The International Churches Of Christ (Boston Movement)

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The International Churches of Christ, once called the Boston Movement because of its original ties to the Boston Church of Christ,[1] is a body of co-operating[2] religiously conservative, and racially integrated Christian congregations. A formal break was made from the mainline Churches of Christ in 1993 with the organization of the International Churches of Christ.[3]:418 The ICOC holds to the belief that each person is saved by the grace of God if and when they place their faith in Jesus Christ, become a disciple, repent of their sins, and are baptized.[4]

A network of 637 churches spread across some 155 nations, they consider themselves non-denominational.[5] The network structure is intended to avoid two extremes: "overly centralized authority" and "disconnected autonomy." The organization of the ICOC has been described as based on cooperation between congregations rather than either "command and control" or "autonomy."[6] The largest congregation, the Los Angeles Church of Christ, has 5951 members. The largest church service was held in 2012 at the AT&T stadium in San Antonio, Texas, during a World Discipleship Summit, with 17,800 in attendance, with representatives from 96 countries.[7][8]

In 2000, it was described as "[a] fast-growing Christian organization known for aggressive proselytizing to US college students" and as "one of the most controversial religious groups on campus".[9]

Founder resigns[edit]

In 2003, the founder, Kip McKean, resigned, and apologised for sins, which included imagining he was right and refusing to listen to advice from his “brothers”. Henry Kriete, who is influential and high in the pecking order, urged for change and received support. According to Kriete the proposed reforms did not address some profound structural weaknesses.[10]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. John W. Kennedy, "'Boston Movement' Apologizes," Christianity Today, 6/1/2003 (accessed December 24, 2013)
  2. ICOC Cooperation Service Team Chairmen (28 August 2009). "Plan for United Cooperation Summary". International Churches of Christ Co-operation Churches. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  3. Douglas Allen Foster and Anthony L. Dunnavant, The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, Churches of Christ, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2004, ISBN 0-8028-3898-7, ISBN 978-0-8028-3898-8, 854 pages, entry on International Churches of Christ
  4. Beliefs, Columbia Church of Christ website (accessed December 24, 2013)
  5. New York City Church of Christ 'About us' in the Internet Archive
  6. Justin Renton, "Autonomy? No way! Glorious co-operation between the ICOC churches," ICOC HotNews, 09/08/2010 (accessed 11/16/2013)
  9. "A Push Becomes A Shove Colleges get uneasy about proselytizing". US News and World Report. 
  10. Most of this article is for subscribers only Christianity Today article