Historical Timeline Of
The Quail Springs Church of Christ

Oklahoma City
2001 January

In January of 2001 the elders received a request to use the building for a Saturday night assembly in which instruments of music were used. Shortly after the introduction of a worship team in 1990, some of the worship team members had started meeting one Saturday each month for what they called "Worship Nite" using instrumental music. First they met in homes and then in denominational church buildings. The elders had not discouraged their meeting but they were not allowed to use the Quail Springs building. Because they were having difficulty finding a place to meet, someone asked the elders if the building could be used for Worship Nite.

During the discussion one of the elders pointed out that Article IV of the Articles of Incorporation expressly forbade the use of instrumental music.

The Article stated: "The purpose or purposes for which the corporation is formed are: To encourage and build up churches that will in all their work, worship, and teaching, use and employ only that which is authorized and required in the New Testament, rejecting all creeds, innovations and devices of man, such as the use of mechanical instruments of music in connection with the worship and of any societies other than the Church of Christ in carrying out the work of God, or the teaching of any unscriptural or speculative theories on unfulfilled prophecies such as the personal return and reign of Christ on earth, known as the millennium theory, and to see that in the event of a schism within this congregation as a result of departure from such purposes all right and title to any and all such physical assets of the congregation shall at such time vest in the group maintaining the purposes set forth herein, whether such group be in the majority or in the minority." Article IV continued in force when the congregation moved to the Quail Springs building.

Mark Henderson comments: "The entire ministry staff and almost all of the elders had been unaware of the existence of the article." "A majority of the elders and I agreed that a strict interpretation of Article IV would find us in violation in several respects. The language was archaic and had no bearing on how we saw ourselves and our religious purpose as a congregation of God's people. The consensus among the elders was that Article IV needed to be amended regardless of the outcome of the Worship Nite debate."*
*Henderson, Robert Mark, "Leadership and the life of God: distribution of ministerial gifts and leadership practices at the Quail Springs Church of Christ" (2004), thesis presented to ACU, pages 19 & 20.

Evaluation:
This reaction was clearly wrong. Since Article IV specified that the purposes could not be changed even by a majority, the correct response would have been to amend the activities of the congregation to comply with Article IV, or to turn the building over to Christians who would respect it.