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The name, Disciples of Christ, is shared by three other groups, The Churches of Christ, the Independent Christian churches and churches of Christ, and the Christian Congregation. They emerged from the same roots.
The Stone-Campbell movement began as two separate threads, each without knowledge of the other, during the Second Great Awakening in the early 19th century. Stone began at Cane Ridge, Bourbon County, Kentucky. The second, began in western Pennsylvania and Virginia (now West Virginia), led by Thomas Campbell and his son, Alexander Campbell.
Stone wanted to continue to use the name "Christians." Alexander Campbell insisted upon "Disciples of Christ".
Walter Scott and Thomas Campbell sided with Stone, but the younger Campbell had strong reasons and would not yield. The confusion over names has been present ever since.
The defining event of the Stone wing of the movement was the publication of the Last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery, at Cane Ridge, Kentucky, in 1804.Through Scott's efforts, the Mahoning Association grew rapidly.In 1828, Thomas Campbell visited several of the congregations formed by Scott and heard him preach.Prior to the 1906 separation, congregations would typically be named "Disciples of Christ," "Christian Church," and "Church of Christ." However, there are different practices by each. For example, the "Independent Christian Church" will not accept a woman as a minister while some of the "Disciples of Christ" congregations will.These different congregations (Disciples of Christ, Church of Christ, and Independent Church) share many of the same beliefs and practices but there are, in fact, some differences.