A Short History of the Boston Movement
Kip McKean, founder of the Boston Church of Christ, is a student at the University of Florida at Gainesville. There he is converted by Chuck Lucas, the charismatic leader of the Crossroads Church of Christ. Lucas has a heavy emphasis on "one-on-one" discipleship.
More than 30 of Lucas' converts fan out across the United states and attach themselves to existing Churches of Christ, usually near college campuses. Lucas' discipleship method is now called the "Crossroads Movement". Wherever they went division resulted. 200 churches split where campus minister tried to take over.
Kip McKean becomes the campus minister for the Heritage Church of Christ near Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois. Within three years student membership jumps from 20 to 180. McKean is attacked in the local press for "tactics of manipulation and control."
April 14, 1977
The elders of Memorial Church of Christ accuse McKean of bringing "unbiblical practices, peculiar languages and subtle, deceitful doctrines to Charleston from the Crossroads Church in Gainesville." Financial support is withdrawn.
The Crossroads Church converted and trained minister, Kip McKean, is hired by the Lexington Church of Christ. Membership is approximately 30 people. Ten young people trained in discipling ministries come with him.
The Lexington Church performed 68 baptisms in the first six months of McKean's ministry.
103 baptisms in the first year.
170 baptisms performed in Boston.
Chicago Church of Christ; Boston planted its first daughter church in Chicago under the leadership of Evangelist, Marty Fuqua. The Church baptized almost 900 people by the Fall of 1987. 256 baptisms this year.
Central London Church of Christ; Boston calls this "the largest and fastest growing congregation outside the borders of the United States." By the Fall of 1987, this church has baptized over 800 people. The London Church planted a church in Sidney, Australia in 1987.
250 baptisms performed in Boston.
New York City Church of Christ; under the leadership of "lead evangelist" Steve Johnson, The New York Church baptized well over 1000 by August of 1987. Boston called the "the second fastest growing church in all the world." A church planting was sent to Sao Paulo, Brazil in the summer of 1987.
402 baptisms performed in Boston
594 baptisms performed in Boston
Providence and Toronto planted.
Chuck Lucas was dismissed as an evangelist of the Crossroads Church of Christ and moved to Thomasville, Georgia.
703 baptized in Boston.
Johanesberg, Paris, Stockholm planted
August 17, 1986
Boston Bulletin - Ed Townsend wrote an article entitled "Because You Say So," defining the discipling relationship and a discipler's heart. This article stressed the importance of total obedience and trust.
Gloria Baird, wife of Al Baird who serves as an elder in the Boston Church of Christ, was rebaptized. Gloria is the daughter of long-time missionary, J.W. Treat of Abilene, Texas.
Russ Hulbert (resigned as an elder of the Boston Church of Christ in 1984) left the Boston Church of Christ in disagreement with some of the practices and teachings of the church. He was one of the two elders who asked Kip McKean to come to the Lexington (now Boston) Church of Christ. The other elder is deceased.
Around this time rebaptisms begin. Baptism is not valid unless you are a disciple first.
818 baptisms performed in Boston.
Tom Jones, campus minister for the Central Church of Christ in Huntsville, Alabama wrote a paper entitled "Was My Baptism Valid?". He was rebaptized in December, 1987, after moving to Boston for additional training.
Al Baird, a Boston elder, was baptized, but his baptism wasn't listed in the Boston Bulletin as were other baptisms for the month
947 baptisms in Boston...10 church plantings
At the Denver Conference, Boston Church of Christ leaders attempted to get area churches to come under their leadership.
Jerry Jones presented "My Four Concerns for the Discipling Movement" in Atlanta, Georgia. The four concerns were: 1. misuse of scripture; 2. one-over-one discipling; 3. rebaptism, and 4. authority. (This speech is available on tape.) The Boston Movement leaders urged those who followed them not to attend this presentation; hence, the Atlanta Highlands Church of Christ was divided.
July 26, 1987
Boston Bulletin - Kip McKean explained Boston's takeover of the Atlanta Highlands Church of Christ in an article entitled "The Atlanta Church of Christ." "Remnant" was used to describe those who went with Boston.
August 2, 1987
Boston Bulletin - "The Role of the Evangelist," written by J. P. Tynes, described the evangelist as being the anointed of God and that to disobey him is the same as disobeying God. These articles were commended by Kip McKean.
August 16, 1987
Boston Bulletin - "San Francisco Church of Christ" written by Kip McKean discussed the takeover by Boston and stated that Boston was to officially direct the work in San Francisco.
August 30, 1987
Boston Bulletin - "Boston - Foreign Pillar Plantings," by Kip McKean divided the world into different areas, with each area having a "pillar" church. This article clearly showed that the Boston Church of Christ is the "mother" church and has the territory of the world.
August - September, 1987
Reconstruction of the East Valley Church of Christ in Phoenix, Arizona.
Boston Bulletin - Bob Gempel, an elder in Boston, wrote an article entitled, "Remnant Theology," explaining the Boston Movement's position on theology and defining the remnant.
San Diego Conference - Tom Brown stated the Abilene Christian University Bible faculty were not disciples, Christians or saved and had not been taught right.
Crossroads Church of Christ took a stand against Boston Church of Christ's teachings, officially disassociates.
1424 baptized in Boston....17 churches planted.
Boston Bulletin - An article by Kip Mckean entitled "McKean Becomes Mission Evangelist" declared that he would function in the role of the Apostle Paul.
Steve Hassan published "Combating Cult Mind Control." Hassan lives in Boston and is an exit counselor who works with people involved in cults.
Ron Gholsten, a House Church leader in Boston, wrote a letter explaining why he left the Boston Church of Christ.
Boston Bulletin - Kip McKean wrote an article entitled "Al and Gloria Baird to Lead Boston" and mentioned Al Baird's "rebaptism."
The elders of the Tampa bay Church of Christ made a statement opposing the Boston Church of Christ. 1621 baptized in Boston...33 churches planted, 5000 in attendance.
The elders of the Central Church of Christ in Huntsville, Alabama made a statement opposing the Boston Church of Christ.
1986 - 1989
These colleges banned the Boston Movement from campus: Boston University, Northeastern, Harvard, Tufts, University of Massachusetts, University of Lowell.
Kip McKean leaves Boston and goes to Los Angeles as lead evangelist.
May 5, 1990
Al Baird stepped down as lead evangelist of the Boston Church of Christ and Randy McKean replaced him.
Chris McGrath gave a sermon in Indianapolis in which the singles were limited to dating only on Saturday night from 6 to midnight.
High ranking member, Rick Bauer, who was being groomed as an apologist for the movement leaves the Boston Church. Has problems with Boston's claim to be the only true church.
1992 - $725,00 collected for Russia
"Restoration Through Revolution" written to correct abuses. McKean admits to some "excesses."
Boston Church of Christ officially becomes International Churches of Christ.
7,301 attend service in Boston Garden.
The Indianapolis Church of Christ comes out publicly against many Boston Church policies. Church loses its "charter" and a loyal Boston "remnant" starts a new church in Indianapolis.
Holy Cross College bans Boston Church of Christ groups from meeting or proselytizing on campus. (Click here for news story)
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