Protestants: Disciplined Disciples

After 166 years, the Disciples of Christ last week conceded that they are, in fact, a Protestant denomination. In Kansas City, at the Disciples' annual convention, 4,700 delegates overwhelmingly approved the principles of a new constitution that will transform the movement from a loose grouping of autonomous congregations into an organization with central direction and authority. The change was symbolized by dropping two letters from the Disciples' proper name. Previously, they were members of the Christian Churches; now they will be known as the Christian Church.

The Disciples were organized at the beginning of the 19th century as a backwoods...