Evangelical Churches Launch New Worldwide, Interdenominational Movement
A large number of evangelical churches frustrated with the political and theological persuasion of organizations like the World Council of Churches and the World Evangelical Alliance have joined an alternative international ecumenical alliance called the Covenant Christian Coalition (CCC), which was founded in Dallas in 2015 by what was initially a small group of ministry leaders.
The alliance quickly caught the attention of more conservative-leaning churches in Africa, Asia and South America, which joined in droves. Even though the startup organization began in the Bible Belt of the United States, growth in the U.S. was almost immediately eclipsed by scores of churches and ministries joining in Nigeria, Uganda, Colombia, India and the Philippines, among other countries. The expansion spurred on leaders to draft formal rules in January 2017 and to set up an office for handling all the correspondence coming in. The new rules stipulated an egalitarian leadership structure composed of pastors and ministers from member churches called “councillors.”
One such councillor from Colombia, Pastor Weimar Lopez of the Evangelical Disciples of Christ Church in Bogota, said his main reason for joining the CCC was to “find brothers with whom to share the cause of Christ.” He was overjoyed to realize that his church was not alone in its desire to be part of a global evangelical movement.
Another councillor, Pastor Grace Kigozi of Salvation Church of Christ in Kampala, Uganda, said his reason for joining was “to connect, get in touch with, and work together with ministers and ministries whose vision and purpose is to spread the word and together fulfill the Great Commission.” Attempting ministry in Uganda without the support of the CCC seemed like a dead-end to Kigozi: “The greatest challenge faced by my ministry is lack of support and inadequate partnership on my continent Africa that has crippled and slowed the pace of ministry growth and expansion.” The CCC seemed to him to be a sort of panacea.
Member churches and ministries clearly have evangelism at the forefront of their plans and they see liberal theological developments in the church as one of their greatest obstacles. The CCC’s conservative views and defense of evangelical doctrine have been a magnet for these groups, but have simultaneously given rise to criticism from more liberal detractors who reject biblical inerrancy. Some groups further to the right have been critical, too—rejecting the CCC’s insistence on faith alone as the path to salvation. Yet despite the criticisms from both ends of the spectrum, the organization seems to have struck a chord with a great number of Christians looking for international support for their views.