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The Republican Methodist Church began on Christmas Day, 1793 in Manikintown Virginia. It was formed by several Methodist congregations who rebelled against the Methodist Episcopal form of government brought from England. Soon. There were several thousand members and whole congregations had joined them.

Representatives of the group met in August of 1794 in Surry County VA to make decisions as to how they would be governed and what they would be called. Since they had left the Methodist Church, they no longer wanted to be known as Methodists and they could hardly go around calling one another Republicans.

At a point in the meeting, a preacher named Rice Haggard stood up with the New Testament in His hand and said, "Brothers, this is a sufficient rule of faith and practice, and by it we are told that the disciples were called Christians, and I move that henceforth and forever, the followers of Christ be known as Christians simply." The motion was carried and from that time on they were simply called Christians. Their Church was, as a result, called the Christian Church. (The Stone-Campbell Movement by Leroy Garrett p. 80.)

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