Disciples of Christ Historical Society

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Thomas W. Phillips Memorial, home of Disciples of Christ Historical Society

Disciples of Christ Historical Society is the official archives for congregations of the Stone-Campbell tradition, also known as the Restoration Movement. The Society is incorporated as a general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)[1] and serves the three branches (called "streams") of the Stone-Campbell tradition: the Churches of Christ, Independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).[2]

The Stone-Campbell tradition is named for the men generally recognized as its founders and early leaders, Barton Warren Stone (1772–1844) and Alexander Campbell (1788-1866). The Stone-Campbell tradition began on the Appalachian frontier in the early 1800s.[3]


Disciples of Christ Historical Society was founded in 1941 and has been located in Nashville, Tennessee, since 1952. The Society is housed in the Thomas W. Phillips Memorial Archives, built in 1958 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.[4] The building is remarkable for its late Gothic Revival limestone façade and numerous stained glass windows.

Mission Statement[edit]

The mission of Disciples of Christ Historical Society is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ by preserving the heritage and telling the story of the Stone-Campbell tradition. Disciples of Christ Historical Society is the primary archive and collective memory for Stone-Campbell congregations throughout the world. Our purpose is to collect and maintain documents and artifacts and we are an agency of proclamation. Like our founders we believe in the unity of all people of faith. Our mission, then, is to insure that the ideal which was delivered to us – an open and welcoming Church – will remain available for the generations to come.[5]


The Society holds the historic records of approximately 23,000 congregations, 40,000 bibliographic files, as well as personal papers of 35,000 members of the denomination, such as Ronald Reagan and Janice Joplin. The archives also houses over 300,000 historic photographs. Among its more unusual holdings is a necklace made of leopard’s teeth from the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), brought to the United States by Disciples missionary Royal J. Dye.

In 2006, the Society partnered with the Christian Board of Publications to underwrite the publication of the first–ever global history of the Stone-Campbell tradition.[6]

In 2008, the Society opened a public exhibit hall to highlight and interpret its collections.[7]

In 2011, the Society established a collection of local church cookbooks in a new effort to depict local church history.[8]


  1. ^ "Services At A Glance". Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "The Work of the Historical Society". Disciples of Christ Historical Society. 
  3. ^ William E. Tucker; Lester G. McAllister (1975). Journey in Faith:A History of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). St. Louis, Mo: Bethany Press. p. 61. ISBN 0-8272-1703-X. 
  4. ^ "National Register of Historic Places". National Park Service. Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  5. ^ "The Mission of the Historical Society". Disciples of Christ Historical Society. Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  6. ^ "World History of the Stone Campbell Movement". Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  7. ^ Disciples News Service (July 29, 2008). "New Exhibit Hall at Historical Society Named for Oscar Haynes". Retrieved 29 November 2011. 
  8. ^ Disciples News Service (June 2, 2011). "Disciples of Christ Historical Society cooking up something good". Retrieved 29 November 2011. 

External links[edit]