Among the half dozen largest religious groups in the United States, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) might be called the most American. It was born on the nineteenth-century American frontier out of a deep concern for Christian unity. There were four pioneers: Barton Stone, Thomas and Alexander Campbell, and Walter Scott. All of them had Presbyterian backgrounds. Barton Stone used the word "Christian" to designate his group, feeling that all of God's children should be known as such. Campbell used the word "Disciples." In 1832 the Christians and the Disciples merged; both names are still used to this day—The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
The church grew rapidly through and following the Civil War, in spite of conflict within the church over the organization of missionary societies and instrumental music. The Churches of Christ separated from the Disciples during this debate.
The Disciples have a history of congregational government, although in 1968 they adopted a structure that sees the church in covenantal relationships in congregational, regional and general ministries. Each expression is considered equal rather than pyramidal and each has its protected rights and identified responsibilities. Each is in covenantal relation to the others and calls or dismisses its own staff and handles its own finances and property. The general ministry is called general rather than national because both the United States and Canada are included in the structure. There are 33 regions, many of them encompassing all of a single state. Therefore our denomination is able to keep a congregational polity and still work as a general unit from the mutual respect between the expressions of church.
The First Christian Church of Durant, Indian Territory has a rich and wonderful heritage. On May 28, 1900, the church was organized by Rev. John A. Tabor, evangelist, in a frame building on the southeast corner of Third Avenue and West Main Street.
In 1907 the Rev. A.E. Ewell became pastor. During his pastorate the present church building on the corner of North Third and West Beech Street was begun, and was dedicated in 1911. The grounds, building, organ, and furnishings cost $25,000, of which the Congregation borrowed $5,000, from the Board of Church Extension.
Through the years the Congregation has continued to grow strong and carry on building programs and remodeling projects to meet its present needs.
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