|Fellowship of Evangelical Churches|
|Location||1420 Kerrway Court Fort Wayne, Indiana 46805|
|Membership||60 Churches |
|Former name(s)||Egly-Amish, Defenseless Mennonites, Evangelical Mennonite Church|
|Events||FEC Convention (Yearly)|
The FEC contains 60 churches located in Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
In the first half of 19th century, the time before the Amish split into Amish Mennonites and Old Order Amish, several members of the Amish Egly family immigrated from Baden, Germany to North America. Among them was Henry Egly (1824-1890). Egly was elected deacon of a Berne-Geneva Amish church in Indiana. In 1858, Egly was then elected bishop of the Berne-Geneva Amish Church. Egly, who insisted on the new birth experience, withdrew from the Amish church. Approximately half of the congregation withdrew as well. In 1866, the first Egly-Amish church was created in Berne, Indiana. In the beginning the Egly Amish church was very strict in regard to discipline and dress, but later developed in the same direction as the Amish Mennonites, that is towards the Mennonite mainstream, away from the Amish heritage.
The Egly-Amish officially adopted the name "Defenseless Mennonite" on 6 November 1908 as the congregation wanted to be known as more Mennonite rather than Amish.
In 1942, the Defenseless Mennonites were charter members in the founding of the National Association of Evangelicals. Later, in 1948, their name was changed to "Evangelical Mennonite Church" to reflect both their Anabaptist and Evangelical beliefs.
On 2 August 2003, the Evangelical Mennonite Church voted to be known as the "Fellowship of Evangelical Churches", or FEC.
The Defenseless Mennonite Conference published its Confession of Faith, Rules and Discipline in 1917. The confession of faith was revised in 1937, 1949, 1961, and 1980. It contains 12 articles of faith. The Lords supper is observed with open communion.
The conference office is located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The FEC organization is governed through a congregational form of governance. Local congregations elect delegates to a delegate body, which in turn elects the conference leadership. The conference is composed of 34 churches in the Midwest of the United States with 5278 members. Fifty-five percent of the churches are located in Illinois and Indiana. All FEC ministries are funded by voluntary donations of congregations and individuals.
These organizations have their own governing boards but are affiliated solely with the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches.