Churches of Christ

The Churches of Christ hold that churches should be similar to those described in the New Testament, simple and with autonomous congregations similar to the Christian Brethren, though influenced by America rather than Britain. The first members arrived in Tasmania in 1865, when the Fairlam family moved to Northdown, Latrobe, and began a church.

In the 1870s churches were set up in Launceston and Hobart. They were listed in 1872 merely as 'Christians', from 1885 as 'Disciples of Christ', and from 1915 as 'Churches of Christ'. Other churches were established, particularly by Stephen Cheek in the Tasman Peninsula; Sunday Schools were run; Tent Missions were held to spread the message; social groups such as tennis clubs were started; and the Churches of Christ grew, especially in the north-west and south-east. They moved into Housing Department suburbs in the 1950s, and assisted Hmong migrants in the 1980s. In 2004 there were nine churches throughout Tasmania  still mainly in the north-west and south-east.

Further reading: C Neville, History of the Collins Street Church of Christ, Hobart, 1991.

Alison Alexander