As you read this brief explanation of the church, please realize that you are always welcome to visit our churches, and to make inquiry about any aspect of the church, and God's wonderful Plan of Salvation. A Statement of Faith and other written materials are available if you wish to look further into these matters of faith.
Additional information is available from our local ministry or by writing to the Apostolic Christian Publishing Co., West Cruger Road, Eureka, Illinois 61530.
Again... thanks so much for your inquiry and may God richly bless you!
Often, as various people come in contact with the Apostolic Christian Church they become interested in many aspects of its beliefs and practices. The church, by diligently applying New Testament standards to everyday life and worship and also by practicing a deep reverence toward God, draws questions concerning its literal interpretation of Scriptures.
It is hoped that those who read this booklet will have many of their questions answered. However, all who are interested are encouraged to attend an Apostolic Christian assembly and learn by observation and hearing what is the true heartbeat of this body of Christians.
Salvation through Jesus Christ is man's greatest treasure. The Apostolic Christian Church seeks to do its utmost to help explain this marvelous gift from God, and prays diligently that others also will turn to God in true repentance, experience peace with God and man, and the gift of eternal life.
The church consists of approximately eighty congregations in twenty states. This includes two small churches in Canada and two in Japan. The total number of members is approximately 11,000. Children and unbaptized adults (called "friends of the truth") constitute another 9,000. Thus, about 20,000 persons attend the Apostolic Christian Church.
The church conducts worship services on many college campuses in several states in order to teach the Holy Scriptures to persons attending universities.
The church is also engaged in many activities to benefit mankind. These pursuits are all done in the name of Christ. An organization called World Relief personally collects both finances and material aid for distribution to persons in need on a world-wide basis. It also makes distributions through a variety of approved organizations.
A national Missionary Committee has been established to follow through on opportunities to spread God's Word. An organization called Work Projects exists to help administer charitable efforts, whereby individual brethren join work teams on special projects to aid the needy and oppressed.
Thousands of Scriptures are distributed annually through Apostolic Christian Bible distribution. In recent years efforts to spread God's Word in this manner have increased sharply. Annual disbursements have quadrupled in the recent past.
The church operates ten nursing homes for the elderly in five states. Included in this work are nearly two hundred apartment units for elderly persons not requiring specialized care. Also, the church operates a beautiful and modern Home for the Handicapped in Morton, Illinois and a spacious and pleasant Children's Home in Leo, Indiana. These facilities provide physical, emotional, and spiritual support for handicapped persons and needy children. Also, a preschool program is operated at Athens, Alabama.
While the church is engaged in a multitude of charitable activities to help the poor and needy, its most accurate description rests in its devotion to the Word of God and its ongoing commitment to the glorious cause of Christ. Its major intent is to preach, teach, and live the gospel of Christ so that others also will hear and respond affirmatively to this message of salvation-and someday, by God's marvelous grace, enter into the portal of heaven.
Froehlich was a scholarly and energetic preacher who, against great odds and many disappointments, powerfully conveyed the message of salvation. He was also skillful in persuasion, especially in personal visits, and in this way drew many to the Bible's pattern of repentance. His attitudes and Biblical understandings were shaped, in part, by the radical reformers of the sixteenth century known as Anabaptists whose doctrinal motto was "Sola Scriptura." This meant that Scriptures alone constituted the only true foundation for doctrine and life-and they were to be followed. The church has continued over the years to follow diligently New Testament teachings, and to regard the entire Word as infallible and inerrant.
The Anabaptists were the first reformers of sixteenth century Europe to teach and practice adult baptism or "believer's baptism" as opposed to infant baptism. Froehlich, too, instituted the practice of adult baptism in his churches. In Europe, the church was known as Evangelical Baptist. It later became known as Apostolic Christian in America. This name was chosen because the church follows the teachings of Christ and the Apostles.
The Apostolic Christian Church found a presence in America in 1847, when a church was organized in Lewis County, New York. The site was in the Croghan-Naumburg area. Another church was formed a year later at Sardis, Ohio, in that state's southeastern area.
