- History of the Church of Christ
- History of the Arnold Congregation
- Our Beliefs
The Church of Christ was prophesied in the Old Testament, purchased by Jesus, and established on the day of Pentecost A.D. 33 in the city of Jerusalem. God had always planned to send His son for mankind, and to establish the Church for those that would be saved.
Jesus was the “lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (ref). In the book of Genesis we see God’s plan to send Jesus to triumph over Satan (Gen 3:15). God promised to Abraham that “through him would all the nations of the Earth be blessed” (Gen 12:1-3) indicating Christ. Many of the Old Testament writers, such as: Moses, David, Isaiah, Daniel, and others prophesied about Christ and the Church he would build.
In the New Testament, Jesus claimed that He would build “my church” (Mat 16:18), and that He was “the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me” (John 14:6). Paul tells us in Acts 20:28, that Jesus purchased the church with His own blood. That same church is also called the body of Christ (Col 1:18). It is one church, made of many individuals (ref) who are grouped into many autonomous congregations that are overseen locally by an eldership (Titus 1). These many vines of the branch of Christ (or congregations of His church) are referred to in scripture as the “churches of Christ” (Rom 16:16). This means that they simply belong to Christ.
The New Testament only teaches of one church (Eph 4:4). It was founded by Jesus, who purchased it with his own blood. The Bible says that those who obey the Gospel (II Thes 1:7-10/I Cor 15:1-4) are saved (Acts 2:38-41) and that God adds those individuals to the church (Acts 2:47). We strive to the be the church one reads about in the Bible. To do Bible things in Bible ways, and to call Bible things by Bible names. We always want to be Christ centered, and Bible based, to be the New Testament Church, made up of New Testament Christians.
The congregation here at Arnold was established on October 14, 1962. It was the case in the early 1960’s that most folks from the Arnold area were driving to the Southside congregation (4600 South Broadway in St. Louis) for worship After meeting with the elders at Southside, it was determined to start a congregation in Arnold. A storefront was leased at 1534 Lemay Ferry Rd. (now Jeffco Blvd. across from the Fire Station). That first Sunday there were 80 present for worship. After the first month, the Arnold congregation considered itself self-supporting, and has been strong ever since. In 1964 the original building was built on two acres of ground. In 1965 elders were installed to shepherd the congregation. In 1967 it was necessary to make a building expansion for additional classroom space. In 1978 the building was renovated again, this time adding the current auditorium fellowship hall, and offices. In 2006 the auditorium was remolded and new equipment was added. In 2009 the grounds were completely overhauled due to the expansion of the Wal-Mart store. A new parking lot, sign, and entrance were added.
The Arnold congregation continues to be a vibrant light in the community. In 2012 we celebrated our 50th Anniversary and Homecoming. From the 80 members who were present on the first day, to the 280 that were present this week, we still continue to grow. If you are looking for a Christ centered, Bible based church home in the Arnold area, then look no further. Come out and visit with us soon!
One could summarize our beliefs by saying, “No book but the Bible, no creed but Christ.” We strive to be the Church one reads about in the New Testament to call Bible things by Bible names and do Bible things in Bible ways. Batsell Barrett Baxter summed it up this way:
What is the distinctive plea of the Church of Christ?
It is primarily a plea for religious unity based upon the Bible. In a divided religious world it is believed that the Bible is the only possible common denominator upon which most, if not all, of the God-fearing people of the land can unite. This is an appeal to go back to the Bible. It is a plea to speak where the Bible speak and to remain silent where the Bible is silent in all matters that pertain to religion. It further emphasizes that in everything religious there must be a “Thus saith the Lord” for all that is done. The objective is religious unity of all believers in Christ. The basis is the New Testament. The method is the restoration of New Testament Christianity.
Why does the Church of Christ baptize only by immersion? The word baptize comes from the Greek word “baptizo” and literally means, “to dip, to immerse, to plunge.” In addition to the literal meaning of the word, immersion is practiced because it was the practice of the church in apostolic times. Still further, only immersion conforms to the description of baptisms as given by the apostle Paul in Romans 6:3-5 where he speaks of it as a burial and resurrection.
What does the Church of Christ believe about the Bible? The original autographs of the sixty six books which make up the Bible are considered to have been divinely inspired, by which it is meant that they are infallible and authoritative. Reference to the scriptures is made in settling every religious question. A pronouncement from the scripture is considered the final word. The basic textbook of the church and the basis for all preaching is the Bible.
How often is the Lord’s supper eaten? It is expected that every member of the church will assemble for worship on each Lord’s day. A central part of worship is the eating of the Lord’s supper (Acts 20:7). Unless providentially hindered, each member considers this weekly appointment as binding.
What kind of music is used in the worship? As a result of the distinctive plea of the church – a return to New Testament Faith and practice – acapella singing is the only music used in the worship. This singing, unaccompanied by mechanical instruments of music, conforms to the music used in the apostolic church and for several centuries thereafter (Ephesians 5:19). It is felt that there is no authority for engaging in acts of worship not found in the New Testament. This principle eliminates the use of instrumental music, along with the use of candles, incense, and other similar elements.