The Beginning of the Deerfield Church

In March 1827, five or six couples formed “a society for the investigation of Scripture subjects.” They were Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, and noncommunicants.

They wrote, “We assumed that the Christian religion, in its fullness and perfectness, was recorded in the New Testament. We also assumed that this was an intelligible document, for, if not adapted to the common intelligence of mankind, it could not be received as a revelation from God. Sometimes we discussed the intelligibility of the Scriptures, their all-sufficiency for the purpose of enlightenment, conversion, Christian perfection, and church government. All of these subjects were under earnest discussion for about one year. No doctrinal standard was appealed to. All human authorities were ignored. The Bible was our book; Jesus Christ and His apostles were our umpires; and our work was personal in its object. We were sick of denominationalism. We had but two alternatives between which to choose; either to transmit religious partyism, with all its bitter fruits, to our rising families, and live and die in that state of doubt and uncertainty, vacillating between hope and fear, the inevitable result of a mixed profession; or to find relief by going back to the old record, to ‘look up the old paths and walk therein.’ In the month of May 1828, we determined to enter into church relations. Two preachers, concurring with our principles, were asked to preach for us, and administer baptism, and assist in a formal church organization on the New Testament basis.”

Thus began the Deerfield Church of Christ in Ohio. These people had honest hearts, faith in God’s word, and courage to stand by their convictions. Where is their kind now?

Adapted from Robert Turner

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