The Convención Evangélica de Iglesias Paraguayas Hermanos Menonitas (Evangelical Conference of the Mennonite Brethren of the Paraguayan Churches) is the organization of the Mennonite Brethren churches of Paraguayan culture. It was begun in 1955 through the missionary efforts of the Board of Missions and Services (BOMAS) of the Mennonite Brethren Church of the United States and Canada. The pioneering missionaries were Albert Enns and Susana Wiens, later Rudolf and Hilda Plett, and Hans Pankratz. At the initiative of the missionaries the conference was organized in 1971 and was made up of four congregations in and around Asunción: Bernardino Caballero, Santa Lucia, Dr. Francia, and San Isidro . The name Convención Evangélica de Iglesias Paraguayas Hermanos Menonitas was adopted in May 1986.
The goals of the conference are the formation of Christian missions within and outside the borders of Paraguay, the establishment of charitable and educational institutions, the search for the well-being of the neighbor, and the building of the kingdom of God .
Within the first 15 years of the conference's existence, it grew to 19 congregations. Six were located in Asunción and several in interior cities, along with numerous mission outposts in which the conference continued to work. By 2003 there were 69 congregations with a total of 3,052 members
The principal authority of the conference was found in the general assembly, made up of representatives from the member churches. The general assembly delegated its authority to an executive committee elected by the assembly. The terms of office was for two years and members could be reelected. The following pastors were president of the conference through 1986: Carlos Chaves (1971-73), Luis Alum (197376), Charlos Chaves (1976-78), and Sixto Mencia (1978-80), Juan Silverio Verón (1980-84), Sixto Mencia (1984-86).
The conference maintained fraternal relations with the Konferenz der Mennonitischen Brüdergemeinden (conference of German-speaking Mennonite Brethren). They cooperatively sponsored the Instituto Bíblico Asunción and a studio for preparation of tapes for radio programs.
The conference had the following commissions: Evangelism and Missions Commission with an evangelistic team, Youth Commission, Women's Commission, Publicity Commission, and Christian Education Commission, which also had a teaching team.
The functions of the conference were coordinated through the administrative department, headed by an executive secretary and an office secretary. Headquarters were located at 2150 Juan Diaz de Solis in Asunción.
The conference published a monthly bulletin called La Voz del Rehaño (The Voice of the Flock). Other publications included the following books: Documento Commemorative 1983, Manual Para la Iglesia Local, and Presencia Menonita en el Paraguay by Rudolf Plett, Asunción (1979). Other media efforts included a daily radio program on a local Asunción station.
The actual administration of the conference programs was under the leadership and direction of the national church leaders. However, these programs received a subsidy of almost 90 percent from BOMAS, of the Mennonite Brethren Churches of the United States and Canada.
Kraybill, Paul N., ed. Mennonite World Handbook. Lombard, IL: Mennonite World Conference, 1978: 255-257.
Mennonite World Handbook Supplement. Strasbourg, France, and Lombard, IL: Mennonite World Conference, 1984: 95.
Mennonite World Conference website.
Cite This Article
Lezcano, Sinecio. "Convención Evangélica de Iglesias Paraguayas Hermanos Menonitas." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1986. Web. 28 Aug 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Convenci%C3%B3n_Evang%C3%A9lica_de_Iglesias_Paraguayas_Hermanos_Menonitas&oldid=86933.
Lezcano, Sinecio. (1986). Convención Evangélica de Iglesias Paraguayas Hermanos Menonitas. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 28 August 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Convenci%C3%B3n_Evang%C3%A9lica_de_Iglesias_Paraguayas_Hermanos_Menonitas&oldid=86933.
Herald Press website.
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