The History

of the Association of Pentecostal Churches in Germany (BFP)

First beginnings

In the years 1906-1908 the first congregations of today's pentecostal movement were established in Germany and with them the history of church pentecostal movement began. The oldest congregations in the association from these years are found in Berlin, St. Ingbert and Velbert. Since 1922 the evangelist Heinrich Vietheer worked with the Berlin tent mission and founded many ELIM congregations. Other congregations joined this association.
The pentecostal movement spread in Eastern Europe among Germans, Poles and Russians and led to the emergence of the "Freie Christengemeinden" (Independent Christian Congregations). Since 1934 the evangelist Karl Fix worked, first in Berlin and later also in Württemberg. Together with Karl Keck and Paula Gassner, their ministry led to the emergence of the churches of "Volksmission". All of these mentioned congregations together with many others of different origin form our association of congregations today.

Oppression and war

In 1938, due to the political situation, the ELIM congregations merged with Baptists and Darbysts to form the "Bund Evangelisch Freikirchlicher Gemeinden" (BEFG). The " Independent Pentecostal Mission" in Berlin was banned by the Gestapo in 1936. The Second World War (1939-1945) with its consequences caused the dissolution of the congregations in the East and the destruction of a large number of congregational buildings. The believers who came to West Germany from the East and Southeast of Europe as a result of war and expulsion were often the founding members of new congregations.

The new beginning

The BFP traces its origin as a association back to the "Extended Brethren Conference" in Stuttgart in May 1947. Due to the turmoil and consequences of the Second World War, a new search and coming together of Pentecostal congregations and their leaders took place at the end of the 1940s. This resulted in the formation of the "Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Christengemeinden in Deutschland" (ACD) as a spectrum of the German Pentecostal movement, which in March 1954 gave itself a statutory and legal framework and was constituted as a registered association. Soon various covenant works were formed as a joint work of all the congregations: The Velbert Mission as an external mission, the BERÖA Theological Seminary, the former Leuchter Publishing House, and the Neulandmission (now Gemeindegründungswerk). Later, other works were added.

Church planting and church building were always central concerns, which were combined with the evangelistic work of the churches and works and led to further church growth.

In March 1974, the ACD was granted the rights of a public corporation in Hesse. In May 1982 the name was changed to "Bund Freikirchlicher Pfingstgemeinden".

After several years of guest membership in the Association of Evangelical Free Churches (VEF), the BFP was accepted as a full member in 2000.