When the gospel was preached in the first century, local assemblies of Christians sprang up. They were known as local churches or congregations in the various towns and cities. For example, there were seven congregations, one in each of the seven cities of Asia (Rev 2 and 3). The Lord added the saved to the church (Acts 2:47; I Cor 12:13). Titus was left in Crete to “set in order” leaders (elders) in each city as Paul directed (Titus 1:5). Each member of the church had a charge to build itself up and grow (Eph 4:11-16). When Paul travelled, he associated with the local church in that place (Acts 9:26). He gave orders from the Lord for them all to worship and follow the same patterns and commands (I Cor 16:1-2). That is why all the local churches bore the same marks in name, doctrine, organization and worship. The Holiday Inn used to advertise that in all their locations, they all were the same because they all adhered to the same 152 rules. The same principle applies to the churches of Christ in every location, for they “walk by this same rule” (Phil 3:16), sometimes called a “pattern” (Heb 8:5). Email, write or phone for more.