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How do I find a Congregational Church Near Me?

Great question! It seems everywhere you go there are churches popping up and it’s hard to know exactly what they’re about. This can be daunting, especially if you’re new to faith or need something completely new.  Besides simply Googling, ‘Congregational Church near me’, you might be wondering how you can find out about Congregational churches and what they stand for. In this article, you’ll find out all about the history of the Congregational church, as well as how to find a Congregational church to suit you, somewhere near to where you live. You’re sure to find an answer to that burning question…’how do I find a Congregational Church near me?’ 

What Actually is a Congregational Church?

A Congregational or Congregationalist church is an organized faith community where the affairs concerning doctrine and practice are determined from within the community itself. This means that the need for any governing body such as bishops or presbyteries were not needed. Congregationalism was a movement born in England during the Protestant Reformation during the 16th and 17th Century. It finds its roots in the Separatism movement which denounced the wider church’s alliance with the Church of England who were thought to be fraudulent in theological practice. Congregationalism’s theological stance sits in between that of Presbyterianism and Protestantism. Although somewhat generalized, it was common for Congregationalists to be cynical of organized religion and its governing establishments. They were known in their early days for actively advocating for freedom in the way of civil rights and religious expression. This was not some rebellious worldview, but one founded on the resolute belief that God was sovereign and had instituted the priesthood of all believers.

How Congregationalism Became a Church Near Me

At their foundation in Great Britain, Congregationalists were primarily known as Independents and still are to this day in some communities in Wales. Since their genesis, Congregationalists have played a significant part in establishing places of education throughout Britain and beyond. During the era of the Long Parliament spanning thirteen years from 1640-1653, many people returned to Britain which ignited the Independents into action. This was proportionately due to their connection to Oliver Cromwell and his army. This relationship saw the gradual move away from the Presbyterians toward the Puritan and Baptist movements. In the mid 17th Century in the middle of the Commonwealth, Congregationalism reached new heights however, soon crumbled after the death of Cromwell and the loss of their political sway. The shockwaves came in the form of radical oppression, with many in parliament attempting to weed the movement out of the country. The close of the 1800’s saw the rise of rationalism in British society, popularizing ideals of Deism and Arianism. Congregationalism did not move in this direction, standing firm to their convictions and following the way of Philip Doddridge, an influential theologian and social reformer of the time. 

From a British Movement to a Church Near Me

At the turn of the 18th Century, the movement experienced significant changes due to the Evangelical Revival and the growth of Methodism in Europe. Many people were catalyzed by Methodist preaching to adopt Congregationalist ideologies and transfer to their churches. This augmentation in church numbers paved the way for the founding of the London Missionary Society in 1795, through which many churches were established and left to dictate their own governance and practices. In the 20th Century, the Congregationalist movement spread from the United States and Britain to foreign countries to merge with existing denominations across the globe. The most significant of these merges to take place was the formation of the modern United Reformed Church, a joint endeavor of Presbyterians and British Congregationalists. In 1981, it would adopt the Churches of Christ, the English version of the Disciples of Christ in the United States. 

So How do I find a Congregational Church Near Me?

Now, to answer your question…how do I find a Congregational Church near me? Well, if you don’t already have a recommendation, pop over to this page and input your zip code. The results of this page will give you a list of all the Congregational Churches near to where you live. Me, I like to keep it close to home so the people in my church are the people in my community, so near to my place suits me best but you can input as many zip codes as you like to find the Congregational church that will suit you best.