Evangelical and Reformed Church

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Evangelical and Reformed Church

Evangelical and Reformed Church, Protestant denomination formed by the merger (1934) of the Reformed Church in the United States and the Evangelical Synod of North America. Both of these bodies had originated in the Reformation in Europe. Their churches in America were established by immigrants from Germany and Switzerland. The Reformed Church in the United States, long known as the German Reformed Church, organized its first synod in 1747 and adopted a constitution in 1793. The Evangelical Synod of North America (not to be confused with the Evangelical Church, which merged in 1946 with the United Brethren in Christ to form the Evangelical United Brethren Church) was founded in 1840 at Gravois Settlement, Mo., by a union of Reformed and Lutheran Christians. In its early years it was known as the German Evangelical Church Association of the West. The Evangelical and Reformed Church is presbyterian in organization, and its creed is the Heidelberg and Luther's catechisms and the Augsburg Confession; great latitude in interpretation is allowed, however, with greater emphasis leaning toward deed rather than creed. The church maintains educational institutions and foreign missions. In 1957 the Evangelical and Reformed Church united with the Congregational Christian Churches to form the United Church of Christ.

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