Presbyterian World Mission engagement in the Congo goes back 125 years and by God’s grace, the seeds planted then bore fruit in abundance. Today, we accompany two Presbyterian denominations that were founded from that early work, the Presbyterian Community of Congo and Presbyterian Community of Kinshasa as well as the Protestant umbrella organization, the Church of Christ in Congo. We collaborate in a variety of ways. We work together to address challenges to accessing quality education through church educational programs operating nearly 1,000 schools with more than 220,000 students. We train pastors and elders to address the spiritual and social needs of the community. We promote the well-being and rights of women, including widows and survivors of the sexual violence that has grown to epidemic proportions in areas where militias operate. We support training of church leaders in ministries such as reconciliation, community transformation, and micro-savings programs.
Our mission co-workers based in the Democratic Republic of Congo are Christi and Jeff Boyd, Ruth Brown, Gwenda and John Fletcher, Bob and Kristi Rice, Martha Sommers, and Inge and Larry Sthreshley. Luta Garbat-Welch, while based in Malawi, also works in the Congo.
Christi Boyd serves as facilitator for women’s and children’s interests in the Congo as well as Rwanda, Niger, Madagascar, South Sudan. She engages partners across programmatic areas lifting up the well-being and participation of women. Jeff Boyd also serves regionally as liaison for Central Africa (Cameroon, DR Congo, Equatorial Guinea), providing support for the relationships, programs and activities of partners, assisting mission personnel and supporting congregation and presbytery partnerships. You can read more about their work here.
As development specialist with the Presbyterian Community of the Congo community development office, Ruth Brown works with communities to address the root causes of hunger and poor health. A holistic approach helps community volunteers transform their neighborhoods through community based health, development and evangelism. You can read more about her work here.
As education consultant with the Presbyterian Community of the Congo, Gwenda Fletcher is helping the church with teacher training, administration and community involvement. She is also facilitating involvement and communications of PC(USA) members passionate to support the education strategies of the church. John Fletcher, an experienced and accredited surgeon, shares his skills with doctors, medical residents and interns, and nursing students at the Christian Medical Institute of the Kasai and seven other hospitals operated by the Presbyterian Community of the Congo. You can read more about their work here.
Bob and Kristi Rice
Bob and Kristi Rice serve in team appointment with the Presbyterian Community of the Congo Evangelism and Church Life department accompanying church leaders in visioning and implementing new initiatives in Christian education and evangelism. Kristi further helps the church conceive and implement micro-savings programs, primarily for women in the communities. You can read more about their work here.
Martha Sommers, a family practice physician, is invited by the Presbyterian Community of the Congo to serve at the Christian Medical Institute of Kasai as an instructor and resource to physicians, medical students, interns, and residents. In doing this, she will see and care for patients. You can read more about her work here.
Inge Sthreshley works on the nutrition, home garden, and clean cook stove components of a large primary health care program associated with Interchurch Medical Assistance and works with the Presbyterian Community of Kinshasa. She also lends her organizational skills to the Methodist-Presbyterian Hostel now operating as a mission guest house and small conference center. As health liaison seconded to Interchurch Medical Assistance, Larry Sthreshley assists churches develop and implement health ministries within the context of the larger system in the country. You can read more about their work here.
As Community Health Facilitator in Africa, Luta Garbat-Welch is based in Malawi and serves four other countries including DR Congo. She supports implementation of holistic models of transformational community health and well-being. You can read more about her work here.
Presbyterian World Mission works in partnership with the Presbyterian Community of Congo, Presbyterian Community of Kinshasa, Church of Christ in Congo, Christian Medical Institute of Kasai, Presbyterian University of Congo, Protestant University of Congo, and Program for Development of the Kasais.
Presbyterian Community of Congo (Communauté Presbytérienne au Congo – CPC)
The Presbyterian Community of Congo is the most historic and largest Presbyterian Church in the Congo with estimates of more than two million members concentrated in the provinces of West- and East-Kasai, but also having parishes in Katanga and Kinshasa. The church maintains the strong commitment to evangelism, education, and health care that was evident from its establishment by mission co-workers Revs. Sheppard and Lapsley in 1891. The church operates more than 800 schools, eight hospitals, and has more than 800 churches plus new church development sites. There are new efforts toward community based development. Leadership development for the advancement of their ministries is important for the church.
