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The Republic of Cameroon unites two former United Nations trust territories, French Cameroun and British Cameroons. English and French are both official languages, and 250 ethnic groups speaking about 270 languages and dialects make it a remarkably diverse country. Christianity, Islam and African traditional practices are the forms of religion practiced by the population. Since independence, Cameroon has generally enjoyed stability, with one of the highest literacy rates in Africa. However, it faces many serious problems, and is ranked 144th in the Human Development Index of 173 countries.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cameroon (ELCC) dates its origins to mission work in the 1920s by Norwegian Missionary Society in Ngaoundere and Tibati, among the Mboum ethnic group, and the American missionaries in Mboula among the Gbaya. American mission work was begun in 1923 by Adolph Gunderson under the Sudan mission, an independent American mission. In 1952 the Sudan Mission became part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (which later became part of The American Lutheran Church, an ELCA predecessor). Pastor Gunderson provided early and formative leadership, and consequently, the mission was often called "the Gunderson mission."
The Norwegian Missionary Society came to Ngaoundéré, Cameroon, in 1925. Both the Norwegian Mission Society and the American Lutheran Mission worked together in mission. Together, they established a Lutheran hospital, a school in Ngaoundéré, and a seminary in Meiganga. The mission also focused on literacy projects and biblical translation projects.??Organized as an independent body in 1960, the ELCC began taking responsibility for its personnel and its entire ministry program. Today the ELCC is a member of the Lutheran World Federation and is based in Ngaoundere. With 215,000 members, the ELCC is growing at a rapid rate.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cameroon (ELCC), a member of the Lutheran World Federation, is a fast-growing church with 215,000 members in 1,350 congregations. The ELCC is served by 168 pastors, 375 evangelists, and 288 catechists among 27 ethnic groups. Led by a national bishop and ten regional bishops, one for each of the 10 Episcopal regions, the ELCC has its headquarters in Ngaoundere. Besides the LWF, the ELCC is a member of the Eglise evangéliques luthérienne au Cameroun (Church and Evangelical Lutherans of Cameroon), the Lutheran Communion in Western Africa (LUCWA), and the Joint Christian Ministry in West Africa (JCMWA).??The ELCC’s program ministries include seminary education, Bible schools, primary and secondary education, health care, rural development, women’s and youth ministries, Bible translation and literacy, and a communication studio.
The Health Department of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cameroon, Oeuvre de Santé de l’Eglise Evangélique Luthérienne au Cameroun or OSEELC, is a large and vibrant ministry operating three large hospitals and fifteen health centres. Please visit their new website www.oseelc.org to learn more!
Garoua Boulai Hospital