From this beginning in America the church grew, primarily in the fertile farming areas of the midwest. As immigrants came from Europe (mostly from the Froehlich churches) and new converts were added in the United States, the church flourished. Early ministers, groomed and inspired by Froehlich in Europe, were zealous in preaching the Word in America.
From the 1920's on, most of the new churches formed in America were founded in metropolitan areas. This was because many of the church's offspring sought occupational opportunities in areas other than farming. Thus, today the Apostolic Christian Church consists of a blend of city and rural churches. While most of the larger churches still exist in rural towns and villages (there are a few exceptions), it is interesting to note the presence today of Apostolic Christian churches in large cities-such as Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, Portland, Sarasota, Ft. Lauderdale, Detroit, Phoenix, Kansas City, Philadelphia, and Indianapolis.
It is believed that salvation is obtained by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. True faith embodies the component of obedience which instructs a soul to do as the Lord Jesus emphatically taught, "Repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. 4:17). The Biblical pattern of repentance is observed which includes godly sorrow (2 Cor. 7:10) for a past sinful life, confession of sins, (Matt. 3:6, Acts 19:18), restitution for past wrongs (Matt. 5:23, 24) and becoming dead to sin (1 Peter 2:24). The wonderful and matchless grace of God is given to those who are humble in heart (James 4:6), along with peace and forgiveness from God.
Following conversion, a growth in Christian graces, and manifesting the fruit of the Spirit, the new convert then gives a testimony of his or her faith and conversion experience to the congregation. This is followed by water baptism by immersion. (Matt. 3:13-17). Baptism symbolizes the burial of the old sinful nature into the death of Christ, and the subsequent rising of a soul out of the baptismal waters as a new creature in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:3-4). This is followed by the laying on of hands whereby a church Elder prays over the new member as the official confirmation of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the believer's heart (Acts 8:17-19).
The new member is thus formally united with the church, which is Christ's body. He is expected to fully embrace the doctrinal and lifestyle standards of the church which are based on God's Word. A life of peace and joy follows as one pursues the pathways of Biblical holiness and sanctification. Despite trials, and potential sorrow and temptation, God's grace is sufficient for humble hearts to receive happiness and contentment (1 Tim. 6:6) in the expectation of heaven-if they are true and faithful until life's end. Self-denial (Matt. 16:24), separation from sin and unfruitful works (2 Cor. 6:14-18), nonconformity to worldliness (Rom. 12:2) are integral parts of the Christian walk of life.
The Scripture forms the foundation for one's lifestyle. Because the Word is infallible and without error, its messages and commandments are followed by the church. The Bible's standards are not optional. All of its teachings are "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness" (2 Tim. 3:16). All of its teachings are essential for godly living. A true believer shuns the modern tendency to divide the Word into "essentials" and "non-essentials," feeling that to categorize a part of God's Word as nonessential is to elevate one's self above God.
Lifestyle centers around the motives of (1) becoming more Christlike, (2) redeeming the time, and (3) doing those things that bear fruit to the glory of God and our Saviour.
The life of a true Christian reflects the Light (i.e., the virtue and holiness of Christ) in everyday discipleship. The light of Christ is observable, both inwardly and outwardly. Inward holiness is comprised of the fruit of the Spirit-love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (Gal. 5:22-23). Outward holiness is distinguished by restraint, discretion, and moderation in attire. Costly array (1 Tim. 2:9) and conformity to fancy and ridiculous styles in clothing are avoided. (Rom. 12:2). Gender distinction in attire and in general appearance is according to God's will. For women, outward piety is reflected by a chaste, non-sensual appearance. (1 Peter 3:2). Long hair gathered in a modest style, together with the absence of cosmetic enhancements and jewelry, are reflective of an inner holiness and humility (1 Tim. 2:9, 1 Cor. 11:15). Men, too, maintain an outward demeanor that is consistent with the themes of sobriety and discretion. Long hair is avoided. A clean-cut, respectful appearance reflects a heart that is full of spiritual sincerity and seriousness. Men eschew loud and sporty attire.
