A Short History of the Boston Movement

Early 1970's

Kip McKean, founder of the Boston Church of Christ, is a student at the University of Florida at Gainesville. There he is converted by Chuck Lucas, the charismatic leader of the Crossroads Church of Christ. Lucas has a heavy emphasis on "one-on-one" discipleship.


Mid 1970's

More than 30 of Lucas' converts fan out across the United states and attach themselves to existing Churches of Christ, usually near college campuses. Lucas' discipleship method is now called the "Crossroads Movement". Wherever they went division resulted. 200 churches split where campus minister tried to take over.



Kip McKean becomes the campus minister for the Heritage Church of Christ near Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois. Within three years student membership jumps from 20 to 180. McKean is attacked in the local press for "tactics of manipulation and control."


April 14, 1977

The elders of Memorial Church of Christ accuse McKean of bringing "unbiblical practices, peculiar languages and subtle, deceitful doctrines to Charleston from the Crossroads Church in Gainesville." Financial support is withdrawn.


The Crossroads Church converted and trained minister, Kip McKean, is hired by the Lexington Church of Christ. Membership is approximately 30 people. Ten young people trained in discipling ministries come with him.

January, 1980

The Lexington Church performed 68 baptisms in the first six months of McKean's ministry.

June, 1980

103 baptisms in the first year.

December, 1981

170 baptisms performed in Boston.

June, 1982

Chicago Church of Christ; Boston planted its first daughter church in Chicago under the leadership of Evangelist, Marty Fuqua. The Church baptized almost 900 people by the Fall of 1987. 256 baptisms this year.

July, 1982

Central London Church of Christ; Boston calls this "the largest and fastest growing congregation outside the borders of the United States." By the Fall of 1987, this church has baptized over 800 people. The London Church planted a church in Sidney, Australia in 1987.

December, 1982

250 baptisms performed in Boston.

June, 1983

New York City Church of Christ; under the leadership of "lead evangelist" Steve Johnson, The New York Church baptized well over 1000 by August of 1987. Boston called the "the second fastest growing church in all the world." A church planting was sent to Sao Paulo, Brazil in the summer of 1987.

December, 1983

402 baptisms performed in Boston

December, 1984

594 baptisms performed in Boston

June, 1985

Providence and Toronto planted.

September, 1985

Chuck Lucas was dismissed as an evangelist of the Crossroads Church of Christ and moved to Thomasville, Georgia.

December, 1985

703 baptized in Boston.

June, 1986

Johanesberg, Paris, Stockholm planted

August 17, 1986

Boston Bulletin - Ed Townsend wrote an article entitled "Because You Say So," defining the discipling relationship and a discipler's heart. This article stressed the importance of total obedience and trust.

October, 1986

Gloria Baird, wife of Al Baird who serves as an elder in the Boston Church of Christ, was rebaptized. Gloria is the daughter of long-time missionary, J.W. Treat of Abilene, Texas.

November, 1986

Russ Hulbert (resigned as an elder of the Boston Church of Christ in 1984) left the Boston Church of Christ in disagreement with some of the practices and teachings of the church. He was one of the two elders who asked Kip McKean to come to the Lexington (now Boston) Church of Christ. The other elder is deceased.

Around this time rebaptisms begin. Baptism is not valid unless you are a disciple first.

December, 1986

818 baptisms performed in Boston.

March, 1987

Tom Jones, campus minister for the Central Church of Christ in Huntsville, Alabama wrote a paper entitled "Was My Baptism Valid?". He was rebaptized in December, 1987, after moving to Boston for additional training.

April, 1987

Al Baird, a Boston elder, was baptized, but his baptism wasn't listed in the Boston Bulletin as were other baptisms for the month

June, 1987

947 baptisms in Boston...10 church plantings

July, 1987

At the Denver Conference, Boston Church of Christ leaders attempted to get area churches to come under their leadership.

