Christine and Noel Magee, Juan and Diane Moreno were founding members when ICC began in June 2012. We were originally associated with Spanish-speaking Paz de Dios Lutheran Church, and were first known as Paz de Dios English Fellowship. We had an interest in offering the expat community a traditional worship service in English. Our theological description was short, focusing on our acceptance of the Bible as the Word of God, and on the core, historic beliefs of Christians as summarized in the Apostles’ Creed. From the beginning we have been nondenominational, featuring traditional hymns. Having musicians among the founding members meant that music and liturgy was an important element of worship from the beginning.
During part of the first year, we met bi-weekly, then weekly, at 4:00 p.m. on Sundays. The pastor of Paz de Dios and his assistant participated with the planning committee, but as we grew, it soon became clear that we needed pastoral leadership. One year after our community was started, our body became independent from Paz de Dios, and Rev. David Small, who had been a guest pastor twice that first year, was approached to serve as our first pastor. He accepted, and came to us the following October. We continued to exist as English Christian Fellowship, but now able meeting on Sunday mornings, principally at the Cuenca Rotary Club.
During this time period we focused on renaming the community with a new and more permanent name, We had already established an international tone, having Ecuadorians join us from the beginning, as well as people from other countries. “International” seemed to describe who we were. We also wanted it to be clear that we are a Christian community, and hence the name “International Christian Community.” The word community was intended to emphasize that in addition to providing opportunities for worship, we wanted to become a body of believers growing and serving together in community.
ICC moved to its current location in April 2014. Pastor David Small resigned in May 2015 to commit more time to his original intent for his retirement in Ecuador, Care Partners International. With this change in leadership, “the Planning Committee” became “the Leadership Team,” and there is a new focus on “Teams” (Pastoral, Music, Finance, Hospitality, etc.), which seems consistent with the notion of “community.”
God has been faithful in providing for our needs, and in bringing us people with varied backgrounds and talents. We have retired pastors, and professional musicians who work together to provide meaningful, unified worship experiences. And we are also guided by an awareness of the Church Year. In addition to unifying all elements, it also identifies us with Christendom around the world.