All aspects of worship are intended to draw worshippers nearer to God and ~o deepen human appreciation of His ways. Thus, all worship procedures (i.e., reading Scriptures, preaching, singing, and praying) are intended to give God, not man, supreme recognition and to glorify His name.For instance, the church follows the Bible's ideal in sermon presentation. The Apostle Paul was explicit in stating that he did not preach to his churches "with excellency of speech or of wisdom" (1 Cor. 2:1) and that "my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in the demonstration of the Spirit and of power. " (1 Cor. 2:4). Rather, he determined to know nothing except Jesus Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor. 2:2). Thus, ministers are not trained in man's knowledge at seminaries or Bible colleges, and worldly knowledge is not deemed important. The church feels strongly that one's faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God (1 Cor. 2:5). If preaching was done with wisdom of words, "the cross should be made of none effect" (1 Cor. 1:17).Ministers are chosen from among the congregations and serve open-ended terms. They are men of good report, with a good understanding of and fidelity to Scriptures, and are loyal in supporting the doctrines of the church. They serve without salaried compensation. More than one minister serves a church, the average being three to five.
Ministers do not select Scriptural texts or prepare sermon outlines before the worship service (on special occasions such as weddings, funerals, or holidays they may choose an appropriate Bible text). Instead, ministers and Elders pray and meditate on the Word during the week. For their message, they open the Scriptures randomly as they stand before the congregation and use these texts for their message. It is felt God knows much better than the minister what the congregation needs to hear. The minister thus humbly depends on the Holy Spirit for inspiration, praying to be used as an instrument for the benefit and edifying of the worshippers.
Singing, too, is simple and holy in "a cappella" fashion. All music is intended to focus on God. The intent of worship is not to entertain, but to enrich and to glorify God. All parishioners sing. There are no individual soloists and no choral groups during the worship service so that all honor and glory can focus clearly on God, and not man.
In the sanctuary, prayer is offered to God while kneeling. This prostrate style symbolizes fallible mankind "bowing" in heart and mind before an all-powerful, merciful, and infallible God and Father. Prayer language such as "Thee, Thou, Thy, and Thine"--both in prayer and song--intends to offer a deeper reverence in the minds of the worshippers as opposed to the more informal and contemporary "You and Your."
Female members wear a veiling over their head during prayer and worship according to Scriptures (1 Cor. 11:5). This reflects the order of God (1 Cor. 11:3-13). Male members pray with their heads uncovered (1 Cor. 11:7).
Men and women sit separately during regular worship services. This is sometimes relaxed, however, during special occasions such as weddings and funerals. Although no Scriptures reflect this practice, both Jewish and Christian tradition do. This practice was universally observed in both faiths beginning with temple worship until the late 1800's. Separate seating during worship contributes to better "a cappella" singing, and it helps widows, widowers, and single members feel more comfortable by sitting with believers of their own gender. It also contributes to less gender distraction.
During the first part of the worship service, prayer is offered by the minister conducting the service. Near the end of the service, however, any brother from the congregation may be asked to pray. All male members may participate in praying and in the announcing of songs. This is done because the church believes in the "priesthood of all believers" (1 Peter 2:5; 1 Peter 2:9). It is customary to have two worship services on Sunday. Following a morning worship service, a noon lunch is served, followed by a period of fellowship. Another worship service then follows.
Everyone is welcome to have lunch, including visitors and guests. Members attend both worship services and everyone-friends, visitors and guests-are encouraged to attend also.Charitable collections are not solicited by passing a collection plate after worship services. No one is pressured or should ever feel compelled to make financial contributions. Instead, when collections are taken for special projects they are announced from the pulpit and donations are placed in "charity boxes" which are located in the church hallways. Brethren and friends give on a free will basis as they feel led by God's Spirit.
