- Christian Conventions
Christian Conventions is a name used for official purposes in various countries by a
non-denominational Christian Restorationistchurch.Fact|date=December 2007 Distinguishing features of the church are an itinerantministry, and fellowship-style worship gatherings in the homes of adherents. The church has no official headquarters.
Name of church
As a nondenominational church that remains strictly unaffiliated with other religious groups, one of the church's definitional policies is the disclaiming of any denominational title, name, or formal identification.Fact|date=December 2007 Members often identify themselves as "Christians", "the saints", or "the friends". Amongst themselves, the "name" most often given to the fellowship is "The Truth" or "The Way."Fact|date=April 2008
The church has been officially registered in several places at various times. The first was in Britain during the First World War, at which time the church was registered under the name "Testimony of Jesus."Fact|date=April 2008 The church was registered in the USA as "Christian Conventions" and in Canada as "Assemblies of Christians" during the Second World War.Fact|date=April 2008 (Although the church is not currently registered in either the USA or Canada, these names continue to be used in official correspondence by senior ministers in the church). The church has also been registered formally in Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Paraguay, and Switzerland. Such registration is usually only done at the insistence of governmental agencies in concern, and is done to help said agencies identify the ministers with a particular faith group. (It could be noted that other "non-denominational" groups do exist which usually take some sort of church "name" for tax purposes). The "Christian Conventions" church is still formally and definitely non-denominational.
The following are some of the common terms used by the group, and a definition of each in the sense most commonly intended and understood by members of the group.Fact|date=April 2008
"bishop, elder, deacon" - a leader of a church as defined below. Normally the male head of the house in which the church meets. Often, the bishop/elder is the one in charge of calling the start of the meeting. The deacon is the official alternate to the elder.
"church" - generally, a small, local congregation that meets in a home; can refer to a larger group of believers or to the group as a whole. Not used to refer to a building except when referring to church buildings of other denominations or speaking metaphorically. Used colloquially when talking to strangers to refer to one's Sunday/Wednesday activity, ie "I'll be at church until midday."
"field" - a geographical region to which workers have been assigned (similar to "
"friend, saint" - convert, adherent, member. Collectively "the friends", or "the saints". Friends are also said to be "professing".
"meeting" - any formal gathering of friends, whether for Sunday morning worship, mid-week bible study (usually Wednesdays), annual special meetings or conventions, or other meetings called for special purposes, such as elders' or workers' meetings.
"mission" - a series of larger meetings (known as gospel meetings) called by workers in a field, usually held at a public venue such as a school or scout hall. Missions are held in series, lasting several months, and local members generally attend them in addition to their regular Sunday morning meeting and the Wednesday night meeting. This is the primary venue for evangelism, to which members are encouraged to invite non-members along. Sometimes these meetings are advertised in local newspapers, and/or with leaflet drops etc. The head workers and workers devise a plan of missions and notify local elders, who in turn notify members.
"profess, professing" - to make or to be making or have made a public declaration of faith in the fellowship. Members are those who "are professing", and vice versa.
"worker, servant" - minister, missionary, preacher.
The group has based its organizational structure generally on the concept that there are two "callings" (see Romans 1)Fact|date=April 2008. Members commonly refer to these two classes as "workers" and "friends"Fact|date=April 2008.
Head Worker or Overseer
A head worker is a senior male worker who is given an overall authority for a geographic region, such as a state or a country. Also, senior male workers are appointed by fellow head workers to supervise the group's work within a designated geographical boundary which may include a country or several states. In much of North America, the term overseer is more commonly used rather than 'head worker'.
Workers are the church's missionaries and ministers. The option of entering the ministry is theoretically open to every baptised member, although it has been over 40 years since married people were accepted into the ministry.Fact|date=December 2007 When a church member feels "called" to enter the work, they go to the head worker within their state or territory.
New workers do not engage in any formal religious training (i.e. theological schools or university). Workers generally work in pairs, a senior worker with a junior assistant. This arrangement allows the younger workers to learn from the older workers' experience. Fact|Dec 2007|date=December 2007 A new worker usually formally begins his or her ministry by speaking at a Convention or Special Meeting.Fact|Dec 2007|date=December 2007
Workers travel within their head worker-appointed fields, hold public gospel meetings, and from these gospel meetings seek to gain converts. The workers organize such converts into their home meetings; appoint homes in which their people meet for worship; and appoint elders (also called "bishops") and deacons responsible for leading the meetings, normally the head of the house in which the church meets. As new converts are most commonly known to one or more members of the church, they ordinarily join the meeting of members to whom they are geographically and socially close. A new convert will be introduced to the leader of his or her nearest local meeting.
