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Restoration Movement

Digital Archives Hope International University

Approximately two hundred years ago, church leaders from various backgrounds began to reflect on the state of affairs within their respective denominations and found that a legalistic and divisive spirit prevailed. Considering the prayer of Jesus in John 17, they realized the importance of unity within the church. Two men in particular, Barton W. Stone and Alexander Campbell, were instrumental in raising awareness that reformation was necessary for the church to be the kind of fellowship that was described in the New Testament. They brought followers of Christ together on the basis of a desire to be Christians only and to rely upon the Bible as their only rule of faith and practice. Their efforts became known as “The Restoration Movement” as they sought to restore the principles and the practice of New Testament Christianity.

Historically, this group stressed a return to the basic doctrines of Christianity as found in the New Testament. The Restoration Plea includes foundational tenets that have been expressed through slogans such as:

"Where the Scriptures speak, we speak--where the Scriptures are silent, we are silent."

"In Essentials: Unity. In Non-Essentials: Liberty. In All Things: Charity." (Peter Meiderlin, 1626)

"No creed but Christ, no book but the Bible."

"Christians only, but not the only Christians."

The Disciples of Christ, Churches of Christ, and the "Independent" Christian Churches all have historical roots in the Restoration Movement.

Hope International University, established in 1928 as Pacific Bible Seminary, grew out of the "Independent" branch of the Restoration Movement.

-- Dr. John Derry

For more information about the Restoration Movement go to:


This site is maintained by Darling Library of Hope International University - Fullerton, California. Last updated: August 21, 2009.