History of the Evangelical Free Church of America
The Evangelical Free Church of America traces its roots to Scandinavia where various Lutheran and other evangelical churches formed the Swedish Evangelical Free Church. In the l880s, a branch of the denomination took shape in the U.S. and in l950, a merger between the Swedish Evangelical Free Church and the Norwegian-Dutch Evangelical Free Church came about along with a new name: The Evangelical Free Church of America. Prior to the merger, many EFC churches in America held services in their “mother tongue.” After the merger, English became the predominant language in EFCA worship services.
What does Evangelical Free mean?
Evangelical: This term refers to our commitment to proclaim the Gospel (Greek: evangelion, translated, “good news”). Of first importance to evangelicals is sharing the Good News of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
Free: When the denomination was formed in Scandinavia following a religious revival in northern Europe in the mid-l850s, “Free” referred to freedom from government control. In terms of theology, it refers to the autonomy of each church in governing themselves without state or denominational interference.