• Among the Early Evangelicals: The Transatlantic Origins of the Stone-Campbell Movement

Among the Early Evangelicals: The Transatlantic Origins of the Stone-Campbell Movement

$ 22.99

by James Gorman

Though many of its early leaders were immigrants, most histories of the Stone-Campbell Movement have focused on the unique, American-only message of the Movement. Typically, the story tells the efforts of Christians seeking to restore New Testament Christianity or to promote unity and cooperation among believers.

Among the Early Evangelicals charts a new path showing convincingly that the earliest leaders of this Movement cannot be understood apart from a robust evangelical and missionary culture that traces its roots back to the eighteenth century. Leaders, including such luminaries as Thomas and Alexander Campbell, borrowed freely from the outlook, strategies, and methodologies of this transatlantic culture. More than simple Christians with a unique message shaped by frontier democratization, the adherents in the Stone-Campbell Movement were active participants in a broadly networked, uniquely evangelical enterprise.

“Readers of James Gorman’s illuminating Among the Early Evangelicals will learn a great deal not only about the origins of the Stone-Campbell Movement, but also about the shaping of early evangelical Christianity in Britain, Ireland, and America. I recommend Gorman’s book enthusiastically.” —Thomas S. Kidd, distinguished professor of History, Baylor University

“Thoroughly informed by transatlantic studies and meticulous in his original research, James Gorman has provided the most comprehensive account to date of the Campbells’ crucial interconnectedness with their British evangelical precursors.” —Douglas A. Foster, professor of Church History, director of the Center for Restoration Studies, Abilene Christian University

“The work of Thomas and Alexander Campbell in creating a new religious tradition that developed into the various branches of the Churches of Christ and Disciples has been seen as a specifically American phenomenon. James Gorman shows that such an estimate is a mistake. On the contrary, their program was rooted in the missions movement of the eighteenth century, culminating in the 1790s, that marked the whole Evangelical world. By the 1790s, there was enthusiasm for discarding denominational obstacles to the spread of the gospel in England, Ireland, and Scotland, and the Campbells imbibed that spirit. This book is a major reinterpretation of the Campbell movement, but it is also more: a case study that forms a powerful critique of American religious exceptionalism.” —David Bebbington, professor of History, University of Stirling

“It’s not every day that a historian upsets the historiographical applecart with new perspectives that essentially transform the way we understand a given subject, but that is exactly what James Gorman has done. He has demonstrated that the transatlantic evangelical missions movement of the late eighteenth century shaped the Campbells’ thinking on virtually all the key issues that defined the Stone-Campbell tradition—restoration of a simple gospel, missions, the unity of all Christians, and the coming millennial age.” —Richard T. Hughes, author, Reviving the Ancient Faith: The Story of Churches of Christ in America


  1. Introduction
  2. Looking Back: The Rise of Transatlantic Evangelicalism in the Eighteenth Century
  3. Evangelicalism Rapid Growth in the 1790s
  4. Thomas Campbell in Ireland
  5. Alexander Campbell’s Early Formation in Scotland
  6. The Campbells’ Evangelical Society in the U.S.: The Christian Association of Washington (1809–1812)
  7. The Baptist and Anti-Missionary Years (1812–1830)
  8. The Campbells, Their Origins, and the Impact of Transatlantic Evangelicalism


James L. Gorman, PhD, Baylor University, is Associate Professor of History at Johnson University in Knoxville, TN, where he resides with his wife and two daughters. He also is Assistant Editor of Stone-Campbell Journal.

ISBN: 9780891125822

Pages: 240

Dimensions (inches): 6 X 9

Weight (pounds): 0.4

Vendor: ACU Press

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