The History of ECFCUK
Established in 1979 with a handful of faithful believers desiring to worship God in their mother tongue in UK, ECFCUK slowly and steadily progressed into a full-fledged Church in 1994 and continues in its expansion throughout its generations today.
Over these years growth was fuelled from two sources. In the initial stages of the Church’s history, this was predominantly through the arrival of evangelical Christians from Ethiopia, whereby small gatherings led towards the ‘milestone meeting’ in 1980 in Preston, England, organised by the family of Morrin and Kasaye Degefu alongside Dr Abraham. Here, the creation of links among members who were in different locations, isolated, were able to be given practical assistance to what their needs required. Alongside this growth, in central London there was a birth of small fellowship home gatherings housed by sisters, Megbar and Meseret Tefera alongside Melesse Mergia in October 1980. Here, there was space for fellowship and encouragement among Ethiopian Christians in Britain who had come to London for different reasons including study and starting life. This led to fast growth in home fellowship numbers and the beginning of a main service was very much needed. The first weekly gathering service was held by 12 Christians at Kensington Temple building and continued every Saturday afternoon. Soon after, London became home to ECFUK. 1990 and thereafter growth had primarily been through the evangelization and salvation of Ethiopians and Eritreans living in the UK, to which the Lord has increased our number. It was apparent for the Leadership team to then draw a constitution and structure the church with a Board of Trustees, mandating the Board of Elders along with Deacons, to be responsible for the day-to-day engagement and movement of the spiritual aspects within the church. In both cases the sovereign hand of the Lord has been upon us as a Church and has brought about this growth and increment for which we unfailingly give him all the glory!
The name ‘Ethiopian Christian Fellowship Church in the UK’ was a natural progression from the name of the Fellowship which was coined in 1979 (Ethiopian Christian Fellowship of Great Britain) and at its transition into a Church in 1994, the current name was favoured as a true and faithful reflection of the Church’s diverse denominational background. Throughout the church’s years of ministry, the search to find suitable accommodation to hold its meetings, fellowship gatherings and other church activities was deemed unfortunate, however by the mercy and kindness of the Lord, He opened the door for us to acquire our own building. The Tabernacle, in Central London in 2009 was ECFCUK’s to hold all our meetings and fellowship gatherings in, financed, alongside with the rest of the church’s expenditures by the weekly collections and gifts from its members. The church, as its finance allows, has used it through participation in developmental work in Ethiopia. Within the past, it has provided medical equipment to the Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa, supported evangelism work in rural parts of Ethiopia and provided financial support for those in need, in particular children. This, alongside nurturing of the community within London, a feeding programme for the homeless in central has also been able to occur. ECFCUK’s finance is audited on an annual basis and reports are sent as a registered Company Limited by law, with the Company House and as Charity with the Charity Commission since 2015.
The church has focused its ministry on six-value statements - to be righteous, to honour God, to love one another, to be disciple of Jesus Christ, to be trustworthy, and to demonstrate Christ in practical living. The vision of the church revolves around implementing these six-value statements, and so the church is continually praying for future direction and growth in the things of the Lord. Alongside this ECFCUK has acknowledged the opportunities to extend its ministries within the United Kingdom, to train the young members of the church to play a more proactive role, using its long-time experience the church can contribute to giving awareness in various areas, using its easily accessible location ECFCUK can organise trainings for other churches, open its building for other Christian activities and sponsor evangelism programmes. The current number of members within church is estimated to be approximately between 300 – 400 people, with new members joining, alongside some leaving to spread the Gospel and reach out to Ethiopians and Eritreans living in London and elsewhere in the UK. The number of children and youth within the church is growing and housing both our Children’s Sunday School and Youth ministry which has been fruitful, with a potential for a future English led service within ECFCUK as its generations are for Christ.