We trace our roots to the year 1910 when the Welsh Missionary by the name of Watkin R. Roberts, visited the Hmar village of Senvon in the northeast Indian state of Manipur for only 5 days. The new Christian converts in Manipur were prohibited from building churches and taking collections for the pastors and preachers. Increasing restrictions imposed on them only increased the boldness they received from God to share their faith. Full freedom came with India’s Independence in 1947. Their leader, Mr. H. K. Bawichhuaka, was imprisoned in 1945 and 1946 for fighting for freedom to worship God as Christians, and for his support of India’s Freedom Movement.
The Mission which Mr. Watkin Roberts founded was called the Thado-Kuki Pioneer Mission. This was later changed to North East India General Mission so as to include all of northeast India in 1924, and had its office in Lakhipur village, located in Cachar, Assam. Due to the early Christians’ aspiration to spread the Gospel to Burma, it was renamed Indo-Burma Pioneer Mission in 1930.
In 1958, under Rochunga Pudaite’s leadership, the name of the Mission was changed to Partnership Mission.
Then in 1972, with the fast growth in the number of local churches in India, the organization of these churches in its annual meeting adopted the name Evangelical Free Church of India to become a separate identity from the Mission, and Partnership Mission became the arm of the Church in India.
In Burma (Myanmar), due to the growing difficulties with the military government in that country, and at the same time the steady growth of the church to over 20,000 members, the leaders adopted the name Evangelical Free Church of Burma (now Myanmar) with complete autonomy to carry on the work of the Church in Myanmar.
The Evangelical Free Church of India is a fellowship of believing Christians in India affiliated to, among other Christian organizations, the International Federation of Free Evangelical Church (IFFEC) – a Federation of more than 40 national churches around the world. The EFCI became a full member of the IFFEC on August 16, 1994 in Kristiansand, Norway during the General Conference.