The story of the group of believers now known as “Wethersfield Evangelical Free Church” begins in 1888. At that time, many Christians in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark were becoming dissatisfied with the dominance of the state over the (Lutheran) church, as well as the state church’s lack of spiritual vitality. A movement began in Scandinavia where people sought to return to the Bible as their authority, and to have a personal relationship with God, through Jesus. At first, these gatherings were part of the established church. However, church authorities soon pressured them to either abandon their ways, or withdraw. They chose to withdraw, and began establishing “Free Churches,” i.e., churches which were “free” from the control of the state.
As the Scandinavians began immigrating to the United States, they brought their “Free Churches” with them. In 1888, a work among Danish people in Hartford was organized as the “Scandinavian Evangelical Free Mission.” The small group grew from meeting in homes to holding pubic worship services.
In 1907, a new church building was dedicated at 170 Benton St., Hartford. In 1935, the members adopted a constitution and by-laws, now translated into English to reflect the growing “Americanization” of the Congregation. In 1938, the church voted to change their name to the “Evangelical Free Church of Hartford.”
By God’s grace and under the leadership of many faithful pastors and members, the church grew to the point where they purchased property in Wethersfield and constructed a new building and parsonage. In 1961, the new church was dedicated with the name, “Wethersfield Community Church – an Evangelical Free Church.” In 1988, our name was changed to “Wethersfield Evangelical Free Church.” An expansion of our facilities was completed in 1999.
Our present congregation is here today because of the leadership and sacrifice of those who went before us. We thank God for their vision and godly leadership. Today, we honor our Scandinavian roots, yet our congregation reflects the diversity of the Greater Hartford region. We see that community as the first beneficiary of our church. Our prayer is that our neighbors in Wethersfield and the surrounding communities see us as a church that genuinely cares for them and their needs.