Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

The National Benevolent Association (NBA) serves as the health and social service general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Our beginnings as a ministry of outreach and care and our historic foundations as an organization are grounded in the Disciples of Christ.

In 1886, the story goes, "six women gathered in a prayer circle at a Disciples of Christ church in St. Louis..." Throughout our history, the NBA has been led, guided, and supported by leaders and congregations within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Our collaborative partnerships today are deeply connected with members, leaders, and faith communities within the Disciples church.

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is a mainline Protestant denomination with a heritage of compassion and care for all people. A distinctive and historical factor is that we are the oldest denomination founded in the United States. The denomination counts around 700,000 members in the United States and Canada in 3,700 congregations. Our General Minister and President is the Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins.

"NBA’s vision statement describes ministry beyond charity. It speaks of mutuality and collaboration in shared mission among partners. The NBA is creatively living into its new era of existence – carrying the essentials from its tradition and creating ministries of care adapted to a 21st-century landscape for mission. It’s a privilege to be part of it!" ~ Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins

The mission of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is "to be and to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, witnessing, loving and serving from our doorsteps "to the ends of the earth"" (Acts 1:8).

We recognize and honor that the NBA mission and programs are generously supported by the Disciples Mission Fund (DMF) of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). With the generosity of individuals and local congregations, the vision of creating communities of compassion and care is made real, relevant, and lasting.

To learn more about the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), please visit


NBA Impact Report

This NBA Ministry Impact Report shares the significant work of Disciples health and social service ministries in all of their complexity, vitality, and diversity.

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Join the Mental Health and Congregational Care Affinity Group

As the health and social service general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the NBA takes seriously its call to create communities of compassion and care. In doing so, the NBA has been called to engage in dialogue and action centered on issues related to mental health.

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SHARE supports and strengthens families who care for children with special needs through respite care, parent support, and sibling support programs.