Faiths and Denominations

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Kelleyite Churches of Christ

The Kelleyite Churches of Christ constitute a small Christian denomination located in west central Arkansas. Its founder was Reverend Samuel Kelley, a Baptist preacher from Illinois who lived in southern Pike County. Although Kelley claimed to be orthodox in his beliefs, his strong advocacy of the possibility of “final apostasy” caused him to be excluded from the local Missionary Baptist associations in 1856 and 1858. Shortly after the Civil War, he became the pastor of the Philippi Missionary Baptist Church in western Hot Spring County. About 1866, a controversy arose within Philippi congregation over allowing non-Baptists to participate in the church’s communion service. Within a short while, the church rejected its traditional Missionary Baptist beliefs and adopted Reverend Kelley’s theology. …