Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Last Will and Testament of Springfield Presbytery

In 1803, some ministers, including Barton W. Stone, withdrew from the Presbyterian Synod of Kentucky over some controversial teachings that these men were espousing. They formed the Springfield Presbytery, only to decide that all forms of denominationalism and division are contrary to the will of God. So they disbanded on June 28, 1804. In doing so, they all signed a document called the Last Will and Testament of Springfield Presbytery. In this document they laid out many principles that have continued to be central to what developed into the American Restoration Movement, from which Churches of Christ, Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ), and Independent Christian Churches evolved.

I've been researching a lot recently at the Disciples of Christ Historical Society. Their director of research, Mac Ice, gave me a copy of an 1808 reprinting of the LW&T. It was in the form of a 1-page pamphlet. Though it can be copied, there are a lot of stains and scratches (not to mention a tiny font) that make it hard to read. I wanted to try and recreate this document as closely as possible in a PDF format for anyone to download and print. If you are ever involved in a class pertaining to Restoration history, I believe this is a great handout to have people look over and discuss. Why not assign several groups of 2 or 3 a different Item to read, then talk about?

I think the study of history is very important, and am always interested in how we can help people get in touch with what all has happened in the past in relevant ways. You can download this document here.