Community of Mennonite Brethren Churches in Congo

AROUND THE WORLD: Getting to know the Mennonite Brethren family

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Antoine Kimbila, 57, general secretary and legal representative of CEFMC in DR Congo. He spoke during Sunday's service at CEFMC Kimpwanza Kikongophone parish.

Communauté des Eglises des Frères Mennonites au Congo (CEFMC, Community of Mennonite Brethren Churches in Congo) is gearing up for a momentous occasion—its centennial celebration. This milestone marks 100 years of steadfast Christian witness and service. Despite numerous challenges, CEFMC has persevered, and the upcoming centenary is a testament to God’s infinite grace and the dedication of its members.

CEFMC is the largest Mennonite community in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with a strong presence in eight provinces. Comprising 14 ecclesiastical provinces, 71 districts and nearly 540 parishes, it boasts a membership of 99,770 individuals, including 446 pastors. However, the lack of proper care has led to the unfortunate deaths of several pastors, a heart-wrenching loss.

CEFMC also faces some internal issues, such as tribal conflicts in the southern part of the community. They are seeking support to reconcile these differences and foster unity among their members.

Despite challenges, CEFMC is actively engaged in various areas of ministry. The community has focused on administration, evangelization, mission, development, health, communication, youth, education and religious formation. Their efforts extend beyond national borders, with active participation in South Africa and the Ivory Coast.

The community is aware of the importance of training new leaders to continue their mission and ministry. Despite limited resources, they are committed to equipping young people for pastoral and theological studies.

During the turbulent times of the Covid-19 pandemic and the 2021 volcanic eruptions, CEFMC has been at the forefront of providing support and assistance to affected communities. They have supported war-displaced persons and actively educated their members about the importance of fighting the pandemic.

CEFMC invites the global Mennonite Brethren community to join in the centennial festivities that will take place August 7-11, 2024, with a closing worship service to be held Sunday, Aug. 11, at the Centennial Temple, currently under construction. CEFMC also plans a series of conferences and related activities. The celebration requires adequate resources and CEFMC welcomes the financial support and goodwill of Mennonite Brethren worldwide.

CEFMC eagerly anticipates the presence of the International Community of Mennonite Brethren (ICOMB) during the centennial celebrations. The fraternity and collaborative relationships forged with ICOMB have been instrumental in their growth and ministry.

“Let us rally behind our Congolese brothers and sisters as they prepare for this momentous milestone,” writes ICOMB executive director Rudi Plett in an August 2023 update, “and may this celebration be a witness to the transformative power of Christ’s love and unity in the midst of challenges.”

Did you know?

Baby Mountain gorilla sitting on his mother in the Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic Of Congo.
  • Kinshasa, with a population of 11,587,000, is the world’s second largest French-speaking city, after Paris.
  • The oldest national park in Africa is DR Congo’s Virunga National Park, home to rare mountain gorillas, lions and elephants.
  • Mount Nyiragongo, one of the world’s most dangerous volcanoes, erupted most recently in May 2021.
  • In the 1990s, Congolese music was the sole music listened to by most of the continent. Artists such as Papa Wemba, Franco Luambo Makiadi, and Koffi Olomide have gained international recognition for their contributions to the music industry.

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