Church of Jesus Christ (Drewite)

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Church of Jesus Christ
Classification Latter Day Saint
Polity Hierarchical
Founder Theron Drew
Origin 1965
Separated from Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite)
Congregations 1

The Church of Jesus Christ is a schismatic organization in the Latter Day Saint movement which was organized in 1965 as a branch-off from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite).

In the early 1950s, Theron Drew, a member of the Strangite church, met Merl Kilgore, who at the time was the leader of another Latter Day Saint group called Zion's Order of the Sons of Levi. Drew was convinced that Kilgore was the "One Mighty and Strong" prophesied of in Mormon scripture and that Kilgore should become the successor of James Strang and lead the Strangite church. However, not long after promoting Kilgore as the long-awaited prophetic successor to Strang, Drew changed his mind about Kilgore.

When Drew returned to meeting with the Strangite church, he was rejected and asked not to return. He was excommunicated from the Strangites in 1965. Following this event, Drew, his family, and a small number of supporters organized the Church of Jesus Christ, claiming it to be the true successor of Joseph Smith's Church of Christ. The church meets in farmhouse previously owned by Wingfield W. Watson, an early leader in the Strangite church. Drew died in 1978, and leadership of the church passed to Richard Drew, Theron's son.

The Strangite church sued the Church of Jesus Christ to recover some of the church documents in Theron Drew's possession, but were not successful in the lawsuit.



  • Edward T. Couch (1980). Evidences and Inspiration (Bay Springs, Mich., n.p.)
  • J. Gordon Melton (1996, 5th ed.). Encyclopedia of American Religions (Detroit, Mich.: Gale) p. 582