A BRIEF HISTORY OF CHRIST COVENANT CHURCH
(A RESTORATION MOVEMENT CONGREGATION)
During the early months of 2004, two congregations of God’s people found each other. Parkside, an independent Christian Church, and Cornerstone Church of Christ (an a Capella congregation) discovered, through their respective ministers, that they had a lot in common. Winston Hancock and Jerry Fenter had been introduced by a local businessman.
The American Restoration Movement had a simple plea: “Christians unite on the basis of the simple Gospel and the Gospel alone." There was a tremendous appeal to that plea because people, exhausted by the division among all the sects, were compelled to follow the Lord’s prayer, in John 17, that “His disciples be one so that the world might believe." Many wonderful Bible-based slogans came from the early days of the Restoration or the American Reformation as it was more often called.
“We are not the only Christians but we are Christians only.”
“We speak where the Bible speaks and we are silent where it is silent.”
“In matters of faith, unity. In matters of opinion, liberty and in all things love."
“Let Christian unity be our Polar Star.”
“The church of Christ on earth is essentially, intentionally and constitutionally one.”
Yet, at the end of the day, the unity pleaded for was not doctrinal, but personal. It was a “fire unity” based on a common personal relationship with the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed one, Jesus.
Unfortunately, with passing years, the movement became an oxymoron. It was a unity movement that divided. Many factors contributed to the division. Space does not allow a review of all the factors. Part of it was regionalism, the Civil War (which also divided many denominations), a focus on doctrine instead of a reliance on the Good News of Jesus. Nevertheless, the division became formal after the religious census of 1906.
Now there is a powerful renewal of the original unity theme 100 years after the split. Christian Churches and Churches of Christ are in deep and meaningful dialogue. Christian Colleges and many churches are sponsoring major events and forums with the purpose of working together for the common goal of spreading the Good News of Jesus. It does not mean that all of these congregations of God’s people will merge, but it does mean that they recognize all those who have obeyed the Lord through faith, repentance and baptism are brothers and sisters. Unity does not mean uniformity. It is only through the loving acceptance of all brothers and sisters in the Lord that substantive doctrinal teaching can be discussed with patience and forbearance.
After a year and many meetings, worship and teaching times together and much prayer, the two congregations of God’s people formally united. Christ Covenant Church became a reality on Easter Sunday, 2005. Jerry Fenter became its Senior Minister. Winston Hancock, who had been so instrumental in the merger, took a pastoral position with the North Park Drive Christian Church in Kingwood, Texas, near his home.
At Christ Covenant you will find a warm, loving group of Christians who are still devoted to the simple Gospel of Jesus. There is a strong emphasis on Bible teaching, unity, families and service. There is a love and respect for all Christians and an ongoing plea toward unity for the various segments of the Restoration Movement. We are led by a caring, spirit-guided group of shepherds (elders) and a ministerial staff directed by a devoted ministerial staff. We practice open communion every Sunday and make an honest attempt to go to the Holy Scriptures for all matters of faith and practice. We accept Jesus as the Word in the flesh, our only Messiah, the Holy Spirit as our Guide and Comforter and God Almighty as the ruler of heaven and earth.
We welcome all who have a heart for God to join us in “the obedience of the faith” that was once for all delivered to the saints.