Xenos Christian Fellowship

Xenos Christian Fellowship is a non-traditional, non-denominational, institutional cell church system in Columbus, Ohio.[1] Each cell, called home church, contains 15-60 members.[2] Unlike traditional churches, Xenos is centered on home church activities rather than traditional Sunday morning services. Xenos does have weekly multi-house church gatherings called central teachings.[3] As of February 2009, Xenos has approximately 5,000-members and 300 home churches.[4]

Symbolism of Name

The church's name comes from the Greek word, Xenos meaning "stranger" or "alien".[5] The primary use of the name Xenos in the New Testament denotes sojourners in a foreign land, a biblical description of Christians whose ultimate home is in heaven. A secondary usage of the word xenos denotes "one who provides hospitality."[6]


Xenos originated as an "underground" Christian newspaper called "The Fish" first published in the 1970's around Ohio State University, in Columbus, Ohio. The newspaper sparked the formation of bible study groups around the university.[1][5] Up to 1991, home churches were allowed to "do [their] own thing". Some members refused to accept the church hierarchy, and its interpretation of the Bible. Around 1,400 members left the church in this three-year church conflict.

The remaining leaders added accountability mechanisms and structures to standardize church doctrine and regulate house churches.[7] House church leaders are required to meet what the church feels as biblical qualifications, the character qualifications given in I Timothy 3.[7] Leaders are also trained in classroom settings and given examinations.

In 1991 Xenos launched Urban Concern, a Christian inner-city charity recognized by President George H. Bush in his "Thousand Points of Light" awards.[8] Together with Columbus city government and business leaders, Xenos continues to expand Urban Concern and contributes the majority of its financial and volunteer resources.[9] In 2007 Xenos constructed a Christian school and community center in the inner city.[10] Xenos also provides two free clinics for the underprivileged in the Columbus area.[11][12]

Schools and Sister Churches

Xenos runs three private schools in the Columbus area: Xenos (PreK-5), Calumet (PreK-8), and Harambee (PreK-8).[13] The Harambee campus recently added a middle school, with future plans to expand into high school, while the Xenos campus was announced to be closing, due to low interest/attendance.

Sister churches, also named Xenos have been built in Cincinnati,[14] Dayton[15] and Northeast Ohio.[16]


In July 2009, the father of Fathima Rifqa Bary mentioned that his daughter had attended Xenos meetings. Rifqa Bary had run away from her parents, allegedly fearing for her safety after converting to Christianity from Islam.[17] Xenos Christian Fellowship claims to not be involved in her flight to Orlando, Florida to the home of Christian pastor Blake Lorenz. Also there is no evidence that Fathima Rifqa Bary ever attended any meetings at Xenos Christian Fellowship.


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ http://www.xenos.org/aboutxenos/history.htm
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ history of Urban Concern.
  9. ^ Xenos Annual Reports
  10. ^ http://www.xenos.org/ministries/urbanconcern/HarambeeCenter.htm
  11. ^ Xenos Free Clinics
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Xenos Cincinnati
  15. ^ Xenos Christian Fellowship of Dayton Ohio
  16. ^ "NEO" Xenos Christian Fellowship
  17. ^ Christian convert story

External links

  • Official website

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