|Allies:||The Kingdom of God|
|Status:||Active and Growing|
The New Disciples were founded in 2219 by Pastor Hector Dallas (in a sense) and Charles Townsend. A young aspiring pastor, Dallas had grown up the wasteland but found God in his teenage years. Dallas became a pastor under the tutelage of an elder reverend in the prosperous community of Yakima. Meanwhile, the idea for the New Disciples was originally though up by an elderly wealthy parishioner in Yakima named Charles Townsend. An intensely Christian man, Townsend wanted to use his wealth to help spread the word of God to the people of the wasteland whether they be tribals, homesteaders, or scavengers. Suggested by his mentor, young Pastor Dallas was chosen along with a small group of educated (and well-armed) individuals to go into the wasteland to spread Christianity. These were the first New Disciples.
The New Disciples headed out east to try to minister to Oregon tribals. They came to the small town of Wally, which was mostly infested by tribals who the locals wanted gone. The New Disciples, seeing an opportunity, offered to 'civilize' the tribals for the locals instead of driving them off. The residents of Wally tentatively accepted the missionaries' offer and sat back to watch what would happen. Pastor Dallas got hard at work converting the heathen tribals and found great early success. The Oregon tribals were surprisingly receptive to Christianity, and by 2222, virtually all of the tribals in Wally had converted. However, this only fixed some of the cultural problems between Wally's residents and the tribals, and their conflict continued somewhat.
Nevertheless, Charles Townsend saw the New Disciples' actions as a complete success. He saw great potential in the missionaries, and he, along with Pastor Dallas, decided to send out another missionary expedition into the wasteland in 2225. This time it was to a more large-scale area, Portland. Headed by Pastor Luis Fernandez, this group of New Disciples hoped to spread the faith to a much larger ‘urban’ audience. That hope was dashed to bits when Hernandez and his group of New Disciples were ambushed by Oregon tribals north of Portland. Fernandez and a couple others survived, but the expedition was devastated. The group returned to Yakima having failed their mission, though Townsend and the rest of the New Disciples did not hold that against them.
The failure of the Portland expedition disheartened many in the New Disciples but Pastor Dallas in particular kept up morale while others became complacent. No real change happened until 2226 with the arrival of George J. Fisher II and his companion Fredric in Wally. The pastor recognized that these travelers had something special about them and asked if they could help with teaching the tribals, who were still mostly illiterate on Christian doctrine even if they were converted. Fredric and George agreed, and they taught the tribals how to read, trade, and hunt with firearms. Fred stayed behind with Pastor Dallas in Wally while George moved on.
Fredric, also known as Fred, proved to be the Disciple the group needed, revitalizing their once-stagnant movement. Fred, becoming a pastor with Pastor Dallas’s help, ranged further east into eastern Washington and northern Idaho converting many tribals and settlements. Meanwhile in Yakima, Charles Townsend died in late 2226 with his nephew Andrew Townsend taking leadership of the New Disciples. Townsend, impressed by Fred’s progress in the east, decided to divide up the Disciples’ spiritual authority between Dallas and Fred with both of them being made Bishops. Also, Pastor Hernandez managed to make his way to Portland in 2229 to establish a new mission at Mount Tabor. This heralded a period of unprecedented growth for the group in the 2230s with settlements such as Nicaea, Morden, and Gethsemane being founded in this time by New Disciples. The New Disciples expanded their membership greatly in this period with more bishops being appointed to oversee new areas.
This was all while events in Cascadia began to turn sour. Large militarized groups began to gain more prominence, and less militant organizations like the New Disciples were helpless to resist their advances. Their settlements in the east began getting attacked by Oregon tribals and raiders, with Nicaea and Gethsemane being wiped out in the early 2240s. Meanwhile, Townsend and the New Disciples in Yakima were running out of caps to fund the missionaries (though this was mostly due to Townsend's corruption). The New Disciples seemed like they were on the edge of falling apart, and the situation only worsened when Pastor Dallas died in 2245. However, the New Disciples had a sort of internal coup in 2247 which wrestled the power of finances and administration from Townsend and instead into the hands of the Council of Bishops. With that, the New Disciples began to get back on track by reconnecting with various disparate cells of the group that were lost in the east in places like Idaho and Washington.
