Everything, except for God, has to begin somewhere and sometime. This includes the church. Not only did whatever church you may worship in have to begin sometime it had to have a place where it began. This is not revolutionary, it is common sense.
The Day of Pentecost is when the church as we know it today began. Not a church but the church or even The Church if you prefer. On that Pentecost all those centuries ago the followers Jesus had told to stay and wait encountered the Holy Spirit in a new way. It is possible in all the wild things of the story–wind, fire, languages–to lose sight of the new thing born that day. The church, the gathered people of God, is God’s new way of reaching the world God created.
Even if all this is self-evident to us, it is possible to put the early church* into a special category all by itself but that’s an error. The “early church” is the same church we are in because there is only one church. It began then and continues to today and beyond.
Feel free to let me know if you think I missed something or over/under stated anything important.
*This is a specific label, even a technical term if you will, for the first generation or so of Jesus’ followers