NextLevel Online: History of the Restoration Movement

Session 5: Walter Scott and Expansion

In this series we examine Walter Scott, powerful promoter of evangelism. We also see the merging of "Cambellites and Stoneites" as winning the world to Christ becomes the focus of this fast growing movement.


Classroom Instructions

Materials: Session 5 Video
  • Life and Times of Walter Scott:
  • 1796 – Born in County Dumfrieshire, Scotland (Oct. 31st).

  • 1817 – Graduated from the University of Edinburgh.

  • 1818 – Immigrated to the United States, arriving in New York on July 7th.

  • 1819 – Relocated to Pittsburgh to work as a teacher – Became convinced that immersion is the New Testament form of baptism and was immersed.

  • 1820/1821 – Scott first meets Alexander Campbell in Pittsburgh – They became lifelong friends.

  • 1826 – Moved to Steubenville, Ohio to open an academy.

  • 1827-1830 – Employed as evangelist on the Western Reserve of Ohio by the Mahoning Baptist Association.

    • Nominated by Alexander Campbell to serve as evangelist.

    • Had great success – Baptized over 1,000 people per year for three years.

    • Implemented his “Five-Finger Exercise” as an evangelistic tool.

  • 1832-1844 – Published a monthly periodical, The Evangelist.

  • 1836 – Served as first president of Bacon College, the first college of the Restoration Movement.

  • 1849 – Hired as minister of the May’s Lick, Kentucky, Church.

  • April 23, 1861 – Died and Buried in May’s Lick, Kentucky.

  • Upon learning of Scott’s death, Alexander Campbell wrote, “Next to my father, he was the most cordial and indefatigable co-laborer in the origin and progress of the present Reformation. … I knew him well, I knew him long. I loved him much.”

  • Stone and Campbell Movement’s Unite

    • By 1830 – Two prominent Reform Movements had developed in American Christianity:

      • Christian Connection (Stone’s Followers) – c.15,000 members

      • Disciples of Christ (Campbell’s Followers) – c.12,000-20,000 members

    • 1831 – Barton W. Stone (Christian) and John T. Johnson (Disciple) were in Georgetown, Kentucky, and noticed the similarities of the two groups.

    • 1831-1832 – Stone and Johnson called for two unity meetings between the Reform Movements.

      • Dec. 23-26, 1831 – First Unity Meeting in Georgetown, Kentucky.

      • Dec. 30, 1831-Jan. 2, 1832 – Second Unity Meeting in Lexington, Kentucky

      • Main Speakers: “Raccoon” John Smith (Disciple) and Barton W. Stone (Christian).

        • “Raccoon” John Smith – “Let us, then, my brethren, be no longer Campbellites or Stoneites, New Lights or Old Lights, or any other kind of lights, but let us all come to the Bible, and to the Bible alone, as the only book in the world that can give us all the Light we need.”

        • Barton W. Stone – “I am willing to give him, now and here, my hand” – Symbolizing the unity of the two groups

  • 1832 – John Rogers and “Raccoon” John Smith embarked on a three-year tour announcing to the churches the unity between the two Reform Movements.

  • Further Expansion

    • The Restoration Movement went on to become the fastest growing American religious movement of the nineteenth century.

    • Numerous noteworthy evangelists proclaimed the Gospel of Christ and the principles of the Restoration Movement throughout the country:

      • Samuel Rogers – Missouri

      • Pardee Butler – Kansas

      • Tolbert Fanning – Throughout the South

      • Knowles Shaw (“The Singing Evangelist”) – Throughout the Midwest

      • Thomas Caskey – Texas

      • And many, many more!

  • Additional Resources:

    • Fortune, A. W. – The Disciples in Kentucky

    • Gerard, William A., III – Walter Scott: American Frontier Evangelist

    • Mills, Dean – Union on the King’s Highway: The Campbell-Stone Heritage of Unity

    • Rogers, W. C. – Recollections of Men of Faith: Conversations, Incidents, and Anecdotes of Pioneer Preachers of the Restoration Movement

    • Stevenson, Dwight E. – Walter Scott: Voice of the Golden Oracle

    • Williams, John Augustus – Life of Elder John Smith

About NextLevel Online

The vision of Ozark Christian College is to glorify God by evangelizing the lost and edifying Christians worldwide. The mission of Ozark Christian College is to train men and women for Christian service as a degree-granting institution of biblical higher education.