A Christian sect founded in Richmond, Virginia in 1848 by John Thomas (1805-71), who had previously been a follower of Thomas and Alexander Campbell. John Thomas wanted to return to the beliefs and practices of the earliest disciples, hence the name meaning 'brothers of Christ.' The name was adopted during the American Civil War to justify the follower's pacifism. The doctrines of the Trinity and of the pre-existence of Christ were rejected by Thomas.
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