The C&MA Legacy in Guinea


January 2019 marks 100 years of God’s faithfulness in bringing the love of Christ to the people of Guinea through the C&MA and the Guinean church (EPEG).

Nearly 30 years before the first mission base in Guinea was established in 1919, the C&MA sent a group of eight missionaries to Sierra Leone with a vision to find the source of the Niger River in Guinea and create mission posts along the river from which the gospel could go forth.

While the C&MA workers labored to establish the first mission posts on the way toward the Niger and sought permission from the French authorities to work in Guinea, more than 30 missionaries died. Their sacrifice led to C&MA workers entering Guinea on exploratory trips in 1918, establishing a meaningful, impactful presence in Guinea the next year.

1919 The first mission base in Guinea was established at Baro on the Niger River.
1922 The administrative center of the C&MA for all French West Africa began in Kankan.
1923 The C&MA started work among the Fulani in Mamou and Labe.
1945 Telekoro Bible Institute was launched to train pastors and church leaders.
1946 A school for girls was established at Baro.
1956 The first Guinean pastors were ordained.
1962 The Guinean church (EPEG) achieved autonomy.
1964 The U.S. C&MA moved its mission base to Conakry, the capital city.
1967 The Guinean government required all but a few missionaries to leave Guinea.
1980s Guinea opened its door to many new missionaries, half working with the EPEG Church and half focusing on church planting among the three large unreached people groups: the Fulbe, the Maninka, and the Susu.
1990s CAMA Services worked with the EPEG Church to help many refugees displaced by the wars in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
1996–2002 The Guinea field reorganized into a team structure focused on the major unreached people groups.
2005 The Guinea national church organized Mission EPEG to send national missionaries to unreached peoples in Guinea.
2007 The EPEG president played a reconciliatory role between opposing political groups.
2014–2015 CAMA worked with the EPEG Church to show compassion to Ebola victims ostracized by their own people.
2019 The EPEG Church has about 102,000 believers (with 34,000 baptized) and 300 pastors in 419 churches.

The C&MA has four teams in Guinea. The Conakry Youth team shares the love of Christ while training young people in English, computers, and other practical skills. The Conakry Envision team places short-term workers into C&MA ministries. The Canadian team in Conakry works with needy children, proclaims the good news using multimedia, and does local evangelism. The Fouta Djallon team is translating the Old Testament into the local language and serving their local communities with the love of Jesus.

Because of the C&MA’s work in Guinea, the EPEG Church has become established and empowered as an autonomous church partnering with the U.S. C&MA church to proclaim the good news of Jesus to the remaining unreached peoples in Guinea.

—Jim D., Alliance international worker

5 responses to The C&MA Legacy in Guinea

  1. Exciting to see what God has done in Guinea! My uncle Arnold (and Anna) Ratzloff faithfully served in Guinea (French West Africa). Where would he fit in this timeline?

  2. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and wish every Alliance Church in USA could see this on their screens during service.

  3. I am sitting behind John Stumbo at a seat of honor on stage at the 100 year celebration of the CMA church of Guinea. Other national church presidents and their spouses along with Alliance World Fellowship President Jura and his wife Mami are here as well along with AWF African President Celestin Koffi.

    The grandson of Clare Ellenberger (the founder of the first church in Baro) spoke briefly in greeting the assembly of over 1000 delegates.

    John told the story of AB Simpson’s vision in 1882 to reach the world for Christ starting in the French Soudan that resulted in the sacrifice of 30 CMA missionary’s lives on African soil for the furtherment of the gospel of Christ. The first CMA church in French West Africa was planted in 1919, 37 years after Simpson wrote down and prayed for his vision…the same year Dr. Simpson passed into glory. What an emotionally and spiritually charged moment when our president asked the question…”Are we willing to give our lives to a vision that will outlast us? Simpson did. Are we? Are you?

  4. I was in Conakry, Guinea April 2018 on a short term mission trip through the C&MA. A group of 6 of us volunteered at Kids in Crisis Orphanage where Lizette Lavoie is the C&MA Missionary. The babies and children are so well taken care of that people from all over go to visit the orphanage to see how it is run. It was very encouraging to see the positive impact Lizette and her team (Faith and Lazare)have there in Conakry. We also visited the mission base, and Pastor Bill Freeman from our group taught 40 Pastors about “soul care” with the basic theme that leaders will only be as effective as their personal lives in terms of spiritual healing, forgiveness and knowing who they are in Christ as loved and valued people. We also helped out at a C&MA school where we did some repair work, painting the library and hallway walls. That school needs LOTS of work. We worshipped at the C&MA church where we experienced the “full blast” version of how they do church in Guinea. It was full of beautiful music and was just over 2 hours long. So wonderful knowing that these lovely people are praising and worshipping the same Jesus as we do in Canada!

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