About This Site
Is it possible to read your Bible, and from your reading, see that in the New Testament there is a Church that Jesus established? Is it possible to see in the Bible, that God set forth His standard of acceptance in salvation, worship, church organization and daily living? Is it possible to follow the teachings of God, revealed in the New Testament, to direct our lives in the same way as He did first century Christians?
The answer to all the questions above is a resounding, Yes! For, since the writing of the New Testament, men and women of all walks of life have studied their Bibles, and seen how one, even to this day, can become a Christian the way those in New Testament times became Christians. They have seen how one can participate in the Church of the New Testament by emulating its structure, worship, and activity.
Faithfulness to the New Testament pattern does not begin with or is limited to the work of people in North America. People all around the world for centuries have been searching and following the Scriptures as their only standard of faith and practice. Historically, when they searched the Scriptures, obeyed the gospel, and worshipped as the Bible directs then they considered one another as brethren. Many who did this never were aware that others were doing the same things in other locations around the globe. Efforts continue to learn about these people and remember their efforts.
Someone has rightfully expressed that we should always remember to stop and show appreciation for the bridges we have crossed. For the Christian, this is especially true! Not only are we to be thankful for the work of the apostles and early church workers in the 1st century A.D., but we should also remember the value of all those since who have directed others to give up the shackles of religious error, only to take on the truth revealed in God's Word.
This website is dedicated to the many men and women who have struggled in the Restoration Of New Testament Christianity, to take us back to the Bible, and to let it be our only standard of faith and practice.
Note: The material on this site is free to be used by anyone wishing to enhance their own knowledge and for the teaching of others. Though not necessary, references to this site when reporting sources in papers and publications would be greatly appreciated. In so doing, the usefulness of this site will increase, as it is made available to other interested students of the Restoration Movement. The information given on this site does not necessarily represent the position or beliefs of the webmaster. The purpose of this site is only to report historical events and people as they were presented in their historical setting. Any attempts to revise or change the facts have been avoided. Questions and corrections are always appreciated. Feel free to email your webmaster. This site is officially owned and operated by Scott Harp, Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky, U.S.A.
How This Site Came To Be
TheRestorationMovement.com is a site dedicated to the history of the restoring of New Testament Christianity all around the globe over the last several hundred years. Many men and women have dedicated themselves to the preaching and teaching of the original gospel who have been all but forgotten.
Your webmaster is Scott Harp. I obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ by way of repentance, confession of Christ as Lord, and of full immersion in water on June 5, 1968. History marks this date with the event in California when Robert Kennedy, a Democratic candidate for president of the United States, was mortally wounded at the hands of Sirhan Sirhan. Analagously, I realized I was dead in sin that day, and was made alive in Christ by the same power that raised Him from the dead through baptism, Romans 6:3,4.
I attended Greater Atlanta Christian School from 1970-1976. While in the 11th grade, my American History teacher was a young Harding College (now University) graduate named, David Fincher. This class was a turning point in my high school education. He made history come alive for me and my fellow students. During my senior year, I took Mr. Fincher's class on World History and Government. Every class was a joy. From that experience, I had decided that I would go to college and become a history teacher.
Upon entrance at Freed-Hardeman College (now University) in the fall of 1976 I eagerly took the first class I could get on history. Unfortunately, the class I had was at 7:30 am three days a week, and the teacher was monotone and boring. Sadly, this vanquished the desire I had to teach school. I ended up dropping out of college for a few years and working.
I began preaching while on a one-year tour of mission work with my parents in New Zealand beginning in late 1981. This is where I met my wife, Jenny Hubbard. One year turned into four years, a wife, and a set of twins. We returned to the U.S. at the end of 1985 to go back to college to finish my education, now with the focus on Bible. The appeal for the study of history was all but forgotten at that point.
In 1986 I attended Heritage Christian University (then, International Bible College) in Florence, Alabama. Some of the first people I met were Wayne and Brenda Kilpatrick. Later, I would come to see the Kilpatricks as some of the closest friends I would ever have. Charlie Wayne Kilpatrick, a North Alabamian by birth, and Christian gentleman, taught the history courses at HCU. My first class was World History II, the spring semester of 1986. I shall never forget this class. It was a course over the period from Martin Luther and the 16th century to the present. At semester's end Jenny and I accompanied Wayne on a Bible Campaign to Newport, Wales in the British Isles. We had never been to Great Britain before. However, from the time we walked off the plane in London to the time we left, we relived the class I had just completed. We saw many of the things we had only weeks before, learned and discussed thousands of miles away. An added blessing was that my teacher was along for the ride. It was like having your own travel guide. Wayne had been stationed in England in the Air Force back in the 1960s, and later he and Brenda did mission work there. So he knew the area. He literally made history come alive for me. For this experience I shall always be in his debt.
I will never forget a story I heard Charles Coil, then president of HCU, tell. He said that Wayne Kilpatrick knew so much information about history that he was sure that Wayne was making much of it up. Then, he had the opportunity to go to England with him, where Wayne was a travel guide for him, and he was absolutely amazed that the half had not been told concerning the knowledge this man had. After going to Great Britain with him myself, I fully concurred. He is one of the most humble, knowledgeable and sound men I have ever known. He is my friend, and my confidant. This site would never have been possible had it not been for his inspiration.
