Christian Congregation of Brazil
|Christian Congregation in Brazil|
|Congregations||18,877 in Brazil (2013)|
|Members||2,5 million (2000)|
The Christian Congregation in Brazil (Congregação Cristã no Brasil in Portuguese) is an evangelical denomination founded in that country by the Italian-American missionary Luigi Francescon (1866–1964).
Francescon came, for the first time, to Brazil from Chicago, Illinois to São Paulo and from there to Santo Antonio da Plantina, Paraná in 1910. His ten missionary trips were quite successful among fellow Italian immigrants.
This was part of the first wave of Pentecostalism, and evidently the first organized Pentecostal denomination in Brazil. Together with the Brazilian Assemblies of God founded 1911 in Pará, by the Swedish-Americans, Daniel Berg and Gunnar Vingren, the Christian Congregation of Brazil are the early foundation of the Brazilian Pentecostal Movement, one of the most dynamic and fast-growing evangelical movements worldwide.
The Christian Congregation in the Brazil had around 2.5 million members in 2001 and 17,000 temples (2008) in that country and an intense missionary work abroad. In the metro area of São Paulo, the church shows its faith: there are 500,000 followers, distributed in 2,000 branches and a mother-church in the Brás district that houses a 5,000 member congregation.
Francescon was among the early founders of the Italian-American Pentecostal church in Chicago. He had left the First Italian Presbyterian Church of Chicago because of his belief in Water Baptism by immersion. Later he accepted the doctrines of anointing with oil, miracles, and Holy Spirit baptism at the North Avenue Full Gospel Mission led by William Howard Durham. Evangelists from Chicago went to the Italian colonies in the United States planting churches mostly in the Northeast. Most of those churches were incorporated into the Christian Church of North America, with a few affiliated with the Christian Congregation in the United States.
The beliefs of the Christian Congregation are set forth in their 12-articles of Faith. They believe in the Trinity, and in the Bible, salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. They accept the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and divine healing and miracles. The church holds two ordinances - water baptism by immersion and the Lord's supper.
Congregational worship is held inside a chapel. Hymn singing is accompanied by a brass/silver band or orchestra. While in worship, women wear white head veils and their attire is dresses and skirts. Men dress in suit outfits. All chapels are emmaculately kept. The inscription "In the Name of the Lord Jesus" is displayed and a baptismal font at the front of the chapel.
- Read, William R. New Patterns of Church Growth in BrazilGrand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1965.
- 2000 Brazilian Census IBGE
- ALVES, Leonardo M. "Christian Congregation in North America: Its Inception, Doctrine, and Worship". Dallas, 2006.
- FRANCESCON, Louis. "Faithful Testimony". Chicago, 1952.
- HOLLENWEGGER, Walter. "The Pentecostals".Minneapolis, 1972.