In 1966, after thorough investigation of mission needs in Central America, the Evangelical Mennonite Conference (EMCon) Board of Missions sent its first missionaries to Nicaragua. Bible colportage, Christian literature distribution, home visitations, and Bible studies in Morozan, a suburb of the capital city, Managua, resulted in people responding to the Good News. By 1969 there were eight baptized members in the emerging church and many other people were attending the regular church services. In 1970, with a membership of 18, the Morozan church, in partnership with personnel of the Board of Missions (EMCon), started congregations in Ciudad Sandino and La Paz.
The three local churches that had emerged by 1973 organized the Concilio Nacional (national council) for the purpose of evangelism and establishing churches in Nicaragua. This resulted in legally incorporating the national church, which was named La Fraternidad de las Iglesias Evangélicas Mennonitas (Fraternity of Evangelical Mennonite Churches of Nicaragua). Before 1979, when the Sandinista revolution overthrew the Somoza government, missionaries served on the Concilio Nacional. The Fraternidad de las Iglesias Evangélicas Mennonitas de Nicaragua is an autonomous church, working in partnership with the Board of Missions. In 1987 the conference was served by a monthly magazine, El Mensajero (The Messenger), published by Evangelical Mennonite Conference missionaries in El Paso, TX.
The conference administered programs in community development, leadership training, and Christian education. It also operated bookstores. A camp and retreat center facilitated the church's training program. The public health program, which opened a number of communities to evangelism and church planting, was administered by the church and mission from 1974 to 1981. Theological training has been emphasized by the Fraternidad. Students have been and are receiving training in Bible schools in Managua and the United States, in theological education by extension, and in SEMILLA, an inter Mennonite seminary in Central America (Consulta Anabaptista Menonita Centroamericana). The conference was a founding member of SEMILLA.
According to the 1986 report of the Concilio Nacional, the conference had six locally organized congregations and eight unorganized preaching points, with an active baptized membership of 290. The church continues to seek to reach new areas and plant new churches. In 2003 there were 28 congregations with 1200 members.
Kraybill, Paul N.,ed. Mennonite World Handbook. Lombard, IL: Mennonite World Conference, 1978: 233-35;
Mennonite World Handbook Supplement. Strasbourg, France, and Lombard, IL: Mennonite World Conference, 1984: 89.
Mennonite World Conference. "MWC - 2003 Caribbean, Central & South America Mennonite & Brethren in Christ Churches." Accessed 23 January 2006. <http://www.mwc-cmm.org/Directory/carcsam.html>.
Cite This Article
Klassen, Henry. "Fraternidad de Iglesias Evangélicas Menonitas de Nicaragua." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 4 Mar 2015. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Fraternidad_de_Iglesias_Evang%C3%A9licas_Menonitas_de_Nicaragua&oldid=87556.
Klassen, Henry. (1987). Fraternidad de Iglesias Evangélicas Menonitas de Nicaragua. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 4 March 2015, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Fraternidad_de_Iglesias_Evang%C3%A9licas_Menonitas_de_Nicaragua&oldid=87556.
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