About the Christadelphians
Christadelphians (the name means brothers and sisters in Christ) are a worldwide community of men and women who try to follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ. We are united by a shared faith based on the holy scriptures, and look forward to the completion of God’s plan for the world and mankind – the setting up of God’s kingdom when Jesus returns to the earth as God’s appointed King.
Fundamental to our faith is the principle that what Christ and his apostles taught in the first century was truth, and it is still the truth today. The Holy Bible, both Old and New Testaments, are our sole authority.
There is no paid ministry, nor any “head of the church”. Members contribute their time and energy voluntarily in service to God. Each ecclesia (the New Testament word for ‘church’) organises their own affairs, though the pattern is similar everywhere. Members are appointed to manage the affairs of the ecclesia and to preside at its meetings.
At the meeting for the “breaking of bread”, usually but not exclusively on Sundays there are hymns, prayers, readings from the scriptures and an exhortation. The bread and the wine circulate among all the “brothers and sisters” present. Voluntary collections are taken to meet all the expenses.
Like the early Christians, we meet in homes, rented rooms and in some cases our own buildings, as in Clowne.
The Christadelphian movement was founded by John Thomas in the USA in 1848. Thomas was a doctor who was born in London but emigrated to the USA in 1832. He was shipwrecked on his way to America, and while he was in danger he realised that he knew little about what would happen to him after his death. So he decided that if he survived he would devote himself to studying the Bible.
Although the Christadelphian movement originated through the activities of John Thomas, he never saw himself as setting up disciples and today Christadelphians see him as being a pioneer, but nothing more. He believed he had rediscovered 1st-century beliefs and encouraged others to read the Bible for themselves. Christadelphians became a recognised movement and took their name during the American Civil War. At that time, church affiliation was required to register for conscientious-objector status, and in 1865 Thomas chose, for registration purposes, the name Christadelphian. The name comes from the Greek in the New Testament and means “Brethren (and sisters) in Christ”.
The first UK ecclesias were formed when John Thomas carried out a lecture tour between 1848 and 1850.