Iglesia de Los Hermanos in Cristo, Cuba
Iglesia de Los Hermanos in Cristo, Cuba (Brethren in Christ Church, Cuba). Serious consideration of Cuba as a Brethren in Christ mission field began in 1953 when several Brethren in Christ ministers found the Cubans receptive to the gospel. Their successful tent ministry caused them to repair an unused church building located in the town of Cuatro Caminos. A congregation was now in the making. The Brethren evangelists asked the brotherhood to assume responsibility for the work and the foreign mission board (BIC) did so in 1954. The first missionaries sent out by the Board were Howard and Pearl Wolgemuth.
Additional missionaries were sent out as the work grew. Methods used were Sunday schools, preaching, home visitation, and youth work. Workers also began a Christian elementary school. A second congregation was formed at Nazareno. In 1958 the mission had two congregations, three additional places of worship, four Sunday schools (attendance, 180), and 27 church members. Membership in 1986 was 46; attendance was often significantly higher.
The Cuban revolution (1959) resulted in the missionaries leaving in 1960. Fortunately an able member of the church with Bible Institute training, Juana Garcia, assumed leadership responsibilities. Under her guidance the church has weathered the difficulties, grown, and remained spiritually alive.
Fifteen years of separation between the Cuban and North American Brethren in Christ Churches ended when Canadian brother Ross Nigh visited Cuba in 1976. Some additional visits have taken place since then. In this way the Cuban and Nicaraguan Brethren in Christ Churches have developed a fraternal relationship.
In 2020 the Brethren in Christ Church was the only registered Anabaptist church in Cuba. Most of its 99 churches were house churches. More than 700 cell groups functioned alongside the organized congregations. They had a leadership training center in Palmira, Cuba; Mennonite Central Committee and the Be in Christ Church Canada helped to provide leadership training for pastors.
Evangelical Visitor (23 May 1955): 9; (25 April 1976): 8-9; (November 1984): 17-18.
Mennonite World Handbook Supplement. Strasbourg, France, and Lombard, IL: Mennonite World Conference, 1984: 68.
"Peaceful waters: the Mennonite church in the Caribbean." Courier Correo Courrier 35, no. 1 (April 2020): 13-14.
Wittlinger, Carlton O. Quest for Piety and Obedience: The Story of the Brethren in Christ. Nappanee, IN: Evangel Press, 1978: 516-518.
|Author(s)||Donald R. Zook|
|Martin H. Schrag|
|Date Published||April 2020|
Cite This Article
Zook, Donald R. and Martin H. Schrag. "Iglesia de Los Hermanos in Cristo, Cuba." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. April 2020. Web. 31 Mar 2023. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Iglesia_de_Los_Hermanos_in_Cristo,_Cuba&oldid=167763.
Zook, Donald R. and Martin H. Schrag. (April 2020). Iglesia de Los Hermanos in Cristo, Cuba. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 31 March 2023, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Iglesia_de_Los_Hermanos_in_Cristo,_Cuba&oldid=167763.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 414. All rights reserved.
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