The church of Christ began on the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus in the City of Jerusalem over 2,000 years ago. On this day the Holy Spirit fell upon the Apostles and the gospel in its completeness was preached for the first time. The 3,000 buried with Christ in baptism on that day became the first fruits of the harvest of souls. This great occasion culminated the work of John the Baptist and the miraculous life of Jesus.
The promise of Christ that the Apostles would be filled with the Holy Spirit was fulfilled on Pentecost. Under His guidance the Apostles began to preach in languages they had never studied. This miracle had a varying effect on the audience. Some mocked and accused them of being drunk, but Peter explained that they were not. He then preached the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (Acts 2). He told the audience that the Jesus they crucified was the working out of God’s plan according to God’s determinate council and foreknowledge and that they should know assuredly that He was both Lord and Christ.
The effect of the sermon was momentous. No doubt there were many in the audience who had been healed of diseases by the power of Jesus as He walked their streets. Lazarus of Bethany had been raised from the dead about a mile from where Peter stood. It was with the knowledge that such remarkable proofs of divinity were readily available as unimpeachable evidence that Peter boldly declared Christ raised from the dead and exalted at the right hand of God.
So powerfully did the Apostles impress the people with their miracles and preaching, and so dedicated were the new converts, that they “had favor with all the people” and soon “the number of men came to be 5,000” (Acts 4:4). This number apparently refers to men only to signify the strength of the church. When the women and young people are estimated, there was perhaps in Jerusalem a congregation of 15,000. The number then continued to grow and “believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women” (Acts 5:14).
This growth is what we would expect in the miraculous beginning of the church. The Apostles were true to their charge, “and every day, in the temple and at home, they ceased not to teach and to preach Jesus as the Christ” (Acts 5:42). Under such activity “the Word of God increased; and the number of disciples multiplied in Jerusalem exceedingly, and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7).
Fast forward to the present day. This particular group of disciples began meeting in Cadillac on a regular basis in August of 1969.