Greek Evangelical Church
Evangelical mission work started in Greece in 1858 with the publication of the magazine Astir tis Anatolis (the Star of the East) by a Greek physician and theologian. Soon, Greek Evangelical groups were formed in the main cities. Another evangelical movement among Greeks begun in Asia Minor (Turkey) by the American Board of Foreign Mission was carried on by Greek pastors and missionaries. In 1922, with the catastrophe of the Greek populations in Turkey and their expulsion to Greece, a united body of the Greek Evangelical churches was created, which continues its work to this day.
The Greek Evangelical Church ascribes ultimate authority to the scriptures and is conservative in its theology. Church attendance is high. Much emphasis is given to Sunday schools and the youth movement. The general assembly of the church meets every two years, while local assemblies, consisting of pastors and elders, meet once a year. Lay persons participate actively in church activities and administration. Volunteer workers are engaged in the church's diaconal work. There are churches outside Greece, in Germany and the USA, belonging to the GEC.
The GEC maintains a mission in southern Albania and in Bulgaria. It has founded an inter-Balkan centre of ongoing biblical education named "Michael Kalopothakes". The church is very active in welfare and ecological activities. It sustains a detoxification centre for drug addicts, a home for the elderly, a centre for the feeding of immigrants and a "clean city" environmental programme. Its magazine, the Star of the East, has created a small publishing house, and produces documentary films about the history and the present work of the GEC, while it created and supports the website of the church. The church runs three camps for children and adults.