Workers officiate at the funerals of members. In Australia, Canada and the U.S., the workers are not registered marriage celebrants, but give sermons and prayers at members' weddings if requested to do so.
Workers do not usually marry. If they choose to marry, they typically leave the work. If they leave the work from necessity, they often choose to marry.
An elder is a man who leads an individual house-meeting. Elders are appointed by workers in their field or adjacent field, with approval of the head worker.
Occasionally, the workers will 'test' a meeting of the friends and any who have been called to "profess" are given opportunity to indicate this to the fellowship, generally by standing for a few moments while a hymn is sung. Fact|Dec 2007|date=December 2007}
The purpose of the saints is to be seen as "lights" in their individual communities by being a good example within their community.
The role of women in the church
Women are accepted both in the church ministry and also to full participation in church worship. Female workers routinely hold public gospel meetings, and female members take part in prayers, testimonies, singing, and communion. Female workers or friends do not generally lead meetings when a male worker who is qualified for the same role.
Meetings (Present order of worship)
Individuals in the community are invited to attend gospel meetings by the friends. Occasionally printed invitations are handed out on doorsteps or friends may go door-to-door inviting people to meetings. Meetings are usually held by two workers and are in a rented public hall or school or a private home of one of the friends. No religious ornamentation is used.
The order of these services is usually as follows:
*One or two hymns is sung, often accompanied by keyboard.
*One of the workers prays.
*Another hymn is sung.
*One of the workers (the youngest usually speaks first) preaches to the congregation until close to the end of the first half hour of the service.
*Another hymn is sung. The audience is often invited to stand while singing, as a rest from sitting.
*The other worker preaches to the congregation until near the end of the meeting.
*Another hymn is sung.
*One of the workers closes the service with a prayer.
*Words of dismissal (in some places
benedictions), thanking the audience for attending and inviting them to come again.
In places where the church is well-established, workers may conduct two or more gospel meetings a week in the same public building for an extended period of months. In other areas, workers may conduct gospel meetings for several nights of the week and move to new towns more frequently. This more mobile example of the church's evangelistic practices is the rule in countries like France, Germany, India, and the African and Asian countries.Fact|date=December 2007
unday fellowship meeting
The Sunday morning meeting, often called a "fellowship meeting," is usually held in the home of the elder, who guides the proceedings and performs sacramental duties.
The number of people in each meeting can be as few as two or as many as will comfortably fit in the meeting area of the house. This varies depending on the number of local members; however, twenty may be an average. The church group often consists of several individuals and families.
The order of the meeting is usually as follows:
*silence is observed before the meeting commences and while the members enter the meeting room
*the congregation sings one or two hymns
*prayer: in turn, all professing members make a short, spontaneous, audible prayer
*another hymn is sung
*testimony: in turn, all professing members speak about a Bible passage of their choosing that they have enjoyed, and its application to their daily living; or they may relate a personal experience, and a lesson they have learned thereby.
*communion: one member (male or female) makes a short prayer of consecration for the bread; the elder passes the bread around the room, and all baptized members partake. The cup is shared in the same manner. The communion meal in performed in silence in order to promote reflection.
*a final hymn is sung, usually with the theme of Christ's death, resurrection, and coming again
*the elder carries the bread and cup out of the room
*greetings: members generally greet each other (in Western countries, usually with a handshake) and brief conversation before departing the meeting house.
New members generally join a church or meeting nearest them, or one at which they know one or more members.Fact|date=December 2007 |date=December 2007 Meeting membership is guided by the local workers in consultation with the elders of the meeting(s). The makeup of the fellowship meeting congregation is ordinarily formed on the basis of geographic proximity, although demographic mix is balanced as far as is reasonably attainable. Meetings which have grown too large, or where the elder has had to move house, may be split; meetings which have grown too small, usually due to attrition of older members, may be amalgamated. However the membership of a meeting may remain unchanged for years or decades.
