Whenever I mentioned that I was once a member of a house church, people often ask what that is. This question often takes me by surprise since I’m so familiar with the term. For those who haven’t heard of such a congregation, here is a basic explanation of what one is.
A house church is a small group of believers that meets in somebody’s home rather than at a designated church building. Many start off as Bible studies. The concept is based on the first-century Christians who met in the homes of fellow believers. Since they were barred from the synagogues, this was the only option for them.
As these congregations grew and spread across the Roman empire, they began building designated worship places. The acceptance of Christianity by the Romans made church building easier, negating the need for house churches.
When established denominations began to be rejected by teenagers in the Jesus People movement during the late sixties, house churches gained a new popularity. The ideal was to get back to the way worship was conducted by the early Christians.
In the case of the house church I was involved with for more than fifteen years, the lay minister formed it because he didn’t agree with the elders of the Pentecostal church he attended. Brother Herald, as I called him in my book, formed his own church in the basement of a friend’s home in 1952. In 1970, there was a church split. One congregant figured that he was the prophet like unto Moses mentioned in the Bible. Many of the members followed him, leaving only a few left to carry on. I joined that remnant in November of 1971.
How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity describes my indoctrination in Brother Herald’s peculiar beliefs and how the Lord led me to a proper knowledge of himself as well as the Bible. Amazon and Barnes & Noble distribute the e-book version while Virtual Bookworm distributes the paperback. My previous two books are available at the Bruce Atchison’s Books link.