The Movement was inspired by the spiritual pilgrimages of modern Evangelical writers like Thomas Howard , Robert E. Webber , Peter E. Gillquist
and the ancient Christian writers and their communities.
In 1973 Campus Crusade for Christ missionary Peter E. Gillquist (1938-) of Chicago established a network of house churches throughout the United States, aiming to restore a primitive form of Christianity, which was called the New Covenant Apostolic Order (NCAO).
Researching the historical basis of the Christian faith, Gillquist and his colleagues found sources for this restoration in the writings of the early Church Fathers . This led the group to practice a more liturgical form of worship than in their previous evangelical background.
In 1979, the Evangelical Orthodox Church
(EOC) was organized.
The belief of needing Apostolic Succession
led most members of the EOC
to join the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
The Chicago Call
In 1977 " The Chicago Call " was issued by the National Conference of Evangelicals for Historic Christianity, meeting in Warrenville, Illinois.
Led by Dr. Robert Webber (Assoc. Professor of Theology at Wheaton University), along with Peter Gillquist, Thomas Howard, Richard Holt, Donald Bloesch, Jan Dennis, Lane Dennis, and Victor Oliver, the Conference discussed the need for evangelical Christians to rediscover and re-attach to the Church's historic roots.
Key contemporary pioneers shaping the awareness and thought of the movement are men like Dr. Robert Webber, author and professor of Theology at Wheaton College; Dr. Robert Stamps, former chaplain of Oral Roberts University; Peter Gillquist, former leader with Campus Crusade for Christ and now an Eastern Orthodox priest and evangelist; Thomas Howard from St. John's Seminary; Thomas Oden, theologian and author from Drew University, Howard Snyder, theologian, author and Christian educator, Stan White, former Assembly of God pastor, now an Episcopalian priest; and others, such as the late David DuPlessis, Pentecostal minister and key instigator of the Charismatic ecumenical dialogue between Roman Catholics and Pentecostals; current Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey; the United Methodist liturgical Order of St. Luke and Peter Hocken, Roman Catholic theologian.