Bible study meeting
Each local church holds Bible study meetings once or twice each week. (In Australia, usually Wednesday nights.) These also take place in private homes and are led by an elder or deacon. The topic of study may be a biblical passage, person, subject, or theme. The topic (also called "subject") may be taken from a scheduled list, or pre-agreed in a previous meeting. The order of the meeting is identical to that of the Sunday morning meeting, with the exception that the leavened bread and grape juice is not kept. In turn, each professing member shares his or her thoughts, findings, and practical insights regarding the subject. Preparing for a meeting is usually preceded with meditation and prayer by each member in his or her private room at home.
Special meetings are larger, day-long worship events. In rural areas, they may include only one church; in urban centres they may include many churches from a large city or region.Fact|date=April 2008
Special meetings consist of two two-hour-long services, one held in the morning and the other early in the afternoon, and sometimes a third, hour-long meeting just before supper. These services include public preaching by a number of workers, some of whom are visitors from other regions. Congregants participate in prayer and testimony periods, and in the singing of hymns.
The time of year at which special meetings are held varies around the world and depends on local factors such as climate, public holidays, and availability of suitable facilities.
"Conventions" are usually held on rural properties owned by individual membersFact|date=December 2007. In some regions, convention centres or other facilities are rented for the purpose. In 2005, over 440 conventions were held in over 100 countries.Fact|date=April 2008
Attendance at a "Convention" gathering may range from twenty to over 2000. In North America, the members stay on location or in nearby hotels. In Europe accommodation may be similar, or may be in schools, church camps and other available boarding places. In Australia, many convention sites have space for dormitory and tent accommodation.
A "Convention" usually lasts for four days, starting on a Wednesday evening, and continuing through to the following Sunday afternoon. There are usually three scheduled meetings each day. Two-hour-long morning and afternoon meetings include personal prayer and testimony periods. In the first one-hour evening meeting, workers visiting from foreign countries relate their experiences. The remaining evening meetings are gospel services.
The bread and wine (sometimes, grape juice) are taken at "Convention" in Australia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and some other African countries.
In Australia "Conventions" have a major social component. Members are nominated or volunteer to help prepare and serve communal meals, which are taken together. A short hymn is sung before each meal, then eating commences. There is much conversation over these meals, and usually an hour or two is allowed before the next gospel service commences. Members' children play together, and members who played together as children renew old friendships. Among the young unmarried members, "Conventions" are very much considered an opportunity to seek out prospective spouses.Fact|date=April 2008
Often, a baptism is held during the "Convention". Workers and friends gather at the nearest suitable river or lake. The baptism ceremony is led by a senior brother worker. A brief sermon is given, a prayer is offered on behalf of the baptismal candidates, and a hymn is sung. Candidates are immersed.Fact|date=April 2008
hymnal printed exclusively by and for the church was printed circa 1904 and entitled "The Go-Preacher's Hymn Book."Fact|date=April 2008 It included 125 hymns, a few of which were written by members of the group, while most were inclusions from the Faith Mission hymnbook, "Songs of Victory."Fact|date=April 2008 The present hymnal, entitled "Hymns Old and New," was first published in 1919 and has had subsequent editions in 1928, 1951, and 1987. It is published by R.L. Allan & Son, Glasgow, Scotland. R. L. Allen was the original publisher of the Faith Mission hymnal, "Songs of Victory" (original edition, 1898).Fact|date=April 2008 The most recent edition of "Hymns Old and New" (1987) contains 412 hymns, 110 (26%) of which were written by non-members of the group.Fact|date=April 2008 Most of the words were written by Workers or friends, while most of the melodies were written by non-members. Many of the workers and friends have been prolific hymn writers, some of the most prolific being Sam Jones, Sandy Scott, James Jardine, Elma Wiebe Milton, Gladys Porteous, and Mabel Pryor.
Distinguishing doctrines and practices
The church holds a number of doctrines and practices by which it is distinguished from many other sects and denominations:
*The ministry is homeless, perpetually travelling, and receives their income through voluntary financial support from the friends. The workers reject the commercialization of organized churches and instead prefer private, voluntary donations from members. They believe that Jesus' instructions to his apostles in Matthew 10 - such as going from village to village, preaching in pairs, taking minimal worldly possessions, and relying on the hospitality and generosity of the villagers - are still the best and only pattern for Christian ministry todayFact|date=April 2008.
*Church buildings are seen as an unnecessary, even wrong, addition to biblical Christianity.Fact|date=April 2008 The group conducts their fellowship meetings in the homes of believers. Annual national or state-wide conventions (depending on the country) are held on privately-owned property (often a farm) whose owners make their properties available for this purpose.
