A conference was held in Escondido, California in 1999 to explore the possibility of organizing an association of reformed evangelical churches. F.I.R.E. was organized May 1-3, 2000 in Chicago, Illinois. The national conference is held annually, and two regional conferences have been formed - Midwest and Southeast.
According to its constitution, F.I.R.E. believes that local churches should work together, but that that church councils or groups of churches should not have authority over local churches. Additionally, members affirm the five solas of the Protestant Reformation: Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solus Christus, and Soli Deo Gloria, and stand in the tradition of the historic Reformed confessions of faith such as the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, with a Calvinistic view of salvation, and a Baptist emphasis on the church and the ordinances.
To join the fellowship, a church must agree with the doctrinal statement and the Constitution, be recommended by at least one member church, and must be approved by the member churches. Individuals may join as associate members, but without the right to vote in business sessions. Officers include a moderator, secretary and an executive board.
In January 2008, the fellowship consisted of 70 member churches in the United States, 8 international member churches in Canada, India, Israel and Mauritius, and more than 100 individual members globally.