This is an old post that has circulated online in various forms for many years now. I've featured it here before, but it is always worth revisiting...
How Old Is Your Church?
If you belong to one of the religious organizations known as 'Church of the Nazarene," "Pentecostal Gospel." "Holiness Church," "Pilgrim Holiness Church," "Jehovah's Witnesses," your religion is one of the hundreds of new sects founded by men within the past century.
If you are a Christian Scientist, you look to 1879 as the year in which your religion was born and to Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy as its founder.
If you worship with the Salvation Army, your sect began with William Booth in London in 1865.
If you are of the Dutch Reformed church, you recognize Michaelis Jones as founder, because he originated your religion in New York in 1628.
If you are a Baptist, you owe the tenets of your religion to John Smyth, who launched it in Amsterdam in 1605.
If you are a Mormon (Latter Day Saints), Joseph Smith started your religion in Palmyra, N.Y., in 1829.
If you are a Unitarian, Theophilus Lindley founded your church in London in 1774.
If you are a Methodist, your religion was launched by John and Charles Wesley in England in 1744.
If you are a Congregationalist, your religion was originated by Robert Brown in Holland in 1582.
If you are a Protestant Episcopalian, your religion was an offshoot of the Church of England founded by Samuel Seabury in the American colonies in the 17th century.
If you are a Presbyterian, your religion was founded by John Knox in Scotland in the year 1560.
If you belong to the Church of England, your religion was founded by King Henry VIII in the year 1534 because the Pope would not grant him a divorce with the right to remarry.
If you are a Lutheran, your religion was founded by Martin Luther, an ex- monk of the Catholic Church, in the year 1517.
If you are a member of one of the Orthodox Eastern Churches your church separated from the Catholic Church in 1054 in the Eastern Schism. Although imperfect, the communion between the Orthodox Churches and the Catholic Church is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist" (Pope Paul VI, quoted in CCC para 838).
If you are Catholic, you know that your religion was founded in the year AD 33 by Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the promised Jewish Messiah. Christ gave to Simon Peter the “keys to the kingdom” (Mat 16:18-19) and made Peter shepherd of His flock (John 21:15-17). Jesus entrusted to Peter and the other Apostles the governance of the Church. After the Resurrection, on the day of Pentecost, the Apostles received the Holy Spirit as promised by Jesus (Acts 2:1-6) and thus the power of God guides His Church on earth. As the Apostles died, their authority was passed on to chosen men, bishops of the Church, and that authority remains with the pope (the successor to Peter) and the bishops in union with him.