*The church appears among liberal "progressive" Christianity in regards to the role of women in the church. Women workers were first commissioned to preach in 1900, and have equal authority to male workers, including the authority to preach, teach, establish meetings, discipline members and organise gospel meetings.Fact|date=April 2008 However, they can not rise to the position of head worker, and do not lead meetings when a male worker is present.Fact|date=December 2007
*The church holds to a doctrine of personal salvation by free choice. Each adult member is responsible for his or her own standing with God.
*The practice of the membership speaking in meetings, uncommon among Christian denominations generally, is a specific distinguishing feature of the church. Under ordinary conditions, all members who are willing to do so speak in the Sunday and in the midweek meetings.Fact|date=April 2008 A worker present in the meeting may speak first, and often speaks for longer, but all members have the opportunity and duty to speak.
*Church doctrines are, by deliberate choice, unpublished.Fact|date=April 2008 Church leaders' reasoning for this is that the Bible should stand as the only primary sacred source of doctrinal material, and that the structure of the meetings gives members the opportunity to speak to each other and hear each other.Fact|date=April 2008 The manner in which doctrinal differences are resolved has varied over time and place. Disagreements between members may arise, but not with the Bible or with God. In Australia, members may discuss and argue points of doctrine between themselves. Significant weight is given to the thoughts of workers, especially more senior workers.Fact|date=April 2008 The words of members and workers are considered to be at least to some extent guided by God; the practical effect of this belief, along with the doctrine of personal salvation through profession, and with all members speaking in every meeting, is to create an atmosphere of general respect for each others' opinions. Members with doubts are often urged to pray for guidance and read their Bibles, rather than seeking a definitive answer from an authority.
* Common, almost universal, abstentions of members include: broadcast television sets in the home, drinking, smoking, and use of recreational drugs.Fact|date=August 2008 Other abstentions may vary slightly from one country or area to another.
Membership and geographic spread
Some areas that have larger concentrations of church members include
British Islands, South Africa, parts of Australia, New Zealand, Western Canada, Northwestern and North Central USA, Nuevo Leónstate in Mexico, Barbados, Northern Peru, and Río Grande do Sulstate in Brazil. Some areas where the church has grown rapidly in recent years include the Ukraine and other parts of the former Soviet Union, Romania, Madagascar, Benin, southern India, the Philippines, South Korea, Peru, Ecuador, and ColombiaFact|date=April 2008.Fact|date=April 2008
One of the interesting aspects of the church is the spread and diversity of the social network. Today, the global congregation can't be easily classified into a socio-economic category, although this may be possible at the regional level, especially earlier in the history of the church. Many of the more wealthy members in Western countries travel frequently and visit members in other countries. As a result, there is a well developed social network amongst the members, which penetrates into some quite obscure (to a Western viewpoint) locations.
There are known to be at least one congregation of practising members residing in at least the following 107 countries as of December 2007:Fact|date=April 2008
Antigua, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Curaçao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Falkland Islands, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saint Helena, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Since the 1970s (and possibly, long before this), missionaries of the church have been present at some point in many countries where Christianity or Protestantism is not common, even where proselytizing is not allowedFact|date=April 2008. These include but are not limited to:
Cambodia, China, Cuba, Ecuador, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Mongolia, Pakistan, Peru, Russia, Romania, Taiwan, and Ukraine. Underground or clandestine churches are known to operate in Islamic countries as of December 2007. Ministers in these countries never preach to Muslims as it is against the local law. They spread the gospel story mainly to immigrant workers.Fact|date=April 2008
Origins and History
The church coalesced in
Irelandin the late 1890s under the leadership of Scottish evangelist William Irvine, Edward Cooney, George Walker, Jack Carroll, John Kelly, John Long and others. Irvine and Kelly had previously been associated with the Faith Mission.Fact|date=April 2008
Members of the church have been fairly explicit in not maintaining an official history, rejecting any form of liturgy, and in many cases, even destroying correspondence and written records.Fact|date=April 2008 In part, this behaviour is an exigency of an itinerant lifestyle; in part, it is a response to centring the church on Biblical teaching with a strong bias to oral exposition. These characteristics make it difficult to form a history with any accuracy and certainly there exists no church-sanctioned historical archive or records. For the interested reader, Cornelius Jaenen has documented the growth of the church in Ireland in the late 1890s. The workers' efforts in Ireland are also documented in newspaper articles of the time, occasional written testimonies of early workers, photographs of workers, and excerpts from the Bright Words monthly publication.
