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Our History

The Restoration Movement

Central Church of Christ has its roots in the "Restoration Movement." The churches of Christ / Christian churches are a loose fellowship of autonomous congregations that developed in the early 1800's in what came to be known as the "Restoration Movement." Fuelled by the concern of division in the body of Christ, which many believers felt was against Jesus' prayer for unity in John 17. They began to fellowship simply on the basis of the Lordship of Christ, according to the authority of the apostles teaching. During the early 1900's this fellowship experienced division resulting in three primary groups, the Disciples of Christ/ Christian Church, or Acapella churches and the "independents." The Disciples of Christ/Christian church has formed a formal denomination. The Acapella churches take quite a literal reading of scriptures and do not believe that musical instruments should be used in public worship. The third group have come to be known as the "independents" since they function as autonomous congregations. This third group is where Central Church of Christ falls. The name independent is not exactly accurate. "Interdependent" would be a better description as we believe that it is very important for all those who hold Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour to fellowship under that banner, holding forth the truth of the gospel to the on looking world. 

A brief disclaimer: Although church of Christ or Christian church are the names most of the congregations in our fellowship use, the names are rather generic and at times some groups use them who we would not identify with. Also, because of the autonomous nature each congregation tends to develop its own approach to worship and fellowship. In many ways this is no different than many denominations whose congregations operate autonomously (like many Baptist churches) . A number of people have asked if we are connected to the "Boston Church of Christ" (also known as The International Church of Christ). While the Boston Church of Christ has emerged out of the "Restoration" background, a number of its practices are not typical of other restoration church practices.

Our Local Congregation 

Central Church of Christ began in the year 1911. An ad was placed in the Lethbridge Herald by Mr. and Mrs. C. S. Farrow asked anyone belonging to the Christian Church or the Church of Christ who might be interested in forming a congregation to contact them. With a favorable response, that was the birth of our present church. They met in the Farrow home. Over the years the church met in various locations until we were able to build our own building, at 425 - 11 St. S., in 1923 under the ministry of R. I. Westaway. During this time Central also expanded its ministry holding services in Wrentham, Judson and the Owens County School house. Central grew during Mr. Westaway's ministry. C. H. Phillips came in 1927 beginning a significant period of ministry for Central. During his ministry Central started Alberta Bible College, which later moved to Calgary.

When Alberta Bible College moved to Calgary a number of key leaders also moved to Calgary. This combined with the effects of World War II weakened the church and Central found itself in as a struggling congregation for quite a number of years.

In 1957 James R. Chapman began a rebuilding period for Central. During his ministry Central grew, renovating the 11 St. building, then moving to the present location in 1978 and then doing another major renovation in 1984 doubling the size of the building. During the 1960's Central again took an active role in supporting Alberta Bible College (still in Calgary). The church supported Mr. Chapman as he put many hours, weeks and months in a major fundraising campaign across Western Canada for Alberta Bible College.

Over the years Central has undergone many changes, faced many obstacles and is continuing to look toward God as we share in His work.



God’s word has a lot to say about praise and worship. The purpose of praise and worship—as it relates to creating an intimate space between you and the Lord allowing Him to speak directly to your heart in such a way you are drawn nearer to Him. As a result, He is glorified, and you go deeper into your identity in Him. 


Summary of Beliefs

The following is a summary of what we understand to be foundational truths of the Christian Faith.


We believe that Jesus Christ is uniquely the Son of God (John 3:16), that he is eternal (John 1:1), one with God, was born of a virgin (Matthew 18,23 & Luke 1:34), lived on earth (John 1:14), experienced all facets of humanity except sin Hebrews 4), was crucified to pay the price of sinful humanity, was buried, raised from the dead in power (1 Corinthians 15: 3, 4, 20), appeared before men and women in his resurrected body, and ascended to heaven where he reigns with God the Father. Jesus Christ is the head of His body, the church (Matthew 6:16 & Colossians 1:18).We believe that accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour in faith is the criteria for receiving this gift of salvation (1 John 5:11,12 & John 14:6
& John 3:16 & Acts 2:38 & Romans 10:7-10).We believe that Jesus Christ indwells all those who receive Him through His Spirit, equipping them to live together as his body (the church) on earth, and empowering them to proclaim the mighty works of God to all nations by word and by deed (1 Corinthians 12-4, Galatians 5:22-23 & Acts 1:8).We believe that Jesus will come again in the fullness of His eternal kingdom to take unto himself all those who have received Him (John 14: 1-3; Acts 1:11; Colossians 3:4; 1 John 3:2). We believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God and the authority for faith and practice in the life of each believer and His church (2 Timothy 3:19-16). While the above statement is creedal in nature, and while many of the creeds, especially the apostle's creed, have become standard statements of faith and belief, we believe that all creeds are inherently limited. Our faith rests on Jesus Christ as revealed in the entire Bible. A description of our church in our bulletin puts it very simply: "Central Church of Christ is a non-denominational fellowship of believers. We use the Bible as our rule of faith and practice. Therefore, our membership requires belief and confession of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, acceptance of him as Lord and obedience to His teachings. This begins with baptism by immersion in water, continuing on in the joy of following Him and sharing in the love and encouragement of other believers.