The Evangelical Covenant Church is a rapidly growing multiethnic denomination in the United States and Canada with ministries on five continents of the world and more than 800 congregations in the United States. Founded in 1885 by Swedish immigrants, the ECC values the Bible as the word of God, the gift of God’s grace and ever-deepening spiritual life that comes through a faith with Jesus Christ, the importance of extending God’s love and compassion to a hurting world, and the strength that comes from unity within diversity.
The Evangelical Covenant Church is:
- Evangelical, but not exclusive
- Biblical, but not doctrinaire
- Traditional, but not rigid
- Congregational, but not independent
Identity and Biblical Mission
We are united by Christ in a holy covenant of churches empowered by the Holy Spirit to obey the great commandments and the great commission: to love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to go into all the world and make disciples.
Vision for Mission
- to cultivate communities of worship committed to: prayer, preaching, and study of the word; the celebration of the sacraments; and fellowship across gender, race, age, culture, and class.
- to equip loving, giving, growing Christians to reach out with the good news of Jesus Christ – evangelizing the lost, ministering to those in need, and seeking justice for the oppressed.
Portage Lake Covenant Bible Camp – known affectionately as PLCBC or just Portage Lake – is one of the most important partners of First Evangelical Covenant Church. This 60 acre camp is located on Portage Lake in Onekama, just north of Manistee and just over a 2-hour drive from Grand Rapids. From its very beginning in 1946, this camp has had an important place in the collective heart of FirstCovGr. Our members have attended, been involved, spent time at, worked at, volunteered at, recreated at, met Christ at, made friends and found spouses at Portage Lake. Our members have generously supported the ministry and the physical development of the camp. We enthusiastically seek to utilize this place – especially through encouraging children and students to be involved in the summer camping program, families involved at Family Camp, and others to experience retreat life through the school year at Portage Lake (women’s, men’s, jr high and sr. high, elementary children, etc.).
The mission of the camp is to see every life impacted for Christ. You can find out more at http://portagelake.org/.
An important part of the mission of the Evangelical Covenant Church has been to senior adults. This has been true from the earliest years of our church. Covenant Retirement Communities is the part of the church directly committed to that ministry.
Covenant Village of the Great Lakes, just a mile from FirstCovGr, is one of 14 communities throughout the country (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota , and Washington). First Covenant Church provided early leadership in the development of this community. Many of our members are residents, and many residents become members. We treasure our connection with this community.
You can find out more at http://www.covenantgreatlakes.org