My Top Five Christian Groups (Churches) Of All Time

I am an avid church history reader.  However, I don’t much enjoy the politics and religion of the institutional church.  Instead I love reading about the living faith of Christians in the past and about spiritural movements when multitudes came to living faith in Christ. 

Here are my five favorite Christian movements in history.

1) The First Century Christians–These folks were on fire.  You can read about them in the in the Book of Acts in the New Teatament.  It was said of them that they “turned the world upside down.”

2) The first few generations of Anabaptists–These folks were awesome Christians. They believed that Christianity was a lifestyle and they lived it boldly with great love for others.

3) The first few generations of Quakers. Their official name was the Society of Friends. I love the early Quakers. They didn’t have professional preachers. They believed that every believer could hear God’s voice. They believed the Bible and stayed with Christian doctrine. Their worship was based on a verse in I Corinthians 14 that says when Christians come together every one can participate. The Quakers sat silently in their assembly until God moved on someone to speak or lead a song. I wish I could find a group like them today.

4) The first few generations of Salvationists known as The Salvation Army. These were probably the most aggressive Christians in history (after the New Testament) to try to evangelize others. They marched on the streets, preached in open air, beat drums, took bar tunes and put Christian words to them and sang them in store front buildings where they held meetings. They “invaded” countries as they quickly spread all over the world. And their target was not the affluent but the poor, the drunkards, and the prostitutes.

5) The first couple of generations of Pentecostals. These people experienced the power of God. They believed in miracles and healing. Many of them left their home country with a one-way ticket on a sea steamer for another country even though they had no financial support back home. They became known as “Missionaries of the One-Way Ticket.” In 1906 there were only a few thousand people in the world that had the “Pentecostal experience” of speaking in tongues. Today (only 100 years later) it is claimed that more than a 1/2 billion people have that experience including tens of thousands of Roman Catholics.

About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I co-lead a non-traditional expression of the body of Christ in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia" that is available in Kindle & paperback @
This entry was posted in Anabaptists, ancient history, Bible, church history, God, history, house church, Jesus Christ, kingdom of God, lifestyles, mysticism, new birth, Oh my God, organic church, pentecostals, Quakers, The Salvation Army, Uncategorized, What is church? and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to My Top Five Christian Groups (Churches) Of All Time

  1. During the 19th century Friends in the United States suffered a number of separations which resulted in the formation of different branches of the Society of Friends. Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) estimated in 2007 there were 359,000 Friends worldwide

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