Sunday, January 17, 2010

Christadelphian Chapel

The mainstream churches get most of the attention, be they a major branch of Christianity or something else. Yet there are lots of little groups around us everywhere. Some are recent assemblies while other go back to the early 1900's at least. Most of us are barely conscious of some of them.

Until I wandered around the block from the Mason's auction house on Cazenovia in South Buffalo I had never heard of the Christadelphian church, but there it was, at 23 Glendhu:

The sign looks to be an original, if it were possible for paint to last that long. The church was built in 1903 as an early home of St. Simon's Episcopal Church, now located on Cazenovia Street right around the corner. From an early history of St. Simons:
"The building is perhaps the finest example of Carpenter Gothic architecture remaining in the city. The interior of the building, with its exquisite wood ceiling, remains virtually unchanged since the time of its construction."
More on the Christadelphians, from the text of Religious Forces in US (census data which compared 1890 with 1900 and 1910):
"John Thomas, M.D., an Englishman, came to this country in 1844, and identified himself with the Disciples of Christ. Soon after, his views changed and he became
convinced by a study of the Bible that the cardinal doctrine of the existing churches correspond with those of the apostate church predicted in Scripture. He began to publish his views, and organized a number of societies in this country, Canada, and Great Britain.

No name was adopted for these societies until the Civil War broke out. The members applied to the government to be relieved from military duty in consequence of conscientious scruples, and finding it necessary to have a distinctive name,that of Christadelphians, or Brothers of Christ, was adopted."
There's more, far down at the link. Apparently the group prefers alternating its meeting places so the building on Glenhu is one of its few continuous sites. The congregation is still active today.

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