Doncaster Evangelical Church (D.E.C) was founded in September 1980. Families comprising of thirty members plus their children started the fellowship along with their then Pastor George Hill and was initially known as Doncaster Evangelical Fellowship.
For the first two years the Church met at the home of George and Beryl Hill where each Sunday the main room became the church while other rooms were used for the Sunday-school classes with the crèche overflowing into a neighbouring house. The midweek meetings would be held in the homes of our older members.
In 1983, premises were finally secured on the edge of Doncaster town centre and “Christian Outlook” a Christian bookshop and café was opened in the April. The bookshop and café were on the ground floor and so the church and Sunday-school used the upper floor.
During these years as our church grew we were in a position to call and support extra ministry workers as Evangelists and who also took on the role of managing the bookshop. Knowing the importance of encouraging the next generation of ministry workers it was exciting and rewarding that both these men left us after accepting positions as Pastor with other churches.
With the retirement of George Hill in 1991, the church was without a pastor for about 2 years (an Interregnum Period) and we were encouraged and supported by visiting speakers.
In 1993, our search for a new pastor led us to call Rev George Mills who along with his wife Maggie joined us from West Row Baptist Church in Suffolk and faithfully served and guided our church until his retirement.
A year later in 1994, we were able to purchase our current building, Wentworth Hall, which brought us into the community of Wheatley. The hall had been used for many different purposes since its construction in the 1920s and meant we had to undertake a renovation programme to make it the home of D.E.C. With such a versatile building we also felt the time was right in 2000, to close our bookshop and café in the town centre and we have been able to utilise the building to offer many regular activities for the community to join in with as well as special events.
In 2013, our Pastor George Mills retired and we again entered a period of Interregnum. Supported by Rev Bill Dyer (who was Pastor at Pontefract before retiring), our Leadership Team, and benefiting from visiting speakers as well as our own, the work of the church continued to flourish. This allowed us to take time to continually pray for God’s leading and guidance towards a new Pastor.
In 2015, the Lord showed us with amazing clarity that Rev Gareth James should be our next pastor. After being invited to ‘preach with a view’, interviewed by, and receiving a unanimous vote by the church membership, Gareth and his wife Siân joined us in the September, from Barton Evangelical Church.
We have been blessed and continue to be blessed by the provision of good teaching.
The promise of Jeremiah 29:11 is close to our hearts: ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’.