Introducing the Churches of Christ Heritage Center

The center, established with support from the Pepperdine University Libraries, is committed to the acquisition and preservation of these materials and to the promotion of research of this important religious movement.

August 31, 2010  | 2 min read

On the opening night of this year's Bible Lectures, Pepperdine University dedicated the new Churches of Christ Heritage Center, a repository of books, documents, photographs, Christian periodicals, congregational histories, biographical studies, archival materials, and artifacts of Churches of Christ and the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement.

The center, established with support from the Pepperdine University Libraries, is committed to the acquisition and preservation of these materials and to the promotion of research of this important religious movement.

Pepperdine Magazine takes a look at a sampling of the center's materials, including out-of-print books, unique photographs, and rare archival items now on display in Payson Library.

Barton Warren Stone and Alexander Campbell1. Barton Warren Stone (1772-1844) and Alexander Campbell (1788-1866) met for the first time in 1824 and their restoration and unity movements merged in 1832. It was estimated that the unified movement of Stone and Campbell probably had more than 25,000 members in 1832.

Christian Hymn Book2. This copy of Alexander Campbell's Christian Hymn Book is 5"x3" and was published in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1866. It includes the words to 1,324 songs and has an "Index of Subjects" and an "Index of First Lines" in the back. The length of the hymnal is 840 pages. (shown here with the cover and locking clasp)

The Church of Christ in East Los Angeles3. The Church of Christ in East Los Angeles began as the result of a tent meeting conducted by G. W. Riggs in 1903. The congregation began meeting in their “new house” at the corner of Sichel and Altura Streets on March 6, 1910. The Sichel Street Church of Christ celebrated their 100th anniversary on July 10, 2010.

small book4. This small book is only 4"x3" but has 352 pages. It was published in 1844 by Alexander Campbell on his own press at Bethany, Virginia. Included in an appendix are six letters "to a sceptic" that were first published in Campbell's monthly periodical, the Christian Baptist, in 1826.

half-fare train permits5. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, clergy were able to secure half-fare permits to travel on trains. This one, dated December 31, 1911, belonged to G. W. Williams, the preacher for the Church of Christ in Midvale, Idaho.

John Moody McCaleb books6. John Moody McCaleb (1861-1953) was a missionary to Japan from 1892 to 1941. On the eve of WWII he returned home to teach at George Pepperdine College. The Heritage Center has copies of all of his books including this rare one published in Tokyo in 1919. Memories of Early Days is the story of his pre-college days in Hickman County, Tennessee. This copy is signed "J. M. McCaleb May 13, 1919."

George Pepperdine7. George Pepperdine (front, center) took his mother (on his right) on a world tour in 1928. In Omiya, Ibaraki, Japan, they had their photo taken with several American missionaries from Churches of Christ who were serving in Japan at that time.

The Life, Conversion, Preaching, Travels, and Sufferings of Elias Smith Written by Himself8. Elias Smith (1769-1846) was a cofounder (along with Abner Jones) of a group known variously as the New England "Christians" or the "Christian Connection." This rare volume is titled The Life, Conversion, Preaching, Travels, and Sufferings of Elias Smith Written by Himself. It was published in 1817.

Church of Christ Children's Home in Ontario, California9. In the depression years of the 1930s, this truck collected food and clothing for the Church of Christ Children's Home in Ontario, California.