What is the meaning of “Evangelisch-Freikirchliche Gemeinde”?
“Evangelisch” is derived from the Greek word “evangelium”, which refers to the Good News of Jesus Christ. This message is as new and valid for us today as it was 2000 years ago. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is risen from the dead and invisibly present in our lives today. Through Him we are able to experience a personal relationship with God.
“Freikirchlich” is part of our name because we stand for freedom of religion and the church. Therefore, the clear separation of church and state is important to us. We do not participate in the German church-tax system. Our church budget is financed completely by private donations. Because we believe that authentic faith is always the expression of a person’s free choice, we advocate the freedom of religion worldwide.
“Gemeinde” refers to the community of people who believe in Jesus Christ. Although we come from different countries and backgrounds, represent different generations and bring with us our own unique personality, we belong together. The spirit of God creates a deep connection between Christians. The colorful diversity of completely different people and generations is one of the riches of the Christian community. Guests and friends are always very welcome to participate in our church services and other church activities which make up our community life.
“Baptisten” is what we are called worldwide. One characteristic of our church is that we do not baptize infants, but only people who have made a conscious, personal decision of faith. As they studied the Bible, Christians during the Reformation rediscovered this strong connection between belief, baptism, and community. These so called “submergers” founded their first congregation in 1525 in Zürich. Despite intense persecution, the movement continued to grow. In 1608 the representatives of this movement were simply called “Baptists”, from the Greek word “Baptizo”. Today approximately 45 million adults are members of Baptist churches worldwide, making the Baptist church one of the largest protestant churches in the world. We are a member of the “Bund Evangelisch-Freikirchlicher Gemeinden” (Union of Evangelical Free Churches in Germany), which includes about 840 church fellowships.
Our belief in Jesus Christ unites us with fellow believers in other churches. We seek to embrace and live out the unity of all Christians. The Baptist Church of Pfaffenhofen is a member of the “Evangelische Allianz” (German Evangelical Alliance) and the “Arbeitsgemeinschaft Christlicher Kirchen in Deutschland” ACK (Council of Christian Churches in Germany).