Picture of the founder of Evangelical Covenant Church of America,
Carl August Björk
Swedish Lutheran immigrants founded the Swedish Evangelical Mission Covenant of America (now ECC) on February 20, 1885, in Chicago, Illinois.
A pietistic religious awakening had swept through Sweden around the middle of the 19th century. Out of this awakening and reformation came the Swedish Mission Covenant Church in 1878. The state church discouraged the gathering of these believers. It was people from this movement that emigrated to America and formed the Swedish Evangelical Mission Covenant of America. Early leaders and influences included PP Waldenström, 1838–1917 and David Nyvall, 1863–1946, among others. They desired to create a voluntary covenant of churches that were committed to sharing the Gospel of Jesus, as well as provide means for ministerial training. The name was changed to the Evangelical Covenant Church of America in 1954 and the "of America" was eventually abandoned because the denomination includes a Canadian conference.