The founding members of Evangel first met on Sunday, November 6, 1988, at 1601 E. Douglas. At that time, we met in a Christian coffee shop known as The Dandelion. The following spring, on April 2, 1989, Evangel was formally established as a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) with Jim Spurgeon called as the first pastor. The new leadership was both excited and challenged by the need to make important decisions about how we would worship, which programs we would offer, and who would lead them. Later that year we also welcomed our first associate pastor, David Burke, who initially served in a bi-vocational role.
By June of 1990, we succeeded in purchasing our first building (2040 N. Westridge Dr). The first worship service there was held on July 22, 1990. The new location gave us full access to a facility that provided us with a sense of stability and the opportunity to expand our ministries using the additional space.
In 1992, Pastor Spurgeon accepted a call to pastor Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Dale City, VA. The congregation regretfully released Pastor Spurgeon but was grateful that Pastor Burke would fill in as the interim pastor. The pastoral search process lasted well over a year.
Our Second Senior Pastor
In the summer of 1993, Evangel called Donald Rackley as our second senior pastor. Prior to Evangel, Pastor Don had served for twenty years as the pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Paxton, IL. Pastor Don had successfully led his previous church into the PCA and was excited to see our fledgling church in Wichita grow as well. Pastor Burke would continue to serve in an associate capacity until 1996 when he accepted a call to pastor Ortega Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Jacksonville, FL.
By 1998, Evangel was continuing to grow and the need for additional pastoral staff was clear. In July the elders agreed to call Tim Rackley as a bio-vocational ministerial assistant. Tim had recently graduated from Covenant Seminary and was serving in St. Louis at Twin Oaks Presbyterian Church (PCA). His new role at Evangel would focus on strengthening the small group and outreach ministries. In 1999, Tim was ordained and by 2001 he was elected as our second associate pastor.
In 2004, Evangel had grown to the point where it became necessary to add a second Sunday morning worship service. Space limitations became increasingly evident as we struggled to find the classroom space we needed. The solution would be to either build an addition or buy a larger building. We grappled with this decision for several years.
Our Second Building
In 2009, the building committee recommended that we purchase a church property at 1545 S. 135th St. W. At the time the building was owned by Rolling Hills Baptist Church. They were looking to downsize and, providentially, agreed to take ownership of our former building. On October 11, 2009, we held our first worship service in Evangel’s current sanctuary.
The buildings we see today look very different from how they did in 2009, however! The sanctuary, classrooms, offices, foyer, and fellowship hall have all been extensively renovated over the last decade. Our property has also been significantly landscaped alongside the addition of signage facing Kellogg and 135th.
Our Third Senior Pastor
By 2019, Pastor Don had expressed a desire to transition toward retirement. In April, 2019, Pastor Tim was called as the third senior pastor of Evangel with overwhelming support. Pastor Don went on to serve as the Associate Pastor alongside Pastor Tim until 2021. After 28 years of faithful service to Evangel, Pastor Don retired in Wichita. As of 2024, Pastor Tim has also served Evangel for over 25 years.