Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is a Protestant group that has been active in Georgia since the early nineteenth century. Several of its adherents, known as Disciples, have played prominent roles in the history of the state, and today the church thrives in Georgia with approximately 20,000 members in 69 congregations.
Their geographical proximity and theological affinities led Stone and Campbell to unite their congregations in 1832. This union resulted in the current Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), also known as the Stone-Campbell Movement. The names "Christian Church" and "Disciples of Christ" were used interchangeably until "Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)" was formally adopted in 1968. In 1999 the organization counted more than 1 million members in more than 3,300 congregations in the United States and Canada.
Christian Church in Georgia
Among the more distinguished members of the Christian Church in Georgia was Shelton Dunning (1780-1858), a charter member of the Savannah Steamship Company and one of its first directors. Dunning was also one of the founders of the Savannah City Hospital. Another prominent Georgia Disciple was Daniel Hook (1795-1870), who established Christian congregations in Acworth, Augusta, Griffin, and Sandersville and was a trustee of the University of Georgia and Atlanta Medical College.
One of the most notable women congregants was Emily Tubman (1794-1885) of Augusta. Tubman contributed money to build or repair Christian meeting places. She also contributed funds
James Jenkins Trott (1800-1868), a Methodist missionary to the Cherokee Indians, became a Disciple while serving a prison term in 1831 for civil disobedience. The state legislature in 1830 required all white people on land occupied by the Cherokees to register with and affirm allegiance to the state of Georgia. Trott and other missionaries refused to abide by the state's requests and were arrested. As a Disciple, Trott remained a staunch advocate of Indian rights, claiming that God
Disciples in Georgia today, in the tradition of these early leaders, are engaged in a variety of ministries, including the Camp Christian retreat center in Gordon; the Atlanta United Divinity for seminary students in Atlanta; and the Campbell Stone Apartments for Atlanta retirees.
J. Edward Moseley, Disciples of Christ in Georgia (St. Louis, Mo.: Bethany Press, 1954).
William Garrett West, Barton Warren Stone: Early American Advocate of Christian Unity (Nashville, Tenn.: Disciples of Christ Historical Society, 1954).
David S. Williams, From Mounds to Megachurches: Georgia's Religious Heritage (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008).
Jesse Griffin, University of Georgia
A project of the Georgia Humanities Council, in partnership with the University of Georgia Press, the University System of Georgia/GALILEO, and the Office of the Governor.