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Evangelical And Reformed Church

An American Protestant denomination formed by the merger of the Evangelical Synod of North America with the Reformed Church in the United States in 1934. The union brought together Lutheran and Reformed Christians of predominantly German, Swiss, and Hungarian ancestry. At the time of the merger the denomination had 2,648 pastors, 2,929 congregations, and 631,271 communicant members. The new church adopted as its doctrinal standards the Augsburg Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, and Luther's Catechism, allowing freedom of interpretation where those standards differed, and subjecting every theological judgment to the norm of the Word of God. Because of its own history and theological heritage, the church was concerned to promote ecumenical relations and the reunion of separated churches. It supported hospitals and homes, educational institutions, and missionary work in Africa, China, Honduras, India, Iraq, Japan, and South America. In 1940 the body began merger negotiations with the Congregational Christian Church, which led in 1957 to the creation of the United Church of Christ.