Presbyterian Community of Kinshasa (Communauté Presbytérienne de Congo – CPK)
Since 1960, the Presbyterian Community of Kinshasa has been a partner church of the PC(USA) in the metropolitan area of Kinshasa and the western provinces of Bas-Congo and Bandundu. More recently, evangelistic outreach has brought the church into Equator Province, particularly among the Twa people, the most indigenous people group in region. With more than 150 schools and 14 health or maternity centers, the church is committed to education and health ministries. The youth of the church are particularly dynamic and constitute a significant portion of church attendance. The women’s department of the church is committed to providing educational opportunities for vulnerable children and skills training in a caring environment for at risk girls.
Church of Christ in Congo (Eglise du Christ au Congo)
The Presbyterian Community of Congo and the Presbyterian Community of Kinshasa are among 64 member communities of the Church of Christ in Congo. Its purpose is to manifest the unity of the body of Christ. It seeks to be visible in society through its member churches and their schools, hospitals, and relief and development programs. The Department of Women and Families is particularly involved in ministries of compassion and justice for the women and children who are survivors of sexual violence in Eastern Congo.
Christian Medical Institute of Kasai (Institut Médical Chrétien du Kasai – IMCK)
Founded in 1954 as a nursing school, the Christian Medical Institute of Kasai has come a long way. It has since developed a 140 bed referral hospital, a booming urban clinic and maternity ward 10 miles away in the city of Kananga, programs for dentistry, ophthalmology, pediatrics, nutrition, public health, research and medical residency and internships, and specialized services in surgery. The medical institute is governed by a board equally represented by the Presbyterian Community of Congo, Mennonite Community of Congo, and PC(USA).
Protestant University of Congo (Université Protestante au Congo – UPC)
Begun in 1959 as the Faculty of Protestant Theology, Protestant University of Congo has since added three other schools: Business, Law, and Medicine. Putting a particular emphasis on Christian ethics, the university seeks to form women and men scientifically competent, inspired by God and ready to serve the community in faith and truth.
Sheppard and Lapsley Presbyterian University of Congo (Université Presbytérienne au Congo UPRECO)
In 198,7 the Reformed Theological Faculty of Kasai became a university when it added a Faculty of Law. UPRECO grants bachelor and master degrees in theology and law. One of the main goals of UPRECO is to train Christian leaders to improve life in the Congo. UPRECO is located near Kananga, West Kasai.
Program for the Development of the Kasais (PRODEK)
PRODEK is a faith-based organization related to the Presbyterian Community of Congo which contributes to the development of the organizational, technical, socio-political, and economic abilities of farming communities of the Greater Kasai with a goal of their self-determination.
Christi Boyd email@example.com
Jeff Boyd firstname.lastname@example.org
Ruth Brown email@example.com
Gwenda Fletcher firstname.lastname@example.org
John Fletcher email@example.com
Bob Rice firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristi Rice email@example.com
Martha Sommers Martha.firstname.lastname@example.org
Inge Sthreshley email@example.com
Larry Sthreshley firstname.lastname@example.org
Luta Garbat-Welch Luta.Garbat-Welch@pcusa.org
Develop relationship of prayer and mutual learning and dialog between your congregation or presbytery and one in the Congo. For help in identifying a partner, or with questions about a relationship based on mutuality, please contact regional liaison Jeff Boyd.
Support one or more mission coworkers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
|Name||Individuals||Church and Presbyteries|
|Christi and Jeff Boyd||E200314||D506075|
|Gwenda and John Fletcher||E200529||D501278|
|Bob and Kristi Rice||E200429||D507528|
|Inge and Larry Sthreshley||E200412||D505045|
Poor health can be considered both a cause and consequence of poverty. Contributions to IMCK and Good Shepherd Hospital support health care for the surrounding population and builds the capacity of health professions who will later serve throughout the country. Gifts can be made to E320202 Good Shepherd Hospital – IMCK