Contact: Mike Saunier, Director for Communications, The Christian and Missionary Alliance, 719-265-2127, email@example.com
COLORADO SPRINGS, July17 /Christian Newswire/ -- After a U.S. missions investment of more than 70 years, the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) national church in Gabon is moving full circle from being a recipient of Christian missions to being a partner in sending missionaries to unreached peoples. "These churches are fully organized with official recognition from the Gabonese government," says Bob Fetherlin, vice president for International Ministries at the U.S. C&MA National Office in Colorado Springs. "They are able to support financially their own pastors and leaders. As the largest family of evangelical churches in the country, they are taking the initiative to plant new churches and reach into new areas with the gospel."
The Alliance churches of Gabon have a world missions center focusing on cross-cultural ministry and have sent out their first missionary couple to Cameroon. They also have a training strategy in place that includes a Bible institute campus and a strong theological education by extension program.
"Over the next two years, our U.S. mission personnel will be transitioning to other countries," says Fetherlin. On July 21, a celebration in Gabon will acknowledge this major change. The primary purpose of this event is to honor the churches of Gabon for maturing to the place that the U.S. C&MA no longer needs to place long-term church-planting missionaries in the country. Alliance leaders also will reassure the C&MA churches in Gabon of a continuing ministry relationship.
The U.S. missions staff at Bongolo Hospital, which is affiliated with The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Gabon, will remain the country until 2015 to work through transition issues.
The C&MA is an Alliance of evangelical believers, joined together in local churches, dedicated to fulfilling the Great Commission given by Jesus Christ. The Alliance maintains a "big tent" stance in reference to many doctrinal matters, encouraging believers of diverse backgrounds and theological traditions to unite in order to know and exalt Jesus Christ and to complete His Commission.