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Statement of Values
Statement of Calling
At First Christian we seek to be constantly engaging the culture around us.
We seek to discover and unearth the spiritual realities present in our world
through engaging art, music, literature, film and other contemporary media
forms. You can experience some or all of these components at one of our
WHAT WE VALUE
If you want more information, check out the rest of our website, or better yet come by First Christian and let us get to know you better.
Are you tired of Religion, but still interested in Spirituality? Are you cynical about institutional approaches to God while still wanting to understand faith?
We are a dedicated group of Christ followers (the literal meaning of the word Christian) who are passionate about introducing the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Rather than start a new religion, Jesus himself was very clear that he came to call us into a new relationship with the Creator of the universe.
If you’re seeking answers to some of life’s deeper questions, if you feel “fed up” with religion or if you’re looking for a positive church experience in the Chattanooga area…COME CHECK US OUT!
We would like to invite you to attend our worship experiences…
10:45 a.m. Celebrational Worship - located in our sanctuary - this worship opportunity is contemplative, with classical music, inspiring upbeat music performed by our Choir, relevant messages and communion every week.
WELCOME TO FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH, THE BRIDGE CHURCH
The Bridge Church, First Christian Church, is a naturally warm, caring fellowship which embraces diversity. We embrace diversity of Christian tradition through a progressive understanding of the freedom we have in Christ and through a deep concern for the needs of the local, national, and world community.
Because of our openness to the differences within the universal Church, First Christian has been uniting Christians of different denominational backgrounds for over 100 years. Acknowledging this characteristic, the congregation identified its unique role in the greater Chattanooga area as The Bridge Church in 1979.
As a congregation, we turn our face toward the responsibilities of an urban congregation in this century and millennium. We would be pleased for you to discover more about First Christian Church and encourage you to consider making the Bridge Church your church home.
The symbol of our denomination is a chalice bearing the X-shaped cross of St. Andrew. The chalice represents the centrality of the Lord's Supper, which is open to all who want to follow Christ. At First Christian in Chattanooga, as in all Disciples of Christ congregations, we celebrate the Lord's Supper every Sunday. The table is open. That means that all Christians are invited to respond to Christ's invitation to draw closer to Him around the communion table. For us, the open table is a powerful symbol of our deep commitment to Christian unity. The open table honors diversity even as it celebrates unity in Christ.
The X-shaped cross of the disciple Andrew is a reminder of the ministry of each person and the importance of evangelism. St. Andrew has been identified with the laity and with evangelism, both of which are prominent emphases for us. The color red signifies vitality, spirit and sacrifice.
HISTORY IN THE U.S.
Who is the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)? The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) originated on the American Frontier during the early 19th Century. Its first leaders were Barton Stone, Thomas Campbell, and Alexander Campbell, Presbyterians who reacted against sectarian frontier religion and urged a union of all Christians founded upon the restoration of New Testament Christianity. They advocated adult baptism by immersion and weekly observance of The Lord's Supper.
Congregations accept new members through a confession of faith and baptism or by transfer of membership from other denominations. Worship styles vary and all observe The Lord’s Supper each Sunday.
Disciples live by the admonition, "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials liberty; in all things, charity." Hence, Disciples advocate unity, but we do not confuse unity with uniformity, respecting diversity. Creeds may be used in worship and teaching, but they are not seen as tests of fellowship. We hold that the scriptures witness to all things necessary for salvation, and we encourage each person to study the scriptures and to seek God's will for their life. The unity of all Christians continues to be held before us as our "polar star." The Christian Church has always served as a "bridge church" or a common ground for people with diverse denominational backgrounds.
HISTORY IN CHATTANOOGA
The congregation was organized by 11 charter members November 19, 1871, in Clippinger’s Hall on the west side of Market Street following a city-wide revival. Chattanooga then was a struggling young city of 7,000 which had survived floods, fires, financial panic, and epidemics.
In 1885 the congregation, now a body of 188 members, built its first permanent home, an attractive building with a tall spire in the center of the city. Dedicated November 10, 1886, Walnut Street Christian Church was located between 7th and 8th Streets and quickly became established as one of the leading downtown churches.
In 1901 the congregation moved to the corner of Georgia and 7th Street into a structure purchased from First Presbyterian Church and acquired its present name. From its central city location the congregation served the community through the difficult years of two world wars and the Great Depression.
On May 25, 1952, our Georgian Colonial building at 650 McCallie was dedicated. The education wing was added in 1966.