FREE CHURCH: A name given to certain religious bodies in various countries of Europe, in some cases chosen by the organization itself, indicating somewhat loosely secession from an older and larger communion, independence of the dominant ecclesiastical authorities, and separation from an established church. For the so-called Free Churches of England, France, Holland, Italy, and Switzerland, see the articles upon each country. For the Free Churches of Germany see LUTHERANS, II; also FREE CONGREGATIONS. For the Free Church of Scotland see PRESBYTERIANS. In America the name "free church" is sometimes given to a congregation which does not rent sittings at a fixed charge, but derives its revenues from the spontaneous contributions of attendants. See VOLUNTARYISM.