The Union of Evangelical Free Churches in Germany (Bund Evangelisch-Freikirchlicher Gemeinden in Deutschland – BEFG) is a free church. It is a corporation under public law. In 1941 Baptist and Brethren congregations in Germany merged to form the BEFG. The division of Germany after World War II also divided the BEFG. After the reunification the Unions of East and West Germany were also able to reunite. The headquarters of the BEFG is in Elstal near Berlin.
The BEFG sees itself as part of the worldwide Christian Church. Through the Union congegrations support each other and carry out projects they would not be able to implement on their own. The National Headquarters and the Departments in Elstal are partners for the local congregations. They offer a variety of material and programmes to support the local churches in shaping Christian life and community and sharing God’s love.
The BEFG consists of 12 Regional Associations. Leadership on a national level is provided by the elected voluntary Steering Committee and the salaried Executive Board. The National Council is the church’s parliament of all congregations and organisations within the Union, and the highest decision-making body of the BEFG. On a local level each congregation makes its own independent decisions.
The heart of church life is worship service. It does not follow one specific liturgy. The Bible as the Word of God and its interpretation in the sermon is central to this worship. Church life is also characterized by a strong community and active participation of members in all areas of church life.
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Translation: Dorothee Dziewas