Fellowship, while not a formal part of the worship service, is nonetheless complimentary to worship. Brethren, when they come together for worship, have a warm Christ-like feeling for one another. Members thus greet with a holy kiss (within their own gender). This is taught five times in the New Testament (Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 16:20; 11 Cor. 13:12; 1 Thess. 5:26; 1 Peter 5:14). It is a blessing for the humble and converted heart as it is an expression of love and kindness toward others in the household of faith.
This occurs because the church believes in the Biblical teaching of unity and oneness. Apostolic Christians believe that the church is Christ's body, and that Christ is the head (Eph. 5:23; Eph. 2:20). The two are inseparable. Individualism, so prominent in society, is in conflict with the truths of unified brotherhood taught by the Word. Thus, much like a physical body (which has many parts or members), the church is a spiritual body with many members. This spiritual body is united, not divided (1 Cor. 1:10). The Bible gives the church great authority, not only to "bind and loose" (Matt. 18:18) but to instruct and encourage (Heb. 13:7, 17; Acts l5).
Brothers and sisters in the church are to love one another as Christ loved us (John l3:34). They are to submit one to another in the fear of God (Eph. 5:21). They are to respect each other's conscience (1 Cor 8:9-13; Romans 14:21). Further, they are asked via Scriptures to encourage (exhort) (Romans 12:8; 1 Tim. 4:13; 2 Tim. 4:2) one another and, if ever necessary, to correct (admonish) each other (Romans 15:14; 2 Thess. 3:14-15). This is all done in love and gentleness with the intent of strengthening the individual member and thence the entire body.Likewise, believers are to be "perfectly joined together" (1 Cor. 1:10) and "fitly framed." (Eph. 4:16, Eph. 2:21). They are to keep the same spiritual judgements (1 Cor. 1:10), and walk according to the same rule (Phil. 3:16).
Following this Biblical pattern of godly order results in a great measure of love and unity. In Christ and His body, the church (which are inseparable), the believer finds comfort, contentment, inspiration, and unity of the Spirit.
Missionary efforts have seen the opening of many new churches in America together with preaching and teaching sessions among church brethren on university campuses.
Following World War II, missionary efforts resulted in the establishment of a few churches in Japan. Recently, church Elders have traveled to India to exert doctrinal influence among a gospel and medical mission in that country over which the church has trusteeship.
Missionary efforts are most prominent, however, on an individual basis by bringing acquaintances to church and letting them hear the Word and observe the Christ-like love and godly order found among the brethren. Parents recognize that one of the greatest missionary fields is in the home with their children. Specific group mission work is channeled through a national missionary committee.
A believer's motive and purpose is to engage in edifying activities that upbuild the inner and spiritual man. He further works to enhance and further the kingdom of God, and to strengthen the church in love (Eph. 4:16).
"Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live" ((Romans 8:12-13).
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Gal. 2:20).
"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world" (James 1:27).
As a child of God, one's focus is on the unseen things of the Spirit. Only spiritual things will last forever. A believer's value system lessens the importance of material and earthly things-such as wealth, status, and ease-because they will eventually fade away, and they could erode one's spiritual resolve. A believer has a scope and spiritual insight that is not limited to this present life, but encompasses those things that have eternal value. One's affection is set on the things above, not on the things of the earth (Col. 3:1, 2).
The blessed hope of heaven is made possible by the death and shed blood of Jesus Christ. As man yields to Him in true repentance, becomes converted (by His grace), and then obediently follows the patterns of godly living, he can entertain the hope of eternal life in heaven! The delights of heaven are so great that "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things that are prepared for them that love him" (1 Cor. 2:9).
The doctrine of the church and its subsequent lifestyle standards are all designed to assist the pilgrim believer in reaching the beauties of heaven.
from Welcome booklet
2. There is one eternal God, the Creator of all things, who exists in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Gen. 1:1, Matt. 28:19, Col. 1:16-17, Rev. 1:8.
3. Jesus Christ. the Son of God, was begotten by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life. Is. 7:14, Matt. 1:23, Heb. 1:1-8, 7:26.