The New Disciples had another upheaval with the man named David in the late 2240s. A raider warlord originally from Spokane, David was influenced by a captured Disciple who eventually converted him. That made him move south to southeastern Washington, expelling Oregon tribals and scavengers as he went. Once David arrived in the ruins of Richland, he and his little group colonized the Tri-Cities for its strategic position at the confluence of the Yakima, Snake, and Columbia rivers. Soon after colonizing the Tri-Cities, David also began rallying Disciples to him to form a sort of court. This move alarmed many in the Council of Bishops but they were more or less helpless to prevent David from assembling his little court of Disciples. Things only really escalated in 2251 when David declared his territory as the Kingdom of God, a state that was supposed to be a home for God's people on Earth with David as its leader as a Judge, a representative of God like those in the Old Testament. He declared the Kingdom of God to be a sanctuary to all Christians. This led to numerous rebellions within David's territory, and the New Disciples' Council of Bishops back in Yakima squabbling with one another over whether David had any spiritual authority over them or the Church.
Since the establishment of the Kingdom of God in 2251 and its subsequent expansion, the New Disciples have essentially been in a state of gridlock with its leadership divided into factions. The faction that supports the Kingdom of God is conservative, centered in New Jerusalem, and led by Bishop Marcellus while the faction that does not support the Kingdom of God is progressive, centered in Yakima, and led by Bishop Fredric. The New Disciples have continued their missionary and humanitarian actions around Cascadia but have largely stopped expanding, hoping to reach those nearby first. Their role within society in Cascadia is somewhat controversial, and opinions vary on them on a usually individual basis. No major faction in region actively opposes the New Disciples, but many Oregon tribals and more secular minded wastelanders oppose their evangelical message. Also, the New Disciples' association with the Kingdom of God, something of a rogue state, has brought some trouble in recent years but no declarations of war.
Activities and Interests
The New Disciples' activities mostly extend to religious duties and education, though they occasionally provide basic services like free water and healthcare to wastelanders as well. They have usually been non-violent and apolitical but in recent years have changed their attitude somewhat due to the rise of the Kingdom of God and the Oregon Brushfire Wars. Nevertheless, most self-respecting New Disciples only kill out of self-defense and try to avoid interfering in worldly affairs.
Missionary work within the New Disciples, the largest role within the group, is widespread and different wherever it is present. Some missionaries in places like Portland and Yakima have missions to back them up while others like the ones in Seattle and wider Cascadia simply preach on the streets or in the brush. Meanwhile, missionaries in places with a heavy tribal presence must tread cautiously, as persecution is common and martyrs are only appreciated after their deaths. More specialized New Disciples such as teachers and doctors can be found in missions scattered across Cascadia. Scholars and intellectuals are a rarity among the New Disciples as they see such things as less than useful, but these roles are more common within the Kingdom of God, often serving under the territory’s harsh judge.
The New Disciples is loosely led by a Council of Bishops drawn from their various missions and ministries across Cascadia (with some coming from even farther away. This council, made up of a mix of active and retired Bishops, meets about twice a year on average to discuss issues pertinent to the church. The council is presided over by a President who serves a two-year term. The President has no official authority beyond presiding. Another (currently unofficial) leader within the New Disciples is David, the staunchly conservative Judge of the Kingdom of God. The degree to what theological authority David has remains unresolved since he declared himself a Judge, but he does wield naked political power, an attractive quality to the more ambition-minded within the New Disciples.
Membership in the New Disciples is open of all races, ages, and even mutated individuals. However, non-Christians and those that do not conform to Christian morals (homosexuals, identitarians, slavers, raiders, cannibals, adulterers, heretics, scientists etc.), which has led to some divisions within the organization.
|This has been written by MongoosePirate. Please contact this user before editing this article.|