There is no other reference than the local congregation for the "visible church" in Congregationalism. Congregationalism expressed the viewpoint that (1) every local church is a full realization in miniature of the entire Church of Jesus Christ; and (2) the Church, while on earth, besides the local church, can only be invisible and ideal. This is true both externally and internally. They typically reject doctrinal writings that disagree with their interpretations, and all religious creeds.  In Quaker Congregationalism, monthly meetings, which are the most basic unit of administration, may be organized into larger Quarterly meetings or Yearly Meetings. The authority of all of the people, including the officers, is limited in the local congregation by a definition of union, or a covenant, by which the terms of their cooperation together are spelled out and agreed to. Former pastors included the poet George MacDonald.  Deacons serve under the supervision of the elders, and are often assigned to direct specific ministries. In 1928, there were 5,497 Congregational churches in the U.S. with a membership of 939,130. Congregationalist polity, often known as congregationalism, is a system of church governance in which every local church congregation is independent, ecclesiastically sovereign, or "autonomous".Its first articulation in writing is the Cambridge Platform of 1648 in New England.Among those major Protestant Christian traditions that employ congregationalism are those Congregational … While a similar diversity might be found under other forms of government, it is less likely to be regarded as normal or tolerable. In Wikipedia, congregational polity is defined as a collection of “self-governed voluntary institutions”, which I suppose is at least vaguely accurate, but then the article calls this form of polity “a type of religious anarchism.” You gotta love Wikipedia. Scriptural support can be found for all three forms of church polity, although it should be noted that those who practice the congregational form of church polity believe it has the strongest support from scripture and in fact believe that this was the predominant form of church government in the first century of the Christian era. Congregationalist polity, or congregational polity, often known as congregationalism, is a system of ecclesiastical polity in which every local church congregation is independent, ecclesiastically sovereign, or "autonomous". Define Congregationalist polity. Typically, neighboring congregational churches within a vicinage council or association will be invited to lay hands on the confirmed candidate, in a ceremony of ordination. The platform explained and defended congregational polity as practiced in New England and also endorsed most of the Westminster Confession of Faith.  Congregations look for elders who have a mature enough understanding of scripture to enable them to supervise the minister and to teach, as well as to perform governance functions. Congregational polity means that the members of the local church own and govern the local church. Alexander Campbell was a Scots-Irish immigrant who became an ordained minister in the United States and joined his father Thomas Campbell as a leader of a reform effort that is historically known as the Restoration Movement, and by some as the "Stone-Campbell Movement." In 1832, the group of reformers led by the Campbells merged with a similar movement that began under the leadership of Barton W. Stone in Kentucky. It lasted until 1852. [lower-alpha 1]  Rather, the independent congregations are a network with each congregation participating at its own discretion in various means of service and fellowship with other congregations.
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