Coffs Harbour and Dorrigo Christadelphians

Organisation & History

Organisation

The Christadelphians are a small religious body who have attempted to get back to the faith and character of the early, Christian church. The name "Christadelphians" comes from two Greek words and means "brothers in Christ".

We are located in many countries throughout the world with Christadelphians in the United Kingdom, Africa, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Australia, New Zealand, North America, India, Asia and South America. Like the early Christians, we meet in homes, rented rooms and, in some cases, our own halls.

We are a lay community patterned after first century Christianity. Each congregation is called an "ecclesia" (the New Testament word for church). We have no paid clergy or church hierarchy. Members of each congregation regard each other as brothers or sisters in Christ, and all are involved in organizing our activities. All members contribute their time and energy voluntarily in service to God. A strong common belief binds our brotherhood together.

We accept the Bible as our only guide and believe it to be the inspired word of God. Membership is extended to those with similar beliefs after being baptised (fully immersed in water).

A Brief History

Many believers since the apostles have held the same faith as the Christadelphians. There have been countless independent communities around the world who have eagerly studied the Bible and accepted its simple teachings.

The Christadelphians trace their history to the mid-1800s. In 1830, English physician, John Thomas, sailed to America. On the voyage, the ship met some unexpected bad weather and nearly sank. For the first time, Dr Thomas faced the reality of his own mortality and was dismayed to discover that he was not sure what lay beyond death. In the midst of the storm he vowed that, should he survive, he would not rest until he had found a satisfactory answer.

He did survive and kept his vow, beginning a life-long search for the truth. It soon became evident that many of the doctrines that were popularly taught and believed were inconsistent with the Bible. Dissatisfied, Dr Thomas devoted himself to a careful independent study of the Scriptures. He made no claim to any vision or personal revelation.

The work of Dr Thomas attracted the support of others in America and Britain who were convinced of the truth of his conclusions. Together they formed the Christadelphian community. Since then, Christadelphian communities have been established in many countries all over the world.