4. Man was created in God's image, but by man's transgression, he became separated from God. All who reach the age of accountability are responsible for their sinful deeds. Gen. 1:20, Gen. 3, John 3:3, Rom. 3:10, 12, 23.
5. Jesus Christ gave His life on Calvary's cross and His precious blood was shed as a ransom far all. He was buried, and He rose again the third day for our justification. Rom. 4:25, Rom. 5:8, I Cor. 15:3-4, I Tim. 2:6, I Pet. 1:18-19.
6. Both the saved and the lost will be resurrected: the saved unto eternal life and the lost unto eternal damnation. Dan. 12:2. John 3:16, John 5:28-29, II Pet. 3:7-9, Rev. 20:12-15.
7. Faith in Christ's redemptive work on Calvary which results in repentance is the beginning of a true Christian life. The fruits of repentance are a humble and contrite heart, prayer, godly sorrow, confession to God in the presence of man, forsaking of all sin, restitution, and a forgiving spirit. Ps. 34:18, Prov. 28:13, Matt. 3:6-8, Matt. 18:21-35, Luke 14:33, Luke 19:8, Acts 17:30, Acts 19:18, ii Cor. 7:10, Eph. 2:8-9, Heb. 11:6,1 John 1:9.
8. A true conversion Is evidenced by a spiritual rebirth, restoration of peace with God and man, the fruit of the Spirit and obedience to God's Word. Rom. 5:1, Gal. 5:22-26, I Pet. 1:23, 1 John 2:3-6.
9. Following a testimony of faith and conversion, a covenant of faithfulness to God is made. Baptism of faith (by immersion) is administered in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, Matt. 28:19, Rom. 6:3-4, Heb. 10:16-17, I Pet. 3:21.
10. The believer is sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. This is acknowledged and symbolized in a prayer of consecration (following baptism) by the laying on of hands of the elder. As a member of the body of Christ, the believer experiences spiritual growth and edification within the church. Rom. 12:5; Eph. 1:13, 4:15; I Tim. 4:14; Heb. 6:1-2.
11. The New Testament Church appears in two distinct aspects:
a. A fellowship of converted men and women (known as Brothers and Sisters), with Christ as Head, functioning in accord with New Testament teachings. Matt. 18:20; I Cor. 1:10; Col. 1:18.
b. The glorious Church, the Bride of Christ, including all saints of all ages, to be manifest fully at the return of Christ Jesus. I Cor. 15:52; Eph. 5:27; I Thes. 4:16-17.
12. Brethren who are sound in faith, doctrine, and example serve as elders, ministers, and teachers. They are chosen from the congregation far the furtherance of the Gospel of the grace of God to all people. Matt. 28:19-20; Eph. 4:11-12; II Tim. 2:2; Heb. 13:7, 17.
13. The bread and the fruit of the vine in Holy Communion symbolize the body and the blood of Christ. A closed communion is observed by the church following self-examination by the members. I Cor. 10:16; 11:17-32; II Cor. 6:14-18.
14. The Holy Greeting, a kiss of charity. is practiced among brethren as a symbol of love for one another, Rom. 16:16; I Cor. 16:20; I Pet. 5:14.
15. Sisters wear a veil or head covering during prayer and worship as a symbol of their submission according to God's order of Creation. I Cor. 11:1-16.
16. The believers live separated, sanctified lives and are not conformed to the world. Discipline of erring members is administered for their spiritual welfare and for the preservation of the church. Matt. 18:15-17; John 17:14-16; Rom. 12:2; 1 Cor. 5; Gal. 6:1; I Thes. 5:22; II Thes. 3:6, 14-15; James 1:14-15; 4:4; 1 Pet. 1:14-15; I John 2:15-17.
17. Governmental authority is respected and obeyed. Members serve in a non-combatant status in the military. Oaths are not taken, but truth is affirmed. Matt. 22:21; Luke 3:14; Rom. 13:1-10; I Tim. 2:1-2; Heb. 12:14; James 5:12; 1 Pet. 2:12-14.
