Origin of the Church
The church was founded in the early 1830's by Samuel Froehlich, a young seminary student in Switzerland, who had experienced a biblical conversion. Being led of God through a true conversion, he began preaching the simple truths of the Bible. Approximately 110 congregations were formed in 35 years in several European countries. Froehlich's intent was to organize a church based on a literal interpretation of God's Word. He emphasized the scriptural principle, "...teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.1" The church, while recognizing Froehlich's work, gives God the glory for all these accomplishments.
Froehlich's attitudes and biblical understandings were shaped, in part, by the Sixteenth Century Anabaptists, whose doctrinal motto was "Sola Scriptura." This meant that Scriptures alone constituted the true foundation for doctrine and life-and they were to be followed. The church has continued over the years to diligently follow New Testament teachings, and to regard the entire Word as infallible and inerrant.
In Europe, the church was known as Evangelical Baptist. It later became known as Apostolic Christian in America. This name was chosen because the church follows the teachings of Christ and the Apostles.
The Apostolic Christian Church took root in America in 1847, when a church was organized in Lewis County, New York. The site was in the Croghan-Naumburg area. Another church was formed a year later at Sardis, Ohio.
From this beginning in America the church grew, primarily in the fertile farming areas of the Midwest. As immigrants came from Europe (mostly from the Froehlich churches) and new converts were added in the United States, the church flourished. The believers were zealous in living and spreading the Word in America.
From the 1920's on, most of the new churches formed in America were founded in metropolitan areas. This was because many of the church's offspring sought occupational opportunities in areas other than farming. Thus, today the Apostolic Christian Church consists of a blend of city and rural churches.
1: Mt. 28:20