In the fall of 1986, I began taking every history course Wayne Kilpatrick taught. When the class on the Restoration Movement was taken, I was so seasoned with an appreciation for secular history, that being introduced to the history of the church was a natural progression. I was a sponge, soaking up every detail that proceeded from his mouth. Then, one day we took a class trip out to a little cemetery north of Florence on the Chisholm highway. It was located behind an old house, and had maybe a dozen graves in it. It held the gravesites of John and Esther Chisholm. Their daughter, Dorenda Chisholm Hall, the first wife of B.F. Hall, was also buried there. What an introduction! Yet again, Wayne made history come alive, by connecting the relating of history taught in the class room to seeing firsthand where these people lived, died and were buried.
Over the course of the next three years other trips to Tennessee, Kentucky and ultimately West Virginia made the Restoration Movement very much a part of what I lived and breathed. I had taken so many pictures of graves and meetinghouses that I didn't know what to do with them. I needed a way to tell people about them, and show them the pictures. I came very quickly to the realization, especially in the U.S., that anywhere a person is at any one time, they are within a short distance from where work in the restoring of New Testament Christianity had taken place.
In 2000, I was working with the church at Fayetteville, Georgia. One of the young men of the church, Charles Nash, went on a trip with me around the end of May. We went up to Kentucky and met up with Wayne. He had another group of students with him from HCU. We traveled around Lexington with the group for a few days. While in the area, we went out to Cane Ridge, a place I had visited a number of times, and one I always enjoy revisiting. While there, I was conversing with one of the curators, Robert Steffer, and showed him my photo album. I recall his visual response as he looked at page after page. Upon completion he said, "I have been privileged to see many things that people have brought to Cane Ridge and showed me. Of all the things I've seen, I've not coveted anything like I have this photo album. What a wonderful collection!"
After this visit and other sites in Kentucky, I began scheming as to how I might get the information I have collected over the years into the hands of others. Many have encouraged me to write books. This may be done someday, but the circle of people interested in the history of the RM is so small, that books would be too expensive to produce. In addition, the fact that this is such a growing project, any books that would be produced would be obsolete by the time it went to press. It was around that time that I was talking with my good friend, Tom L. Childers, who advised me of the potential power of the world wide web being used to get information to the masses. Taking his advice seemed to be a natural course for what took place very soon thereafter. Building a site also afforded me the opportunity to work at my leisure and my own pace to build something over a period of time that could be used for generations to come.
This is how this site was born. It began as a subweb of a church site of the congregation where I was the pulpit minister at the time. Very quickly the need to acquire our own domain name was seen. I tried numerous ways to get a brief domain name, but potential addresses were already taken. Finally, http://www.TheRestorationMovement.com was decided upon. Now I edit this site solely on my own.
Some have questioned the nature of the article "The" at the first as being too arrogant and exclusive. However the nature of this site is to chronicle the work of anyone and everyone in the world who has seen the need to go back to the Bible and hold to its exclusive authority for all religious matters. Contrary to the beliefs of some, the Restoration Movement did not start in this country. Thomas Campbell did not invent the concept of "We will speak where the Scripture speaks, and remain silent where it is silent." It came from the Bible itself. People have read it in their Bibles, and chosen to follow it because the Bible teaches it, who never have heard of Thomas or Alexander Campbell. Many predate the lives of the Campbells and Barton W. Stone who also lived in other countries. Many of them have been chronicled on this site, and others will be as knowledge of them come to light.
Some have objected to the acknowledgement of the contributions of the Christian Churches and Disciples of Christ as a part of this site. I would imagine the objection comes because of my connection with many in churches of Christ. Though I personally believe that churches of Christ more closely resemble the church of the New Testament than the other two groups, we can not afford to forget that we, at one time, were together as one movement. Many who ultimately embraced the instrument and societies made contributions that must not be forgotten. The disclaimer is made on the homepage that the information related on this site does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of the webmaster. Facts of history should not be forgotten because they do not fit within one's own belief system. Many in our society are looking at history through "rose-colored glasses," seeing the history they want to see, and dismissing facts that do not fit with their own belief system. There are revisionists of church history among us. Just because an event is reported in a book, or on a website does not make it true. All the more reason for reporting the events as they were reported in history as sources. The closer the reporting of events are to the actual events themselves, presents the most reliable and valid sources for the student of history. This is why many of the biographical sketches on this site were taken from sources made available in or near the day of the life of the individual who is being chronicled.
This is a growing project. The Lord willing, as time goes on, others from around the globe will be added. This is done so we will never forget to be thankful for the "bridges we have crossed," and for those that built them. As Charlie Wayne Kilpatrick often said in his classes, "We are standing on the shoulders of giants!" This site is dedicated to those giants, male and female, who by their sacrificial lives, pointed us to the Man of the cross, and worked diligently in their lives not to be like the church of the New Testament, but simply to be that church, with nothing added or taken away.
Much effort has gone into the production of this site, not only to be enjoyable for the student of the Restoration Movement, but to be accurate. I welcome any corrections or additions that may help to make this site the very best it can be. If facts presented here are disputed, produce the facts that dispute them, and they will be considered and appropriately assimilated.