William Irvine was excommunicated from the church in 1917.Fact|date=April 2008 His literal views of eschatological prophecy and belief that the world was about to end following the First World War were considered by other leaders to be disruptive to the fellowship. Irvine and a small group of loyal followers become known as the "Message People", "The Witnesses" (not to be confused with the unrelated
Jehovah's Witnesses), or "Irvinites" (not to be confused with the unrelated Irvingites). Irvine declared himself a prophet and continued to urge his followers to prepare for the end of the world.Fact|date=April 2008
Another division occurred in 1928 when the worker
Edward Cooney(well-known for preaching on Hyde Park Corner) left the church. Cooney believed strongly in the original itinerant ministry, in reviving the miracle powers of the Apostolic Age, and he rejected the appointment of head workers to geographic regions and the Living Witness Doctrine. A handful of Cooney's loyal supporters separated to join Cooney in his own sect.Fact|date=April 2008 Because of Cooney's prominence in the early growth of the church, some onlookers had labeled the entire group as Cooneyites.Fact|date=April 2008 In later years this came to apply only to the small group that separated along with Cooney.
George Walker's letter of 1942
In 1942, during the Second World War, George Walker, then the head worker in the Eastern United States, was asked by the Office of the Director of Selective Service in Washington, D.C. to submit a statement "outlining... certain facts regarding the foundation, belief and activities of the Church...for the purpose of enabling the Local Draft Boards to correctly classify Ministers of this Church throughout the United States who are subject to the Selective Service Laws." The statement, which was widely circulated among believers in the United States at that time, read in part:
...during the closing years of the last century and the first years of this century a number of people in the British Isles and in America were exercised in heart and mind, through their study of the Scriptures, in regard to the methods of preaching and worship in the several churches of which they were then members. They were deeply concerned about spiritual things, and became fully convinced that there should be a return to the methods and purposes taught and carried out by Christ and His first disciples. This conviction led to frequent earnest conversations and studies on the subject, which in turn led to religious meetings, and in due time a number of these people went forth to devote their lives to the preaching of the Gospel according to the teaching and example of Christ as given in the New Testament, i.e., "two by two" and without salary or making appeals for financial assistance, putting implicit trust in God and His promise that as they "sought first the Kingdom of God" their natural needs of food and raiment "would be added to them".[Walker, G. March 24 1942 Statement to the United Stated Department of Selective Service. [http://workersect.org/2x205ra.html] ]
As a result of this step, many people expressed their desire to be in fellowship with such preachers and this led to regular gatherings together of small assemblies in homes for worship and study of God’s word. The reason for meeting in homes was primarily because it is scriptural, the Christians during the first centuries of the Christian era met regularly for worship in homes, which fact is also borne out and supported by church history. Thus after serious consideration, the leaders were confident that in their efforts to follow the early Christians they should form church gatherings in homes....
In the year 1903 Ministers of this Christian body began their labors in the United States and in the year 1904 in Canada. In these and subsequent years through the preaching of the Gospel, assemblies were formed in homes as already described. In the year 1906 the first annual conventions were held in North America, and from this beginning the number of Ministers in North America has grown to over nine hundred - about equally divided between men and women; the assemblies for regular worship to over three thousand; and the annual conventions to over one hundred.
The church has been the subject of much controversy from its earliest days. Many posters, pamphlets, books, and websites have been published criticizing various aspects of the church. This form of publication began in the earliest years of the church and continues to this day.
During the early days in Ireland, most of the criticism was due to the strong preaching of the idea that all of the existing Christian denominations had corrupted Christianity in various ways; that the new sect was the restoration of the original Christian ideal or community; and that thus only those in the new group were spiritually "saved." This teaching was strongly opposed and rebutted by many.
The question of the founding of the church has been an especially volatile issue. Generally, the church today does not acknowledge the early influence of William Irvine in 1897 on its teachings. Workers have for the most part allowed and encouraged their listeners to believe that the ministry that they represent has existed in a continuous line since the time of Christ. Critics of this claim have worked to establish the "real story" of the founding and subsequent history of the group in Ireland late in the 19th Century. This work, by ex-members and observers of the group, has focused attention both inside and outside the group on the issue of succession. A more recent interpretation on this question emphasizes the continuity through history of the principles of teaching "according to the words of Christ" which may have died out at various points in history. If a new church that adhered to the same interpretation of the principles were later created, it could claim to be a successor of the first church, or the first church recreated. Members and workers alike generally exhibit little interest in specifics of the church's history, prior to the current generation.
