The intellectual and spiritual leaders of the Christian church (following the apostles) during its first 500 years. The Father’s theological and apologetic writings were central to the expansion and development of the Christian faith.
The Church Fathers or Fathers of the Church are the early and influential theologians and writers in the Christian Church, particularly those of the first five centuries of Christian history. The term is used of writers and teachers of the Church, not necessarily saints. It is generally not meant to include the New Testament authors, though in the early Church some writing of Church Fathers were considered canonical.