In The Beginning…
In 1995, five families who moved to Becker from other communities met together and asked God if they should plant a new Evangelical Free Church. Once convinced that God was giving them the green light, they decided to jump through the hurdles, and in September of 1996, Becker Evangelical Free Church was born. They began holding weekly church services at the Becker Elementary School. For the first year this fledgling group was without a pastor but managed to find speakers for 52 Sundays. Exactly one year after holding the first public service, Pastor Dave Van Wingerden, with his wife Cherie, came on board as the full-time Senior Pastor.
Quickly, the church began to expand, and in March of 1998 the membership ratified their constitution and became an official member of the North Central District of the Evangelical Free Church of America. September 2021 will mark the 25th anniversary of the church.
In 2004 Chris Salvevold joined BEFC as Associate Pastor of Youth Ministries. BEFC Youth Ministries have grown over the years to not only serve the youth in our church but also youth from the surrounding communities. Pastor Chris is intentional about sharing the gospel with students, helping them grow strong in their faith, and training them up to be strong leaders who go out into the world and are a light in their communities.
In November of 2007, BEFC purchased 21 acres of land, where our offices are currently located. Pastor Dave Van Wingerden “retired” in 2011 and moved to Haiti where he served for 2 years with Jesus in Haiti Ministries before returning to the states to serve churches through Interim Pastor Ministries.
In 2012 Patrick Drury was called to join our wonderful team and served as Senior Pastor. In November 2014 we began holding worship services in the High School auditorium. At the beginning of 2022 Pastor Drury announced that he felt called to serve in peacemaking ministry. He resigned as Senior Pastor at the end of February 2022. During the months that followed our Worship Ministry Director announced that she was feeling led to retire and she ended her time with us at the end of May 2022.
In March 2022 we were blessed to have Pastor Jerry Deppa join us as Interim Pastor as we seek a senior pastor. We also have a church family member, Blake Paulson, step up to fill the role of Worship Coordinator.
BEFC is currently walking through the steps towards a pastoral transition and Pastor Jerry stepped down as our interim pastor in April 2023. We are working on the steps leading up to hiring a new full time senior pastor, and hope to have one in place by fall 2023.
While we paid off the property mortgage in 2019, we prayerfully believe God desires us to keep meeting in the Becker Public Schools until he leads us elsewhere. This gives us an abundant opportunity to remain well connected to our community and the families God has called us to reach for Christ. We are well represented among the teachers, athletic coaches and within the Becker student body; which highlights our strong children’s and youth ministries for our community. Many others bring Christ with them to their neighborhoods and workplaces every day!
We are blessed to see God’s gospel alive and working within our church to strengthen relationships and reconcile more and more people to God and one another through Jesus Christ!