Beliefs & Heritage

Belvidere Church of Christ is an independent congregation that represents a faith heritage that formed here in the United States in the very early 1800s. It was led by men who had been Presbyterian ministers and were endeavoring to bring about greater Christian unity.

Rather than try to come up with a better creed than the Westminster Confession, the earliest leaders of our movement called fellow Christians to go back to the Bible to inductively discover and then emulate the beliefs and practices of the 1st century churches, as indicated on the pages of the New Testament. Our earliest leaders–Thomas Campbell, his son Alexander, Barton W. Stone, and Walter Scott–saw themselves as carrying on the work of the Reformation begun by men like Martin Luther and John Calvin. And yet, our heritage has historically been referred to as a “Restoration Movement” due to our well-intended endeavor to model our Christian faith and practice after what is apparent in the text of the New Testament (of course, we are not alone in this endeavor since there are other bodies and traditions of Christian faith that intend to teach and practice what is encountered in the NT text as well).

Given our intention and commitment to hold to the Apostolic teachings and early church practices found in the New Testament, ours is a heritage which affirms the historic, Christian faith and traditional/biblical morals and ethics. While we have historically seen ourselves as Christians only we do not regard ourselves as being the only Christians. Indeed, we very much appreciate the hope, mission, and values that we share with all fellow believers who seek to obey, live, and celebrate the Gospel of our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Furthermore, our Restorationist heritage is one that we share with other fellowships and brotherhoods including the Independent Christian Churches.

As a local body of believers in Christ, we affirm what so many other followers of Jesus have confessed and practiced throughout the centuries:

God is our Creator, the Maker of Heaven and Earth;

Jesus is his only begotten Son who died for us and was raised back to life;

God’s Holy Spirit is at work in the world, especially through the lives of those who are followers of Jesus;

We are all sinners in need of grace, mercy and forgiveness;

At the same time, we are called to be growing in our faith and commitment to conduct our lives in a way that expresses and validates our claim to follow Jesus;

We approach God in prayer with confidence, humility and trust;

We endeavor to teach and practice a faith that is genuinely biblical and unencumbered by any form of legalism;

We celebrate the Gospel through songs and hymns;

We observe communion on a weekly basis;

We invite new believers to confess Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior and to be buried and raised with him in baptism;

Our ultimate hope is that in the end, whenever and however that finally comes about, that we will be raised from death into a new state of bodily existence in which we will never cease to be–nor ever have to say goodbye again.