Evangel was birthed in 2010 when returning from missions work in Rwanda and Burundi, Pastor Ian was unable to find a church which he and his family felt comfortable to join. It seemed that at one end of the spectrum church was full of religion and tradition, whilst at the other it was weird and whacky. Neither fully represented the type of church a family of born again, Spirit filled, Bible believing Christians would choose. Worse still Ian was unable to recognise the gospel that was being preached (if there was any) as the gospel of Christ.
To Ian, as a Pentecostal Christian, it was unthinkable to join a church that denies the gifts of the Spirit as being for today. However it seemed to him on the other hand that in many of the charismatic churches the Gospel of Christ had largely been replaced with a "name it claim it" gospel of "prosperity", among other false gospels.
Further, many pastors and teachers had become little more than motivational speakers teaching their congregations how to train their flesh rather than crucify it. The choice it appeared boiled down to one between church with little or no evidence of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, or church that uses the Holy Spirit as an excuse to do whatever strange things people's "feelings" lead them to. Neither of these were appropriate. What was required was a church that places a high emphasis on the Bible as being the final authority in all matters, a church in which the Word and the Spirit are in balance.
Thankfully for Ian and his family, he was led to Sidmouth where he found that there were many like minded Christians also struggling to find churches with which they could fellowship. On 6th June 2010 Evangel held it's first Sunday morning service in the Arts Centre at the Manor Pavilion Theatre (The church now meets at the St. John's International School, Broadway, Sidmouth, EX10 8RG). Throughout it's formative months, as Evangel was being established, it became evident that the church should remain independent of denominational-ism.
As others joined from various church backgrounds at either end of the church spectrum, it became obvious that sound biblical teaching was far more important than belonging to a particular organisation or putting the church "in a box with a label".
Evangel was however, delighted to be offered counsel from Godly men such as Geoffrey Smith (former leader of Christian Friends of Israel UK) and also to be accepted to come under the covering of Christian Ministerial Fellowship International (CMFI). Evangel enjoys an active relationship with CMFI and the Rev John Angliss who is Chairman of the CMFI council of Elders.
Evangel's Senior Pastor, Rev Ian Huxham is ordained by this organisation and also serves on the Council of Elders. Pastor Ian still visits the Great Lakes Region of Central East Africa and Evangel supports a number of Pastors and ministries there. Evangel is also a keen supporter of Prayer For Israel and partners with a ministry in Tel Aviv.