), with 5.4 million members, behind the Roman Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the United Methodist Church. Its founder, Charles Harrison Mason, became a Christian in 1879. He was baptized by his brother, who was then pastoring near Plumerville (Conway County). Mason later became a minister …

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

aka: Mormons
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes shortened to the LDS Church, Mormon Church, or Church of Jesus Christ) was first introduced into Arkansas upon the arrival of missionaries Henry Brown and Wilford Woodruff, who came in to Arkansas from Clay County, Missouri, on January 28, 1835. Jonathan Hubble and his wife were the first Arkansas converts. They were baptized by immersion, as is the custom among Latter-day Saints, on February 22, 1835. Years later, Wilford Woodruff, the first LDS missionary to preach in Arkansas, would become the fourth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. From that modest 1835 beginning, Mormons in Arkansas number 27,559 as of 2012. LDS meetinghouses (chapels) are frequently shared …

Church of the Nazarene

The state of Arkansas was one of the cradles for the early expansion of the Church of the Nazarene, America’s largest Wesleyan-holiness denomination. Nazarenes are evangelical Methodists who emphasize John Wesley’s core preaching, including the conversion of sinners, the sanctification of believers, and the witness of the Holy Spirit to these Christians’ experiences. The Nazarenes grew from the nineteenth-century holiness movement in American Methodism. The denomination was constituted by mergers in 1907 and 1908 of three regional Wesleyan-holiness bodies located on the East Coast, on the West Coast, and in the South. A strong missionary spirit emerged early in Nazarene life; that spirit is the primary reason why the denomination today is global in scope and structure and why over …

Churches of Christ

The churches of Christ make up the second-largest religious fellowship in Arkansas in regular attendance numbers, behind the Southern Baptists and just ahead of the United Methodists, according to a 2000 study. Congregations of the churches of Christ are found in all of the state’s seventy-five counties. Of the three branches of the Restoration Movement, the others being the Christian Churches and the Disciples of Christ, the churches of Christ are the largest branch. This was not always so, however. Background The Restoration Movement, which emerged out of the nationwide Second Great Awakening which swept the frontier beginning in the 1790s, began dually on the Kentucky frontier in 1801, under the leadership of Barton W. Stone, and in 1809 in …

Cobbites

The Cobbites were a religious group that began in White County in 1876 under the leadership of the Reverend Cobb. Their strange behavior eventually culminated in the gruesome murder of a local citizen and several Cobbites. The group did not last past 1876. Cobb called himself “the walking preacher.” Little is known about him, not even his full name, other than that he came from Tennessee to White County in 1876. To his followers, he claimed to be God or Jesus Christ. He apparently believed he could perform the works of God, and he used a sycamore pole to command the sun to rise each morning and did the same each evening to command it to set. His followers were …

Cowboy Churches

Cowboy churches are a version of Christian worship typified by a relaxed “come-as-you-are” ethos and generally following western themes and décor. The movement came to Arkansas with the new millennium and has enjoyed a growing audience. A typical cowboy church service is short on ceremony, relying instead on literal, plainspoken Bible teaching, often accompanied by preaching and gospel music played by a country and western band. Baptisms are sometimes included, often performed by plunging a person into a stock tank. Congregations are supported by a battery of ministries and host trail rides, cookouts, barrel races, and roping contests. Congregants—many of whom feel alienated by other types of worship services—come from all segments of society. The ministry has its roots in …

Cumberland Presbyterians

Beginning in 1812, the Cumberland Presbyterian (CP) denomination sent missionaries to preach the Gospel and establish congregations on the Arkansas frontier. Members of these new congregations wrote to friends and family back east, encouraging them to come to Arkansas. Many came in response, especially from middle Tennessee. Nearly 300 Cumberland Presbyterian congregations have been organized in Arkansas and over 1,000 pastors ordained. The denomination’s support of rural churches (not requiring the consolidation of smaller congregations) has made country living more tenable in Arkansas. In 1802, the Presbyterian Church formed the Cumberland Presbytery (covering Kentucky and Tennessee). Controversy erupted when the new presbytery’s leaders felt forced to ordain “unqualified” preachers because too few educated preachers would come to the frontier. The …