Below is my collection of records for the history of the church of Christ from before the Restoration Movement in the 19th century. Some churches of Christ in England track their existence in England from “nonconformists” in the 17 c. and then of the Lollards in the 14th c. whose teaching came from central Europe. Likewise, the churches of Christ in central Europe often associated with Waldensians trace their earliest years to the 8th c. from the Christians in southern France known as “the Vaudois” (People of the Valley) who took their beginnings from the Novatian “Cathari” in the 4th century. The Vaudois strictly followed the New Testament Scriptures and claimed their history back through early Christians like Irenaeus, Polycarp, and Clement in the 2nd c. unto the Apostles in the 1st c. and the establishment of the church on the day of Pentecost following Jesus’s resurrection. However, the gospel will start a congregation of believers whenever even without a historical line of descent. See “Ten Characteristics Shared among Churches of Christ.“
Here are some “nonconformists” of whom the churches of Christ would unite today as fellow brethren: Thomas Helwys and the Church of Christ (1612) and his words about Baptism and Salvation. The churches of Christ are also found in the history among those who were later known as “Baptists” in Thomas Crosby’s “History of the English Baptists” having the same beliefs as the churches of Christ today.
Here are some fascinating histories of the churches of Christ before the Restoration Movement:
History of the Churches of Christ in England by Keith Sisman