World Evangelical Congregational Fellowship
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The World Evangelical Congregational Fellowship is a global association of evangelical Christian Congregational Churches, from various national associations around the world, which is united by a common belief in the lordship of Jesus Christ and the authority of the Bible, as well as by its common desire for evangelism. Its existence is aided by the historical prevalence of Congregational missionaries who planted churches in places as varied as Ireland and Micronesia.
Origins and purpose
The idea for the WECF began at a series of annual meetings of the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference in the early 1980s, when a number of international delegates at the American meetings expressed an interest in solidifying relationships with other evangelical congregationalists across the globe. A constitutional framework for the Fellowship was ultimately agreed upon, and the WECF held its inaugural assembly in October 1986, in Sussex, England. Its stated purpose is:
- To promote fellowship and cooperative endeavour in the faith, polity and work of evangelical Congregational associations and churches throughout the world.
- To preserve the historic Congregational commitment to the Lordship of Christ and the infallibility of His Word, and
- To present to the world a witness to our oneness in Christ as evangelical Congregationalists.
- Fellowship of Congregational Churches in Australia (∗)
- Congregational Christian Churches in Canada
- Congregational Church in Chuuk (∗∗)
- Congregational Union of Ireland (∗)
- Congregational Union of New Zealand (∗∗)
- Conservative Congregational Christian Conference, USA (∗)
- Evangelical Churches Association (Congregational), Manipur, India
- Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches in South Africa (∗∗)
- Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches, UK (∗)
- Evangesco-Kongresanska Crkva Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
- National Association of Congregational Churches in the Philippines
- Union of Congregational Churches in Portugal (∗)
- Union of Evangelical Congregational Churches in Brazil (∗)
- Union of Evangelical Congregational Churches in Bulgaria
(∗ Founding Member and participant in the inaugural assembly)
(∗∗ Founding Member but unrepresented at the inaugural assembly)
The WECF is overseen by a number of executive officers from different nations: including a President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, and several members-at-large. It presently meets triennially, with a smaller-scale mid-term meeting, every year and a half. The current President of the WECF is the Rev. Alan Best, from Padstow Chinese Congregational Church, Australia.