Marietta First Christian Church Beliefs and Church Organization
Disciples do not have a creed. Perhaps the best way to answer this question is to present the Disciple Affirmation:
As members of the Christian Church, We
confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, and
proclaim Him Lord and Savior of the world.
In Christ's name and by His grace we accept our mission of witness and service to all people.
We rejoice in God, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and in the covenant of love which binds us to God and one another.
Through baptism into Christ we enter into the newness of life and are made one with the whole people of God.
In the communion of the Holy Spirit we are joined together in discipleship and in obedience to Christ.
At the table of the Lord we celebrate with thanksgiving the savings acts and presence of Christ.
Within the universal church we receive the gift of ministry and the light of Scripture.
In the bonds of Christian faith we yield ourselves to God that we may serve the One whose reign has no end.
Blessing, glory, and honor be to God forever. Amen
-Preamble to the Design for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Who Are The Disciples Of Christ?
The Christian Church (Disciples of
Christ) had its beginnings in the early nineteenth century on the
American frontier. Presbyterian ministers Barton Stone, Thomas Campbell,
and his son, Alexander, troubled by the many divisions among Christians,
sought to unify them by means of the principles and practices of the
early, apostolic Church, revealed in the New Testament.
The Campbell/Stone movement emphasized freedom and diversity. Rejecting creeds as a test for membership, they asked only that persons make a public confession that "Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God" and accept Him as "Lord and Savior." This is still the practice of the church today.
Following the New Testament example, Disciples celebrate Holy Communion (the Lord's Supper) each week. Any Christian, of whatever denomination, is welcomed to the Lord's Table. Although Disciples practice baptism of believers by immersion, they accept other modes of baptism when individuals transfer from other Christian bodies.
One of the more distinctive qualities of Disciples' Life fellowship is the role that women play in the leadership of the church. Both men and women are invited and encouraged to hold any office of the church, including Pastor, Elder, and Deacon. Currently, the Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins serves as the General Minister and President of the denomination. Disciples encourage a spirit of openness and inclusiveness, the evidence of which can be seen in the lively discussions in Sunday School classes and diversity of opinions among the membership.
At First Christian Church, everyone is free to explore his or her own relationship with God and express personal faith in an atmosphere of love and respect.
History of Marietta First Christian Church
In November 1948, Clara Mae and Thomas M.
Hill placed an ad in the Marietta Daily Journal for persons
interested in organizing a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in
Marietta. Those who responded began to meet in a small church building
that had been moved from Kirkwood, Georgia, to the present site, 569
Frasier Street, Marietta, Georgia. Twenty-six people joined with the
opening of the charter, April 3, 1949, and by its close on January 15,
1950, an additional twenty-four had become members. Rev. Jack Daniell
was the founding minister. The present sanctuary replaced the small
building in 1962, and the Lee Fellowship Hall, with additional classroom
and office space was added later. In 2003, the Church renovated its
worship space and provided a large gathering area. Today, First
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has a total membership of nearly 300,
with an average attendance of about 80 members.
First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Marietta is affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a mainstream Christian denomination with national offices in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), today with almost one million members, originated in what was then western Pennsylvania, Virginia, and central Kentucky in the early 1800s. At present it is organized into thirty-six geographical "regions" including the Georgia Region headquartered in Macon.
First Christian Church of Marietta is autonomous. We call our own ministers, own our facilities, and administer our own programs. All decisions regarding the church's mission are made through the local General Church Board and the congregation. We are congregational in polity.
Although congregational, we are in a
covenant relationship with all Disciple churches, and the Regional and
General or National offices of our denomination. We voluntarily
contribute to and cooperate with the ministries of the Regional and
General church whose primary mission is to support the local
congregation and provide opportunities for them to engage in worldwide
ministries more efficiently.
Our Regional church, known as The Christian Church in Georgia, has its offices in Macon, Georgia. Our General church known as The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada, has its office in Indianapolis, Indiana.