Examining extinct churches

Long-time readers know I write about Swedenborgians, Quakers and the Christian end of the Unitarians and Universalists. In the United States, all are in decline.

But there are some denominations that are as dead as a dodo, but only died within my lifetime of 41 years. Call it my “save the whooping cane” childhood, but I nominate three for revival. (Even if it might call for a divine re-animating revelation or two.)

  • The Sandemandians (Glasites)
  • The Muggletonians [resources]
  • The Catholic Apostolic Church (Irvingites)
  • And for extra credit – since I’m unlikely to broach this subject again —  the long dead, but theologically universalist

  • Philadelphians (Leadites)
  • Wikipedia and Google scavengers, have fun.

    By Scott Wells

    Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


    1. This is awesome! I think the Muggletonians win. They have the most affectionate Wikipedia entry and are prominent as crew members of the Surprise in the “Aubrey/Maturin” novels by Patrick O’Brian What do we have to do to bring them back? Do we put them in warm water with a teaspoon of sugar?

    2. This is a bit off on a tangent, but I’ve always wanted to write a book about “Endangered Religious Species”, small denominational populations that could go (at least in theory) extinct in my lifetime. Not all of them are progressive.

      On my list… Swedenborgians, Schwenkfelders, Social Brethren, Strangite Mormons, the Christian Community, and Divine Science.

      The Muggletonians are pretty awesome!

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