"A healthy church is one that is confident in its beliefs, secure in the love of the God it serves and certain that part of its reason for existence is to reach those people whose relationship with God is weak, insignificant or nonexistent."
"To break down dividing walls and restore relationships between people groups and invest heavily into the next generation of believers."
In March of 1980, Shekinah Christian Center was started by Roger Lucas and Mike Shea as a non-denominational church plant in the Longview/Kelso area. Evangel Christian Fellowship was sent out by Shekinah in February 1991 to plant another church with Jeff Hoover serving as pastor.
From the beginning, the leadership at Evangel felt like there was a specific reason for starting this new work. There was a sense that Evangel was to intentionally pursue relationships with other churches, working hard to break down walls between groups who have been called to walk in unity as the body of Christ.
For the first year, Evangel met at a local union hall on Sunday mornings and Sunday nights. Sunday nights were devoted to bringing in local pastors and leaders, exposing the people at ECF to different styles and perspectives of "the church." We were then invited to share a facility with a church that was then called Church of the Risen Savior, meeting in the evenings at 5:00 PM. This unique meeting time allowed us to visit and support other local area churches on Sunday mornings, putting feet to our vision of working to bridge the gap between church groups.
In August of 1994, Evangel was invited to move to New Covenant Christian Fellowship which met on Commerce Ave. We met together as one group for 4 months, after which time we moved back to our familiar 5:00 PM time slot and shared the facility with New Covenant for the next 3 years.
To try to make room for the growing numbers of small children that were attending ECF and the need for more classroom space, in September 1997, we had the opportunity to meet at First Christian Church on Kessler Blvd. Meeting in this very traditional church was an honor, as well as a challenge for this contemporary group. We continued to meet for our main service at 5:00 PM on Sundays and added a mid-week service on Tuesday evenings.
During the winter of 1998, Evangel had the opportunity to lease the building that had previously housed Marauder’s Bingo on 11th Ave. We spent the next 18-months cleaning and remodeling the facility to accommodate a meeting area, classrooms, office space and a coffeehouse.
The work on the building was finished in June of 2001 and is busy almost every night of the week, providing a place to gather together, encourage each other, and reach out to the community with the love of Jesus.