July 19,1987

Jerry Jones presented "My Four Concerns for the Discipling Movement" in Atlanta, Georgia. The four concerns were: 1. misuse of scripture; 2. one-over-one discipling; 3. rebaptism, and 4. authority. (This speech is available on tape.) The Boston Movement leaders urged those who followed them not to attend this presentation; hence, the Atlanta Highlands Church of Christ was divided.

July 26, 1987

Boston Bulletin - Kip McKean explained Boston's takeover of the Atlanta Highlands Church of Christ in an article entitled "The Atlanta Church of Christ." "Remnant" was used to describe those who went with Boston.

August 2, 1987

Boston Bulletin - "The Role of the Evangelist," written by J. P. Tynes, described the evangelist as being the anointed of God and that to disobey him is the same as disobeying God. These articles were commended by Kip McKean.

August 16, 1987

Boston Bulletin - "San Francisco Church of Christ" written by Kip McKean discussed the takeover by Boston and stated that Boston was to officially direct the work in San Francisco.

August 30, 1987

Boston Bulletin - "Boston - Foreign Pillar Plantings," by Kip McKean divided the world into different areas, with each area having a "pillar" church. This article clearly showed that the Boston Church of Christ is the "mother" church and has the territory of the world.

August - September, 1987

Reconstruction of the East Valley Church of Christ in Phoenix, Arizona.

October, 25,1987

Boston Bulletin - Bob Gempel, an elder in Boston, wrote an article entitled, "Remnant Theology," explaining the Boston Movement's position on theology and defining the remnant.

January, 1988

San Diego Conference - Tom Brown stated the Abilene Christian University Bible faculty were not disciples, Christians or saved and had not been taught right.

June, 1988

Crossroads Church of Christ took a stand against Boston Church of Christ's teachings, officially disassociates.

June, 1988

1424 baptized in Boston....17 churches planted.

June 26,1988

Boston Bulletin - An article by Kip Mckean entitled "McKean Becomes Mission Evangelist" declared that he would function in the role of the Apostle Paul.

September, 1988

Steve Hassan published "Combating Cult Mind Control." Hassan lives in Boston and is an exit counselor who works with people involved in cults.

October 21,1988

Ron Gholsten, a House Church leader in Boston, wrote a letter explaining why he left the Boston Church of Christ.

May 14,1989

Boston Bulletin - Kip McKean wrote an article entitled "Al and Gloria Baird to Lead Boston" and mentioned Al Baird's "rebaptism."

June, 1989

The elders of the Tampa bay Church of Christ made a statement opposing the Boston Church of Christ. 1621 baptized in Boston...33 churches planted, 5000 in attendance.

June 18,1989

The elders of the Central Church of Christ in Huntsville, Alabama made a statement opposing the Boston Church of Christ.

1986 - 1989

These colleges banned the Boston Movement from campus: Boston University, Northeastern, Harvard, Tufts, University of Massachusetts, University of Lowell.


Kip McKean leaves Boston and goes to Los Angeles as lead evangelist.

May 5, 1990

Al Baird stepped down as lead evangelist of the Boston Church of Christ and Randy McKean replaced him.

October, 1990

Chris McGrath gave a sermon in Indianapolis in which the singles were limited to dating only on Saturday night from 6 to midnight.


High ranking member, Rick Bauer, who was being groomed as an apologist for the movement leaves the Boston Church. Has problems with Boston's claim to be the only true church.

1992 - $725,00 collected for Russia

April, 1992

"Restoration Through Revolution" written to correct abuses. McKean admits to some "excesses."


Boston Church of Christ officially becomes International Churches of Christ.

January, 1993

7,301 attend service in Boston Garden.

February, 1994

The Indianapolis Church of Christ comes out publicly against many Boston Church policies. Church loses its "charter" and a loyal Boston "remnant" starts a new church in Indianapolis.

February, 2001

Holy Cross College bans Boston Church of Christ groups from meeting or proselytizing on campus. (Click here for news story)

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