The story of the beginnings of the Christian churches in the New World is closely related to the political and economic aspects of colonial origins. Christian beginnings in North America were thus closely related to the efforts at colonization made by the European nations. Much of the drama in the story of the churches lies in the way the initial patterns were altered and transformed through the centuries. The settlement of most of North America came after the Reformation. The Reformation did sever many of the links with the past, but it also preserved many things, often in an altered but still recognizable form. The churches that were transplanted in the westward movement of Christendom soon took root in North American soil. Over the centuries, their patterns have spread, multiplied, and changed in surprising ways.
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