Christian Connection in Alabama and Georgia

The “Christian Connection,” a group of churches generally associated with the Restorationist movement, emerged in the Chattahoochee River valley of western Georgia and eastern Alabama in the mid-19th century with a number of congregations espousing the “five points” of Christian unity. This group later founded Southern Union College in Wadley, Ala., now a part of the Alabama state junior/community college system. Most of their congregations were located in the open country and reflected the population’s general preferences for Wesleyan/Arminian theology and revivalism, typical of the rural South generally. Two institutions related to the Christian tradition, Elon College (now University) and Elon Homes for Children, both located in North Carolina, received considerable financial support over the years from these churches.

Although a number of the churches in this group initially supported the UCC and the Conference in the 1960s and 1970s, most later reconsidered those commitments, in large measure due to increasing theological and political disagreements (instigated in part by pastors who came to those churches from other traditions) with those congregations in the metropolitan areas, especially over the issue of homosexuality. Only three congregations from this tradition are known to remain affiliated with the UCC, but remnant members of some of the defecting congregations formed a new one in 2006, located in Chambers County, Alabama.