The Christian Church (Disciples
of Christ) grew out of two movements seeking Christian unity that sprang up almost simultaneously in western Pennsylvania
and Kentucky - movements that were backlashes against the rigid denominationalism of the early 1800s. Thomas and Alexander Campbell, rebelled against
the dogmatic sectarianism that kept members of different denominations - and even factions within the same denomination -
from partaking of the Lord's Supper together. Barton W. Stone in Kentucky, also a Presbyterian, objected to the use of creeds as tests of
"fellowship" within the church, which were a cause of disunity, especially at the Lord’s table. "Christians," the name adopted by
Stone's movement, represented what he felt to be a shedding of denominational labels in favor of a scriptural and inclusive
term. Campbell had similar reasons for settling on "Disciples of Christ" but he felt the term "Disciples"
less presumptuous than "Christians." The aims and practices of the two groups were similar, and the Campbell and Stone movements
united in 1832 after about a quarter of a century of separate development. The founders of the Christian Church hoped to restore Christian unity by returning to New Testament faith and practices.
But the church found that even this led to division. One group which opposed practices not specifically authorized by the
New Testament, such as instrumental music in the church and organized
missionary activity, gradually pulled away. That group finally was listed separately in the 1906 federal religious census
as the "Churches of Christ."