Singing the gospel in Côte d’Ivoire

Edmond Assamoi directs the choir at a recently opened United Methodist church outside Agboville, Côte d'Ivoire. The church is so new that it has not yet been named. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.
Edmond Assamoi directs the choir at a recently opened United Methodist church outside Agboville, Côte d'Ivoire. The church is so new that it has not yet been named. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Exuberant worship, passionate prayer and unflagging ministry with all people — these are some of the ways the church in Côte d’Ivoire is drawing new people to Christ.

West Africa is one of the few regions where The United Methodist Church has seen consistent growth, and United Methodists in Côte d’Ivoire are a significant part of that.

Since officially joining the United Methodist fold in 2008, the church in Côte d’Ivoire has expanded from about 700,000 members to more than 1.3 million. In this country where slightly over a third of the population is Christian, building a church is an act of evangelism.

The church’s gains have come even as the country itself has struggled with recent civil strife and the growing pains of development.

“The most important thing to me is to be part of a big family — the family of Christ Jesus — and the big mission that John Wesley started,” said the conference’s Bishop Benjamin Boni.

Read the UMNS special report on The United Methodist Church in Côte d’Ivoire.
 

A group of African women affectionately known as  Missionaries help growth in west Africa
 A married couple shows how United Methodists wed evangelism 
 and development in missionary work. They rely on support from
 a diverse church.

 

Viviane Daho broadcasts from The United Methodist Church's Voice of Hope radio station in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS. Church's voice of hope endures amid violence
 The United Methodist radio station in Côte d’Ivoire has braved 
 gun battles to share the gospel. Others want to emulate its
 passion for evangelism.  
 

Children celebrate Mardi Gras at the United Methodist Koumassi School in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Promoting unity across denominational and religious lines is a core mission in the country’s United Methodist schools where civil strife is a recent national memory. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS. Teaching Muslims and Christians for peace
 In a nation where civil war is a recent nightmare, United Methodist
 schools bring students together from various religious backgrounds
 with the goal of preparing future leaders.

 

A young girl arrives for Sunday worship at Nazareth United Methodist Church in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

A young girl arrives for Sunday worship at Nazareth United Methodist Church in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

 

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