Frequently Asked Questions


How can I receive forgiveness of sins and become a member of God’s family?

Becoming a member of the family of God is simply a matter of expressing trust in Christ’s finished work on your behalf, and committing your life to His lordship. Any pastor or elder will be happy to sit down with you and introduce you to our Savior!

What does the name “Elim” mean?

In Exodus 15, we read about an oasis in the desert called “Elim.” After a very stressful day of running from the Egyptian army, the Israelites needed some down time. In verse 27, we read, “they came to Elim, where there were 12 springs and 70 palm trees, and they camped there near the water.” Our passion is that Elim Evangelical Free Church will be an oasis, a place where people are drawn to know and follow Jesus and enjoy the life and satisfaction only He can provide. Our desire is to be “an oasis for renewal with God and one another.”

What does “Evangelical Free” mean?

Elim is affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church of America denomination. For more about this denomination and its distinctives, visit their website.

Why is Elim’s blog called “The Last Word”? Who writes these?

Most weeks, a member of the staff or elder board (and sometimes others) writes a blog post, designed to keep you informed about what’s happening at Elim, to encourage you in your faith, and to help you better know our leaders. The blogs are listed at the end of each week’s newsletter, making it “the last word.”

When was Elim founded?

Elim began on January 12, 1884, when a small group of believers gathered in a home in Tacoma, Washington (the church was not yet called “Elim” at that time). Arguably, this makes Elim the oldest church in the Evangelical Free Church of America! The church was located in various buildings in Tacoma over the years, then moved to its present location on South Hill in the 1970s. For more information on Elim’s distinguished history, visit the Our History page on this website.

What does Elim believe?

Our belief system is based on the authority and accuracy of the Bible. You can read our statement of faith to learn more about what we believe.

How can I be a part of this church family?

All are welcome to visit and associate themselves with this church family. If you feel led to do so, after you get to know us better, you can “stake your claim” here by becoming a member. Members publicly profess faith in Christ and commit themselves to follow a set of guidelines designed to support and strengthen the church family. Voting at church business meetings is a privilege of membership. For more information about membership, talk with any of the pastors or elders.

What about baptism?

Elim supports believer’s baptism, as presented in the Bible, as a symbol and public profession of faith in Christ. If you have never yet been baptized but would like to be, talk with any elder or pastor.

What does the leadership structure for Elim EFC look like?

Elim is an elder-led church. The church body (voting members) elects qualified elders who serve two-year terms (up to three terms in succession). The pastors and staff of the church are hired and overseen by the elders and ratified by the voting membership.

What are the requirements for being a leader at Elim?

Elim subscribes to a set of biblical requirements for leadership expressed in 1 Timothy 3. We also have instituted a specific “leadership pipeline” that will give you information about the mentoring and training requirements for leadership. Talk with any pastor or elder for more information.

How is Elim EFC supported financially?

Elim’s staff and church and ministry operations are 100% funded by freewill contributions from its members and attenders. Elim subscribes to the biblical principle for believers of tithes and offerings (cheerfully giving 10% of your income back to the Lord as an expression of trust, and giving as the Lord has prospered you).

What ways to give financially are available to Elim members and friends?

  • By cash or check when the weekly offering is passed, or by mailing checks to the church address or dropping them by the office during business hours.
  • Bill-pay (ask your bank for more information on setting up bill-pay)
  • On this website (see the Giving tab).
  • Donations made through Elim’s app (text-to-give) via either credit card or your bank account. See the “How can I keep up-to-date on events and news at Elim?” section below for instructions on downloading Elim’s app.
  • Text the amount you wish to give to (253) 466-7320 and follow the instructions returned.
  • Also consider looking to see if your employer has an employer match program. Elim is a non-profit organization and many employers will match contributions to charities made by their employees, making your donation stretch even further!

What are normal office hours at Elim?

Elim’s office is open 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday. Use the north side (office) door, which is kept locked for security purposes. Knock or call for admittance.

What volunteer opportunities exist at Elim EFC? How can I get involved?

Elim depends on volunteers in many different types of ministries, and seeks to place volunteers in accordance with spiritual giftedness. To discuss current opportunities, please talk with any pastor or elder.

How can I keep up-to-date on events and news at Elim?

  • Visit our church website,, frequently.
  • Download the Elim app on your smartphone, and keep Elim news at your fingertips. For IOS users, visit the App Store and search on “Elim Evangelical Free Church.” For Android users, visit the Google Play Store and conduct the same search.
  • Give the church office your email address, and you will be added to our weekly newsletter list. The newsletter typically is emailed out on Thursdays.
  • Follow us on social media at and
  • Take a paper announcement bulletin (available at each worship service), and look for announcements displayed on the overhead projector before each service. There is also typically an announcement time during each worship service.

What are Elim’s programs or ministries for specific age groups or life situations?

Visit this page on the church website to learn more about ministries and groups for various age and life stages.

How do I become a part of a community group (small group) at Elim?

Elim offers a wide variety of community groups. There are intergenerational groups, groups for married couples, young adults groups, and groups specifically for women or men. New groups are typically profiled each Fall, and are listed on this page on the church website. Contact the group leader to get involved, or talk with any pastor or elder about available groups.

What should I do if I have a prayer need or a need for help?

Email prayer requests to (or call the church office at 253.848.7900). You can also submit requests via this form on the church website. If you have any other needs we can help with, please call the church office or speak with a pastor or elder.

Whom do I talk with if I have further questions, suggestions, or concerns?

You can always talk with any pastor or elder, call the church office at 253.848.7900, or email us with any questions or concerns.