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The Conservative Congregational Christian Conference, colloquially known as the CCCC or 4C's, is a Protestant Christian denomination operating in the United States. The denomination maintains headquarters in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, a suburb of St. Paul. It is a member of the World Evangelical Congregational Fellowship and the National Association of Evangelicals.

Contents

History

The CCCC was organized in 1948 by some Congregational Christian churches and ministers who disagreed with what they perceived as unacceptable liberal theological, moral, and political stances espoused (or tolerated) by the majority of the congregations and national leadership. By 1957, most CC churches entered a merger with the Evangelical and Reformed Church, forming the present United Church of Christ (UCC). Another dissenting CC group was the theologically more diverse National Association of Congregational Christian Churches (NACCC), which generally does not claim a place on the political spectrum, as a body.

Theology/Doctrine

As its name suggests, the CCCC espouses social and political conservatism and claims to be adamantly Bible-centered. It opposes such cultural practices as abortion, homosexuality and non-marital sexual activity. The CCCC believes itself to hold fast to orthodox Protestant Christian faith and inerrancy is a guiding principle in Biblical interpretation carried out by ministers and teachers. Some ministers have sought to revive an interest in the study and teachings of Puritanism; however, both Reformed and Arminian emphases may be found in the CCCC, as is usually the case with larger, more broadly-based evangelical groups.

Practices

The CCCC admits churches of any origin that operate according to congregational polity and that subscribe to the denomination's Statement of Faith, which contains most of the tenets of conservative evangelicalism as developed throughout the 20th century. Although refusing to permit critiques concerning the main points of doctrine, the CCCC does allow for local opinion and practices in matters not pertaining to those subjects addressed in the Statement. The motto “In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty, and in all things, love” (coined by Puritan Richard Baxter) is repeated freely in CCCC circles. Member churches derive not only from the founding Congregational and Christian traditions, but also Evangelical and Reformed (former UCC member congregations), Baptist, and non-denominational heritages; most churches joining the CCCC subsequent to the denomination's founding have been acquisitions, rather than new starts.

Structure

The local church is the basic unit of the CCCC, but churches and pastors nevertheless agree to voluntarily associate with other churches of like mind. To that end, regional fellowships are established across the United States, much in the same manner as the UCC and NACCC; the role of the regional body is more similar to the NACCC than the UCC, in order to restrain the tendency toward inter-congregational authority. Moderators of each area fellowship are chosen by the local fellowship (composed of representatives from area CCCC churches and nearby CCCC member ministers). Area Representatives are appointed by the Conference Minister (who functions as the Executive Director or National Pastor for the CCCC). Area Representatives serve as local CCCC contacts, to represent the Conference Minister, and to serve as a liaison between the national organization and the area fellowships.

Statistics

As of 2005, the CCCC had 42,838 members in 275 churches.[1] It has experienced steady growth since its founding.[1] As of 2000, there were congregations in 30 states. Membership is concentrated primarily in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and the Midwest.[2]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "2008 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches". The National Council of Churches. http://www.thearda.com/Denoms/D_1311.asp. Retrieved 2009-12-17.  
  2. ^ "2000 Religious Congregations and Membership Study". Glenmary Research Center. http://www.thearda.com/mapsReports/maps/map.asp?variable=155&state=101&variable2=. Retrieved 2009-12-17.  

Sources

Yearbook, Conservative Congregational Christian Conference
Handbook of Denominations, 12th edition (Abingdon Press)
Modern Day Pilgrims (2000: Foresee Publications, St. Paul, Minn.)
Foresee (official newsletter of the Conference)

External links

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