Iglesia Evangelica Dominicana
In 1911 the Evangelical Union of Puerto Rico, sent two missionaries: Philo W. Drury and Nathan H. Huffman, to visit the Dominican Republic, in order to study the conditions and possibilities for the establishment of the missionary work of the Protestant denominations.
These emissaries returned to Puerto Rico with great enthusiasm and optimism, presenting a detailed and comprehensive report, which titled “The Occupation of Santo Domingo by the Evangelical Churches.” As a result of this visit and the report submitted, the American Bible Society sent three canvassers: the Revs. David Coles, Lorenzo Martinez and Tomas Ojeda, who in addition to the distribution of the Holy Scriptures, explore the possibilities for the start of evangelistic work.
After a series of discussions, in 1918 denominational representatives met in the premises of the YMCA in San Juan, Puerto Rico in order to develop a plan together to work in Dominican Republic, where the need for a Mission Board was widely discussed for project management, handling Drs. James A. Mcallister and Philo W. Drury and for the drafting of statutes which including the following goals:
Extension activity evangelical churches.
Establishment of a medical service, a hospital and a nursing school.
Organization of primary and secondary schools.
Development of social action projects, including the development of the community.
“Committee for the Advancement of Missionary Work in Dominican Republic” was the name that was adopted under the auspices of the names mentioned, outlining the June 13, 1919 in the city of Ponce, the Plan of Action for urgent occupation the Dominican Republic, adopting bylaws that would govern the emerging entity. In 1921 the Board was formalized for Christian Service in Santo Domingo, institution for Methodist, Presbyterian and United Brethren, who decided to offer their service for the establishment of the Dominican Evangelical Church.
The work of this institution from the beginning lacked denominational interest, since they had no desire to make a profit of any kind, but to serve the Dominican people in the areas that are necessary establishing a native church, which was not part of any of its parent. And so it has been all along.
The sponsors wanted to organize an independent national church, without ties or commitments to the founding denominations. They wanted the confrontation of the Protestant heritage and Reformed theology, the Church who dreamed would develop their own thoughts and ideas, according to the interpretation of Scripture and theological they had a right to be independent.
They wanted the Dominican Evangelical Church (IED) to establish its own government, laws and regulations that emerged in the light of national circumstances and needs. In order to achieve the effective implementation of a rapport with the country, on all fronts, the sponsoring denominations offer their services were proposed through the Dominican Evangelical Church through four different areas, but aimed to benefit the four Dominican family, namely:
First in the religious area: since the rationale for the work would be the proclamation of the message of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, in our midst, so that Dominican men and women reached the release of the whole being, materially and spiritually. Our organizers toured every inch throughout the country, establishing congregations in cities, hills and savannahs, lifting Chapels humble or sumptuous temples, where he praised and glorified the name of the Lord. The response was positive Dominican people accepting the gospel of love and salvation in Jesus Christ.
Second, in education: Recognizing a need to be educated in the secular environment in order to make their way in life, opportunities were organized numerous parochial schools offered education to those hungry for knowledge.
Third in the social area: Our founders set out to offer assistance to the Dominican people, reflected in clothing, food, housing. The service line was heading towards introducing sports practice; previously unknown in the country and the distribution of secular literature.
Fourth, the medical area: Knowing the need of health as a primary factor in the enjoyment of life, the establishment of a Medical Center, the most advanced in the country at the time, as well as clinics scattered throughout the Republic to serve the needy was planned without no difference. Service to the Dominican community, has been in the projects and plans of the Dominican Evangelical Church, in the years of its existence, growing to better serve and reach other areas that branch from the four areas mentioned.
On 1st. January 1922, the Dominican Evangelical Church was commissioned in a special service held in the eastern city of San Pedro de Macoris and one week later, the congregation was organized in Santo Domingo.