In the wake of World War II an influx of German-speaking immigrants, many of whom had a Lutheran background, created the need for a Protestant church in Quito. The Church of the Advent was formally organized in the 1950s and within a few years, with help from the Lutheran church abroad, the present church and pastor’s house were built.
Building the church, 1958
Pastor Havgar presiding, 1960s
Under the auspices of this German-speaking congregation, a small English-speaking congregation was formed in 1958, both served by the same pastor.
Church of the Advent after the first building phase
Around the same time the Episcopal Church began an English-speaking ministry in Quito, forming a congregation named for St. Nicholas, with an Episcopal priest assigned to it. For the next twenty years the members of St. Nicholas Church met separately in various places, at times in the Church of the Advent where, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the educational facilities and meeting rooms were built.
Confirmation class 1970s
Confirmation class 1980s
Beginning in 1978 the two English-speaking congregations began meeting together. The Sunday services alternated between a Lutheran service led by the pastor of the German-speaking congregation and an Episcopal service led by the Episcopal priest assigned to St. Nicholas.
Helen and Gene Braun with Pastor John Gill, early 1990s
In 1998 Advent-St. Nicholas began to have a single, full-time pastor.
This arrangement has continued until the present, and in the last decade the constituency of the congregation has diversified considerably. We have become, in effect, an interdenominational church. Our joint Lutheran-Anglican heritage is still evident in the way we worship [Our Worship], but our membership also includes persons with Methodist, Baptist, Quaker, Presbyterian, and other denominational backgrounds. We are made up of individuals and families from Quito’s international community, who are both transient and permanent expatriate residents of Ecuador, as well as Ecuadorian nationals who are English speakers.
Sanctuary banner 1980s
The constituency that we have historically served is decreasing. Given this fact, the challenge of the next phase in our history is how to reach out in creative ways to maintain our long-term institutional viability.