After I was saved and introduced to the Holy Spirit I graduated from college, married my wife, and moved to Ohio where she had a job. We regularly attended a Christian church (Disciples of Christ). I really liked the disciple’s tradition and lack of formality in their worship service. I learned that the disciples, more commonly known as the Christian church, came out of the second great awakening that occurred on the then American frontier of Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, and Illinois. Most historians date this revival from 1800 to 1830. Great camp meeting were held for days and weeks at a time, at places like Cane Ridge Kentucky, with speakers preaching 24 seven. People were warned not to climb the trees as they might be injured if they fell out in the Spirit and fell out of the tree. The Holy Spirit manifested in many different ways. Many were saved and the Awakening literally turned the heathen frontier into a Christian territory.
The Christian church was originally non-denominational and even anti- denominational. Communion was open and any believer was welcomed to participate. Communion was celebrated as part of the service each Sunday, baptism was by immersion of the believer. Babies were dedicated. Two saying that pretty much summed up the disciples beliefs. “No creed but Christ, no book but the Bible” and “in the essentials unity, in the nonessentials liberty in all things charity”. Each believer is able to work out his own salvation with fear and trembling. Each church is governed solely from within the congregation. The regional and national offices are set up to help the churches within their geographic areas to things that each church could not do alone, like church camp or mission work.
When we moved to Toledo at the age of 24 my wife and I went looking for a church that was either Methodist or a Christian church Disciples of Christ. After a few weeks we found a Christian church in which we felt at home. We initially started going because Kathleen liked the choir. We soon found that this church was filled with loving people and love was one of its core values. My spiritual life began to grow rapidly.
One of the stumbling blocks that impaired my spiritual growth was my belief that I needed to know all the answers to the questions I had before I could fully believe. " Why did Jesus have to die on the cross so that God could forgive our sins?" When I let go of that question and just accepted that God had that answer even if I couldn't get my mind around it my spiritual growth accelerated. I decided to accept the mystery and trust God. God used that trust to grow me spiritually. He also eventually showed me the answer to that question.
About this time something happened which profoundly effected my life my family our church and the entire community. God sent my church a new pastor. (to be continued)