The matter of church discipline is also sometimes criticized.
Some members have been excommunicated (the word excommunicated is not used) (a.k.a. disfellowshipped) as a result of the ministry's reluctance to discuss the disparity between positions on the history of the church, or entertain any position other than the "official dogma". In these cases, such an experience is often the final motivation for leaving this faith. Questioning of doctrine is often construed as a lack of faith, often termed "falling out". In many parts of the world, however, there is considerable leeway afforded to differences in personal convictions regarding both doctrine and practice, and this seems to be a growing trend. The mainstream beliefs and practice of worship remain however the same.
Some people – including many ex-members – allege that the church has continuously and actively silenced opposing or dissenting views in the church. It is claimed by these people that those with power within the church have practised excommunication to silence dissenting voices or questions about the church's doctrine and history and that there has been strong denial of any teaching that acknowledges preachers of any other faith or message. The existence of such controlling behaviour in the church is said to be supported by the group's teaching that the "workers" are the only true servants of God and the "professing" people are the only true saints. In this way, members are encouraged to believe they alone are the exclusive family of God (Romans 9).
The roles of men and women in the church are raised as an issue that troubles many ex-members. Women have restrictions in the way they dress and style their hair. Men are also asked to dress modestly, but have much more freedom in their appearance. Although there are both male and female workers, former members allege that female workers are not granted equal roles in the leadership at meetings, conventions, and other gatherings.
Some members disagree with this and claim that in some areas of the world excommunication is unheard of. They believe opponents like to unrealistically emphasize exclusivist tendencies, and they claim that most present members recognize that exclusivist teaching is steadily diminishing. This is a matter so heavily clouded by opinion and subjective interpretation that it would be almost impossible to ascertain an objective truth.
A controversy in
Alberta, Canada, in the late 1990s resulted in the excommunication of between 25 and 30 members in 1999 alone. This is a very small number of dissenting people in comparison with the worldwide number of members. The full number of excommunicated members is not known. No register of members in good standing or members excommunicated is kept.Fact|date=August 2008
The Diamond, Enniskillen
William Irvine (Scottish evangelist)
*Govan, I. R. (1938) "Spirit of Revival" (Belfast: The Faith Mission, 1938, 1950, 1960, 1978)
*Jaenen, C. J., "The Apostles' Doctrine and Fellowship: A documentary history of the early church and restorationist movements" (Ottawa: Legas Publishing, 2003), IX, 14, The Contemporary [Irish] Restoration Movement, pp. 517-535.
*Jaenen, C. J. (2007), "Christians, Assemblies of", in the "Canadian Encyclopedia", Historica Foundation. [http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1SEC818264 Online accessed 2 March 2007]
*Parker, Doug. (1982) "The Secret Sect" (Doug Parker, ISBN-10: 0959339809)
*Piepkorn, Arthur Carl "Christian Fellowship (People on "The Way," Disciples of Jesus, Friends, "Two-By-Twos") pg 58-62 in Profiles in Belief: The Religious Bodies of the United States and Canada Volume IV: Evangelical, Fundamentalist, and other Christian Bodies, San Francisco, Harper & Row (1979).
*Pocock & Martin, "Hymns Old and New" (Glasgow: R. L. Allan & Son Publishers, 1987).
*Roberts, Patricia (1990), "The Life and Ministry of Edward Cooney 1867-1960" (Wm Trimble Ltd, Enniskillen ISBN 0951010948)"'
*Robinson, B.A. (2004), "The Church with No Name", Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. [http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_2x2.htm Online accessed 20 August 2005]
The church has no official website.
Private sites supportive of the church:
* [http://www.ancientvoice.org Ancientvoice.org]
* [http://www.homestead.com/prosites-hobarker/topicsinbible.html Topics in Bible]
Private sites varying in support for the church from neutral to negative:
* [http://www.2x2ministry.org Ministering to former members of 2x2s]
* [http://www.tellingthetruth.info Telling The Truth]
* [http://www.tellingthetruth.info/home/links.php Telling The Truth - Links]
* [http://sites.google.com/site/trutharchivist/ Truth Archive]
* [http://wingsfortruth.info/ W.I.N.G.S. For Truth]
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