18. Marriage is a lifelong union ordained of God in which a man and a woman of like mind. faith and fellowship are united in the Lord in Holy Matrimony. Mark 10:9; I Cor. 7:39; Eph. 5:21-33; Col. 3:18-19; Titus 2:2-6, I Pet. 3:1, 7.
19. Although the gift of eternal life is a present possession of every true believer, it is possible far a believer of his own free will to forsake his faith. return to sin, and consequently forfeit eternal life with Christ. Matt. 25:24-30; John 3:36; John 15:1-7; Rom. 6:16, 8:35-39; I Cor. 9:27; I Tim. 1:18-20, 4:1; II Pet. 2:22; I John 5:11-13; Rev. 2-10, 3:5.16, 21.
20. Built upon the Lord Jesus Christ, the church is a closely knit body of believers sharing each other's joys and sorrows in the true spirit of brotherhood. The church seeks to grow in the love of Christ and the understanding of His Ward. The church extends a gracious invitation to all to come and worship in spirit and in truth. Luke 24:47; John 4:24; I Cor. 1:10; 1 Cor. 12:25-26. Eph. 4:16; Phil. 1:21.
1. Christ is the head of the church, the chief Shepherd; and all authority flows from Him. Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18-20;1 Pet. 5:4.
2. Direction is sought from the congregation for filling teaching and leadership offices either by vote or personal suggestion. The decision for appointment rests with the elder, a responsibility given to Timothy by the Apostle Paul. II Tim. 2:2.
3. The elder (bishop) and deacons are selected according to the directions and in light of the qualifications given in I Tim. 3 and Titus 1:5-9. The congregation's sentiment for support of a ministering brother for such duties is obtained by ballot. The decisions for appointment of elders and ordained deacons rest with the national elder body. Acts 6:2-6.
4. Duties of elders and deacons
a. An elder is the administrator of the spiritual matters of the church. He performs the rites (baptism, laying an of hands, communion, marriage), counsels converts and members, and performs all ministerial duties. Heb. 13:7, 17; I Pet. 5:1-5.
b. A deacon serves as assistant to the elder and performs all ministerial duties. Acts 6:1-6.
5. Discipline of erring members is administered for their spiritual welfare and far the preservation of the church. The elder is responsible for administering discipline in the assembly of believers with their support and far their benefit. I Cor. 5; Gal. 6:1; II Thes. 3:6, 14-15; I Tim. 5:20.
2. Doctrinal authority rests with this elder body which depends an the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and the Word for guidance.
3. There is no hierarchy within the elder body. Each is of equal authority and responsibility except that a rotating committee of five elders elected by this body handles correspondence, prepares the agenda and conducts orderly meetings, and responds to special local congregational needs.
4. The elder body is responsible for the approval of elder and ordained deacon candidates and establishment of major church projects.
5. Extensive communication and cooperation exists among the elders. There is frequent interchurch visiting and assistance with duties such as communion, hearing of testimonies, ordination services, and many other important matters.
This is an unofficial Web page. For more information on our church contact:
Apostolic Christian Publishing Co.,
805 West Cruger Road
P. O. Box 52
Eureka, Illinois 61530.
Apostolic Christian Mission Committee
Overland Park, KS 66223
To learn more about Bible's teaching on repentance, faith, discipleship, redemption, etc. read Redemption Realized Through Christ - A Study of the Bible's Teachings on Redemption. Following are two interesting articles, The Christian Veiling and The Christian's Appearance, that most Christians ignore today. Many other articles can be found on our Home-page.
We especially invite the Apostolic Christian brothers and sisters, and friends to read about the Redemption Reaized . . . book and the articles. These presents Biblical views historical held by Apostolic Christians.
Our Home-page is www.bibleviews.com. It presents an Anabaptist-(conservative) Mennonite witness. The Apostolic Christian Church is considered a part of the Anabaptist movement.
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