Evangelical Covenant Church

Evangelical Covenant Church
Evangelical Covenant Church logo.svg
ClassificationProtestant
Orientationevangelical Pietistic
RegionUnited States, Canada
Origin1885
www.covchurch.org
Covenant Yearbook, 2011–2012

The Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) is a pietistic[1] Christian denomination in the evangelical Protestant tradition of more than 800 congregations and an average worship attendance of 178,000 people[2][page needed] in the United States and Canada with ministries on five continents. Founded in 1885 by Swedish immigrants, the church is now one of the most rapidly growing and multi-ethnic denominations in North America.[3] Historically Lutheran in theology and background, it is now a broadly evangelical movement.

Background

Picture of the founder of Evangelical Covenant Church of America, Carl August Björk [sv]

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.

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