A new religious denomination with roots in Swedish Lutheranism was introduced to America. It was the Swedish Mission Church, with new headquarters in Chicago. It subsequently became the Evangelical Covenant Church, also known as: “The Covenant” or simply “ECC” and we are one of its longest serving local churches. Today the ECC is a rapidly growing multi-ethnic denomination in the U.S. and Canada with ministries on five continents of the globe.
Our local church roots go back to 1889. That was the year a small Swedish Mission Church was chartered in Springfield, Massachusetts. Its 12 members, all Swedes, with few resources, met in their homes. But God blessed this fledgling group – and they started to grow.
In just five years they sacrificially raised $4,000 to buy a building on John Street in Springfield’s North End. They continued to grow, so when a 1906 fire consumed their little building, they built another adding a third floor and a steeple. In 1930, the building was brick-veneered, and that house of worship remained essentially unchanged for 20 years. But with continued increase in membership through the ’30s and ’40s and no adjacent land on which to expand, it was time to move.
In 1953, literally miraculously, a large tract of land was acquired on the corner of Plumtree and Bradley Roads, in the expanding Sixteen Acres section of Springfield, and a new church was constructed. Predictably, the new building began filling up, so the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s saw additions for a parsonage, Sunday School classes, fellowship space, a larger nursery, parking, and offices. Finally in 1997-99 the sanctuary was dramatically expanded, and a full court gymnasium, 100-seat chapel, and new kitchen were added to bring the church to what you see today.
From the beginning, this family of believers has been called to be God’s witnesses, to bear fruit to His glory in this community. Having been firmly rooted in His Word, our greatest desire is to remain faithful to that calling.