The origins of the Apostolic Christian Church are found in the dramatic conversion experience of Samuel Heinrich Froehlich¹ (1803-1857) of Switzerland. Froehlich was baptized in 1832 and soon founded the Evangelical Baptist Church. The first American church was formed in Lewis County, New York in 1847 by Benedict Weyeneth (1819-1887), who had been sent by Froehlich at the request of Joseph Virkler, a Lewis County Mennonite farmer. In 1848 a church was formed in Sardis, Ohio. Froehlich eventually came to the United States. The church experienced primary growth in the midwest. Though sometimes referred to as the New Amish, these believers generally called themselves Evangelical Baptist. In 1917, the church adopted a uniform name - Apostolic Christian Church.
Members seek to obey the Bible, which is believed to be the infallible word of God. Beliefs include salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ; water baptism by immersion; closed communion with bread & fruit of the vine; the holy kiss; Christian head covering for women; sanctification; and moderation in attire. The church allows members to serve in the military, but not to bear arms. The truth may be affirmed, but swearing of oaths is forbidden. Elders serve at the choice of the congregation, and perform all rites and ministerial duties. Deacons serve as assistants to the elders. Singing is a cappela.
There are currently three divisions of this church in America. In the early 1900s a disagreement arose over the practice of some European customs and the church split into two bodies (from 1901 to 1911). The change from the use of the German language to the English language in worship services initiated a second schism in 1932.
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