Ethiopia

Ethiopia is the second most populous country in Africa. It has been an independent country since ancient times, and unlike other African countries, it maintained its freedom from colonial rule except for a brief period of Italian occupation from 1936 to 1941. Its monarchy was overthrown in 1974 and the country is now a democratic republic. More than half of the population is Christian and a third is Muslim. While Ethiopia has struggled with severe poverty and hunger issues, it currently boasts one of the fastest-growing economies on the African continent.

Presbyterian work in Ethiopia dates back to 1918.  Regent Haile Selassie, soon to become king, invited the Presbyterian Church to come into the country to help with the great 1918–19 worldwide flu epidemic. Dr. Lamby, a Presbyterian missionary in the Sudan responded, established the present hospital in Dembidollo, and the school and church there. He went on to establish hospitals in Addis Ababa, which became the Pasteur Institute then the Pasteur Research Institute (for infectious diseases). Another of the hospitals became the world-renowned ALERT (Africa Leprosy Research and Training Center). He is still looked upon as a national hero. Later Haile Selassie, in the early 1960s, also invited the Presbyterian Church to send missionaries to two remote provinces of southwest Ethiopia in what was known as the Illababour-Kaffa project.

A number of long-term Presbyterian missionaries have continued the ministry in this area through the years. The PC(USA)’s partner church, the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY), includes 17 synods, five of which (each with “Bethel” in their name) are Presbyterian. Other synods have Lutheran and Reformed Church backgrounds.

Michael and Rachel Weller

Rev. Michael and Rachel Weller

Rev. Michael Weller, regional liaison for the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan)

Michael serves as the PC(USA)’s regional liaison for the Horn of Africa, where he works with partners in South Sudan, Sudan, and Ethiopia, supports the work of other mission personnel, and nurtures presbytery and congregational partnerships Serving in Ethiopia, with his wife Rachel Weller.

You can find out  more about their ministry by visiting their profile page, which can be found here.

Partner churches and organizations

Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY)
Bethel Synods Coordination Office
Eastern Gambela Synod
Illubabor Bethel Synod
Southwest Bethel Synod
Western Gambela Bethel Synod
Western Wollega Bethel Synod

Partner institutions

Bethel Evangelical Secondary School
Berhane Yesus Elementary School
Bethel Mekane Yesus School
Mekane Yesus Seminary

Presbytery partnerships

Shenandoah Presbytery
Presbytery of Susquehanna Valley
Washington Presbytery

Ethiopia Mission Network

The Ethiopia Mission Network is among more than 40 networks that connect Presbyterians who share a common mission interest. Most participants are involved in mission partnerships through congregations, presbyteries or synods. Network members come together to coordinate efforts, share best practices and develop strategies.

For information contact Giny Roundy
2016 meeting date: April 21-23; Eastridge Presbyterian Church, Lincoln, Neb.

Michael Weller, regional liaison, michael.weller@pcusa.org

Rachel Weller, mission co-worker, rachel.weller@pcusa.org

Ethiopia Mission Network

The Ethiopia Mission Network is among more than 40 networks that connect Presbyterians who share a common mission interest. Most participants are involved in mission partnerships through congregations, presbyteries or synods. Network members come together to coordinate efforts, share best practices and develop strategies.

For information, contact Giny Roundy.

Ethiopia Mission Network

The Ethiopia Mission Network is among more than 40 networks that connect Presbyterians who share a common mission interest. Most participants are involved in mission partnerships through congregations, presbyteries or synods. Network members come together to coordinate efforts, share best practices and develop strategies.

For information contact Giny Roundy.