The birth of The Evangelical Church of North America took place formally in Portland, Oregon on June 4, 1968, and while it is one of the newest denominations, its roots go deep into history. Its heritage in this country goes back to the 1780's during the days of John Wesley. Beyond that, it goes back to the great commission of Jesus Christ our Lord (Matthew 28: 18-20) and to the Church that was born at Pentecost (Acts 2).
The Pacific Conference is made up of 53 churches of all sizes in Oregon and Washington.
The Evangelical Church was born June 4, 1968, in Portland, Oregon, when 46 congregations and about 80 pastors met in an organizing session. Within two weeks a group of twenty churches and thirty pastors from Montana and North Dakota became a part of the new church. These congregations and ministers had been a part of the Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church.
The spiritual roots of The Evangelical Church go back to the ministry of Arminius, the 17th century theologian, and to the Wesleyan revival. Certain distinctives were prominent in motivating the people who formed the new denomination, and those distinctives continue to guide the church's life, program, and devotion, which includes:
- Interchurch relationship limited to Biblically sound spiritual fellowship.
- Faithful, Biblical and sensible preaching and teaching of those truths proclaimed by the scholars of the Wesleyan-Arminian viewpoint.
- An itinerant system which reckons with the rights of individuals and the desires of the congregations.
- Local ownership of all local church properties and assets.
The former Holiness Methodist Church became a part of The Evangelical Church in 1969, bringing its local churches, ministry and membership, along with a flourishing mission field in Bolivia. The Wesleyan Covenant Church joined in 1977, along with its missionary work in Mexico and Brownsville, Texas, as well as its work among the Navajo Indians in New Mexico.
Today the Pacific Conference of the Evangelical Church is made up of fifty-three churches through out Oregon and Washington. We have large churches and small churches; churches in rural areas and churches in large metropolitan areas. We believe the local church is a place of grace and growth where there is flexibility in worship. The Pacific Conference serves to support and build healthy local churches by providing assistance in Pastoral Leadership Development, training and resources for TurnAround Pastors, and financial assistance and personnel for planting new churches.
The 66 books of the Old and New Testament are the writing through which God has communicated His plan for humanity. They are authored by God through human instruments and are without mistakes as originally written. Therefore they carry the full authority of God. As such they represent the complete revelation of His will for salvation and contain all that is necessary to live a life pleasing to Him.
There is but one true and living God, creator of all things, eternally existing in three person: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three are perfect (holy) and of equal dignity and power. Each person of the Godhead has a vital role in the salvation of mankind and in enabling individuals to lead a life pleasing to God.
Man is created in God's spiritual image to have a relationship with Him and rule the earth on His behalf. However, as a result of man's disobedience (sin), he is separated from God, with no hope of restoration apart from God's intervention.
Salvation is the restoration of an individual's relationship with God. It is possible because God the Father so loved mankind that He sent His son (Jesus Christ), who willingly sacrificed His life to forgive our sins and then rose again, enabling His Holy Spirit to dwell in us. Salvation can only be obtained when an individual turns from disobedience (repents) and receives God's gracious gift through faith in Jesus Christ.
Sanctification is God's will for those who have been restored to a relationship with Him. Having freed them from the penalty of sin through faith in His Son, God now requires that believers live holy lives, set apart (sanctified) from the power of sin. A sanctified life is only possible through reliance upon the Holy Spirit and daily surrender to His presence.
All believers in Christ are united by their faith and are part of the spiritual body of Christ which is His Church. Each member plays a unique essential role in fulfilling the mission of spreading the message of salvation and displaying the love of God. Through teaching, prayer, fellowship, service, and worship, the Church provides the believer with the support they need to fulfill the mission.
At the end of time, Christ will come again. He will divide the believers in Christ from the unbelievers. Those who have rejected Christ will be eternally separated from God and suffer endless punishment in hell. Those who have believed in Christ will go on to endless life in heaven.