Sunday, November 7, 2010

An Ultra Brief Account of the History of La Habra Christian Church Part One

La Habra Christian Church is from the church heritage referred to as The Restoration Movement (also known as the Stone-Campbell Movement) which is a Christian movement that began on the American frontier during the Second Great Awakening of the early 19th century. The movement sought to restore the church and "the unification of all Christians in a single body patterned after the church of the New Testament."
The Restoration Movement developed from several independent efforts to return to apostolic Christianity, but two groups, which independently developed similar approaches to the Christian faith, were particularly important to the development of the movement. The first, led by Barton W. Stone, began at Cane Ridge, Kentucky and called themselves simply "Christians". The second began in western Pennsylvania and Virginia (now West Virginia) and was led by Thomas Campbell and his son, Alexander Campbell; they used the name "Disciples of Christ". Both groups sought to restore the whole Christian church on the pattern set forth in the New Testament, and both believed that creeds kept Christianity divided. In 1832 they joined in fellowship with a handshake.
Among other things, they were united in the belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; that Christians should celebrate the Lord's Supper on the first day of each week; and that baptism of adult believers by immersion in water is a necessary step in the new birth. Because the founders wanted to abandon all denominational labels, they used the biblical names for the followers of Jesus. Both groups promoted a return to the purposes of the first-century churches as described in the New Testament. One historian of the movement has argued that it was primarily a unity movement, with the restoration motif playing a subordinate role.
The Restoration Movement has since divided into three main branches in the U.S.: the Churches of Christ, the Independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). La Habra Christian Church is associated with Independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ. Further information can be found by reading the Stone-Campbell Journal (
The congregation now known as La Habra Christian Church came into being as a result of an evangelistic meeting held in July 1923. Clayton C. Root was the evangelist. The meeting was financed by the Clark Fund of Cincinnati, Ohio - a foundation to help start new congregations. The monies from this fund were under the oversight of the Christian Restoration Association.
On Sunday, October 14, 1923 after morning services and a basket picnic on the lawn, evangelist John LeGrande called for Charter Members and thirty-six responded. The first building was erected at Cypress and First Avenues, an old tabernacle style, with a chapel added to the back lot in 1934. It housed the congregation until the move to our present location in the spring of 1973.

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