(Photo: Phanalphie Rhue Still for Rhue Still Inc )
A newly proclaimed movement in American Christianity that seeks to become global and desires a return to "the old church" was officially announced at a press briefing in Washington, D.C.
Known as "new church Believers," members of the movement gathered at a briefing at the National Press Building on Thursday morning.
"Jesus Christ made all things new. He cleansed us, defeated death and opened the way to eternal life. And yet the vessel that carries that new reality – the Christian church – often drifts toward the old, towards the comfortable familiarity of traditions and rituals drained of meaning," reads the new church Believers' website. "Let us raise the sails of a new church that captures again the wind of the Holy Spirit. Let us move as that 1st-century church moved, driven not by what we know, but by our surrender to the unknowable."
The Rev. Dr. Staccato Powell, founder of new church Believers, told The Christian Post that "people are in need of the transformative power of God."
"Church as we know has not positively impacted them to alter conditions, change lives and create sustainable communities. Clearly this is not what was envisioned or operative in the first century apostolic era church of Jesus Christ," said Powell.
"New church is not a repudiation of or antithetical to what presently exist. This is not a 'tea party' movement in opposition to the established church … [it's] an effort to bring to bear the transformative influence and impact of the Spirit's power and presence in the world."
Powell also told CP that a major motivation for founding new church Believers was a recent poll by Pew Research noting the rising number religiously unaffiliated Americans.
"Those of us in Christianity are confronted with declining numbers among the faithful. The churches are dying. There are not many members in any churches. The average-size congregation in America is fifty – black, white, blue or green," said Powell.
"Mainline churches have no options. They must reconnect with the roots of Christianity or wither as divided branches. And that imperative applies to all mainline bodies regardless of denomination."
Following the press briefing on Thursday, there was an official launch event held at Metropolitan Wesley AME Zion Church in Northwest D.C.
"As much as these secular values and ideas may seem to be prevailing they are woefully inadequate to quench the thirst of those who hunger for a more excellent way," said Powell.
"It ultimately becomes obvious the materialistic capitalistic consumerism which pervades and permeates our culture does not satisfy and neither can it be sustained."