World Convention of Churches of Christ
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The World Convention of Churches of Christ is a Christian world communion that links an international family of churches known by a range of names including Christian Churches, Churches of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The first Global Gathering of the World Convention was held in Washington, D.C. in 1930. Jesse Bader was instrumental in its formation. The convention continues to organize international gatherings every four years and facilitate communication between these events. The 17th (2008) Gathering was held in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. The 18th was held in Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil, July 25–29, 2012.
The churches who participate all grew out of the 19th Century Restoration Movement with origins in both the United Kingdom (with leaders such as William Jones and James Wallis) and the United States of America (with leaders such as Barton Stone and Alexander Campbell). Congregations participating in the Convention come from more than 195 countries and represent a range of beliefs and practices. National profiles are made available for many.
In keeping with much of the movement's focus on Unity it highlights both the features it has in common with the wider Christian Church and unique gifts it has to offer the whole church.
Former General Secretaries of the World Convention of Churches of Christ Lyndsay and Lorriane Jacobs list these major distinctive characteristics:
- A concern for Christian Unity
- A commitment to Evangelism and Christian Mission
- An emphasis on the centrality of the New Testament
- A simple Confession of Faith
- Believer's Baptism
- Weekly Communion
- A Biblical Name
- Congregational autonomy
- Lay Leadership
The offices of the World Convention are located in Nashville, Tennessee. Gary Holloway serves as Executive Director (General Secretary). In addition to planning the quadrennial gathering of the Stone-Campbell Movement, the day-to-day ministry of World Convention seeks to build fellowship, understanding, common purpose and effectiveness within the global family of churches known as Christian, Churches of Christ and Disciples of Christ. The Executive Director travels the world preaching, teaching, encouraging and mentoring Christians on behalf of World Convention. He also represents the Stone-Campbell Movement family at a number of international ecumenical/world communion meetings. The World Convention website has a number of features, including National Profiles of some of the 196 countries where Stone-Campbell Movement Churches have or have had a presence.
- 1930 Washington D.C., USA, Jesse Bader, President
- 1935 Leicester, England, John Wycliffe Black, President
- 1947 Buffalo, New York, USA, George H. Stewart, President
- 1952 Melbourne, Australia, Reginald Enniss, President
- 1955 Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Edgar G. Burton, President
- 1960 Edinburgh, Scotland, Charles K. Green, President
- 1965 San Juan, Puerto Rico, Florentino Santana, President
- 1970 Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, Sir Philip Messent, President
- 1974 Mexico City, Mexico, J.Daniel Joyce, President
- 1980 Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, W.B. Blakemore, President (died in office, 1975), Forrest Haggard, President
- 1984 Kingston, Jamaica, Richmond Nelson, President
- 1988 Auckland, New Zealand, Lyndsay Jacobs, President
- 1992 Long Beach, California, USA, Harold R. Watkins, President
- 1996 Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Marj Black, President
- 2000 Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Ron W. Brooker, President
- 2004 Brighton, England, David M. Thompson, President
- 2008 Nashville, Tennessee, USA, C. Robert Wetzel, President
- 2012 Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil, Bafundi (B.J.) Mpofu, President
Future Gathering, New Delhi, India, 2017, Ajai Lall, President
- "World Convention Profile Table". Retrieved September 17, 2012.
- "The History of NCU" (PDF). Northwest Christian University. p. 3. Retrieved September 17, 2012.