The Evangelical Free Church of America (efca.org) and The North Central District of the EFCA (ncdefca.org)
“We are committed to Jesus Christ, to the gospel and to one another. As an association of churches that aligns itself with the same Statement of Faith, we are distinct yet deeply connected.” Currently in the United States there are about 1,500 congregations supported by 17 districts.
New immigrant families settling in the Midwest in the late 1800s began gathering in homes to study the Bible and worship. By 1884, several churches were sharing a treasury for ministry partnerships. In 1950, two existing collections of churches merged—the Norwegian Danish and Swedish Evangelical Free Church Associations—to become the Evangelical Free Church of America. The EFCA does not consider itself a denomination in the traditional sense, but rather an association of autonomous, like-minded churches. Churches in the EFCA can look very different from one another, but they all hold the same basic beliefs, as spelled out in this Statement of Faith.
Today, our district of the EFCA is a source of support, networking, and resources for local church ministry.
Acts 29 Network, Upper Midwest Region
“The mission of Acts 29 is to band together churches, which, for the sake of Jesus and the gospel, plant new churches and replant dead and dying churches around the world. This work is done in obedience to the great commission (Matt. 28:18-20), with the goal of seeing millions of lives changed by the power of the good news of Jesus Christ. Acts 29 exists to resource church planters and church-planting pastors around the world. We accomplish this through recruitment, assessment, development.”
Acts 29 is a church planting network that started in the late 90s. Antioch is part of the Upper Midwest Region. Our regional leader is Steve Treichler, who is also the lead pastor of our “mother church” Hope Community Church. The regional leadership oversees the recruitment, assessment, and development of planters, and provides resources and events for Acts 29 churches. The Gospel Men conference and Mission 1618 are examples of these.
Acts 29 is also not a denomination, but all churches in the network have to agree on a few key things. The Acts 29 Theological Distinctives are a little more specific than the EFCA’s Statement of Faith, but they are not contradictory. The two networks provide us with different relationships and different resources, which makes the two together a great combination for us.
Shamineau Ministries is the umbrella organization for Camp Shamineau in Motley, Minnesota, Rock Ridge Camp in Ely, Minnesota, and Shamineau International which runs camps all over the world. They are also affiliated with the EFCA, although anyone is welcome. Camp Shamineau is also where we have had Retreats in the past! Their mission statement is “To create relevant camping experiences for children and youth for the purpose of: 1. Sharing the Gospel of Christ, 2. Encouraging growth in Christ, 3. Providing training for the Christian leaders of tomorrow. Shamineau Ministries exists to support the church and is committed to providing programs that advance that goal.”
The Sheridan Story is a local organization that gets food into the backpacks of kids who live with food insecurity to feed them over the weekends. Antioch sponsors Pillsbury Elementary School, in Northeast Minneapolis, by delivering bags to kids there every Friday. The Sheridan Story handles all of the logistics from packing the food bags, delivering them to the school, providing permission slips in multiple languages, and more! We are so appreciative that they have figured out a way to help us as a church family love our community in a meaningful way.