Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches

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Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches
Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches Logo.gif
Logo of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches.
Classification Protestant
Orientation Evangelical
Theology Reformed[1]
Polity Independent
Leader John Stevens is the FIEC Director (wef 1 September 2010)
Associations FIEC is linked to Affinity, which was previously called the British Evangelical Council.[2]
Region mainly United Kingdom
Founder Rev Edward Joshua Poole-Connor[3]
Origin FIEC was formed in 1922 under the name A Fellowship of Undenominational and Unattached Churches and Missions, but was later renamed The Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches.
Congregations 500[4]
Members 22,000[4]
Official website http://www.fiec.org.uk

The Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC) is a network of over 500 independent, evangelical churches mainly in the United Kingdom that preach an evangelical faith.

History[edit]

The FIEC was formed in 1922 under the name A Fellowship of Undenominational and Unattached Churches and Missions, but was later renamed The Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches. The Fellowship brought together many independent churches and mission halls, which had been somewhat isolated.[3]

The FIEC is in the Independent/Congregationalist tradition, which traces its roots back to separatists, such as Robert Browne in the time of Elizabeth I and James I of England. For example Westminster Chapel, a leading church in the Independent/Congregationalist tradition, joined the FIEC when the Congregational Union merged with the English Presbyterian Church to form the United Reformed Church denomination (URC). A number of Baptist churches are also represented in the FIEC.

Former Presidents include Rev. Theodore Harold Bendor-Samuel (1967, 1978).[5]

Fellowship Trust[edit]

FIEC Limited is a registered charity and trust corporation working under the title Fellowship Trust. It manages the trusts of some 230 evangelical churches. The company’s function is to safeguard a church’s doctrinal position and any other conditions of its Trust Deed.

Relations with other churches[edit]

FIEC is the largest corporate partner of Affinity, which was previously called the British Evangelical Council.[2]

They also believe that Ecumenism in the form of Churches Together is not a positive move, citing various reasons including the liberal stance of other churches.[6] The Trust Board has recently affirmed that formal membership of Churches Together (CT) is inconsistent with the FIEC Statement on Ecumenism.[citation needed] However a number of fellowships publicly profess their affiliation to CT.

Allegations of engagement in ecumenism by a missionary to Poland of Carey Baptist Church have also been made in articles in the July 2009[7] and January 2010[8] issues of the Bible League Quarterly,[9] a journal once edited by the Fellowship's own founder, Rev E. J. Poole-Connor.[3] This is regarded as controversial as it is alleged to be a violation of the Fellowship's own statement in 1996 opposing ecumenism.[10] As an association of autonomous churches, the FIEC has defended the responsibility of Carey's elders to examine the allegations, but declined to examine them independently. The concerns were first raised in November 2008.[11] On March 23, 2012, a modified statement on ecumenism was published [6] and the old withdrawn.[10] Further concerns about connections between prominent FIEC personalities and the Polish ecclesiastical scene were raised in 2012.[12]

Pastors[edit]

The FIEC believes the classical Complementarian view which recognises that the distinctive calling to be a pastor or elder in the local church, and to be the head of the home, is a calling for men. It also recognises and encourages a wide calling of ministries within the church for women and men.[13] [14]

Notable member churches[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ www.fiec.org.uk/about-us/beliefs
  2. ^ a b Affinity. "The FIEC is the largest constituent member body of those which make up Affinity."
  3. ^ a b c E J Poole Connor short biography retrieved May 18, 2010
  4. ^ a b http://www.fiec.org.uk/AboutUs/tabid/446/Default.aspx
  5. ^ [1] Theodore Bendor-Samuel, April 1998, Evangelical Times
  6. ^ a b "FIEC's policy on uniting with other churches and groups". FIEC statement on Gospel Unity, official website. Archived from the original on 2014-05-28. Retrieved 2014-05-28. 
  7. ^ Bible League Quarterly, July 2009
  8. ^ Bible League Quarterly, January 2010
  9. ^ Bible League Quarterly retrieved May 18, 2010
  10. ^ a b the 1996 FIEC Council Statement on Ecumenism
  11. ^ Published appeal for action retrieved August 6, 2010
  12. ^ Bible League Quarterly, October 2012
  13. ^ http://www.cofe.anglican.org/info/papers/womenbishops.pdf
  14. ^ http://www.fiec.org.uk/Home/SupportingWomeninministry/tabid/522/Default.aspx

External links[edit]