Chad Mission

By Tony Ogouma

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Tony Ogouma is currently the president of the Gabon Mission of Seventh-day Adventists. He has a Master's degree in Biblical and Theological Studies from the Adventist University of Africa. He is married to Grace and they have one daughter.

Chad Mission is an administrative unit of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Chad. Chad Mission is part of Central African Union Mission in the West-Central African Division. Chad Mission covers the country of Chad, which is located in north-central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, Niger to the west, the Central African Republic in the south, and Nigeria to the southwest. Chad has a population of 15,408,000 with an area of 1,284,000 square kilometers. As of June 30, 2018, the Adventist membership was 3,054 with 42 churches.1

The Chad Mission was originally part of the old Central African Union Mission, which included Cameroon. In 2013, when Cameroon became a union, Chad was associated with four other countries to compose the new Central African Union of Missions. The mission was officially established in 1967 and organized in 1973.2 It was reorganized in 1987. The primary work of evangelism was done by the missionaries who came from abroad such as Albert Bodenman,3 who was also the first president of the mission when it was organized.

The Pioneer Movement in the Mission

In 1965 Chad was part of the Equatorial African Union Mission, which was part of the Southern European Division.4 Albert Bodenmann and his wife, Katharina, arrived in Koza (Cameroon) at the end of July 1955. He built the Koza Adventist Hospital, the doctors' and nurses’ residence, and many chapels and wells throughout the region. He translated and published the Sabbath School lesson quarterly and hymns into Fulfulde using the hectographic process.

On July 5, 1967, the Bodenmann family left the town of Koza to settle in Fort Lamy, which is today N’Djamena, the capital of Chad. The family was composed of Albert, Katharina, and three children: Reinhard (12), Edeltraud (10), and Christine (4). The missionary was also accompanied by young Chadian natives who were at his service in Koza. They were Sembel Pierre, Ouankissam Paul, and Warabel Gabriel.5

In 1968 Denote Michel, a native of Chad and teacher at Dogba Primary School, was called to reach the intellectuals of Fort-Lamy. In 1969 Bodenmann acquired land in the residential area where the Europeans who lived in Fort Lamy used to live and built the missionary house and mission office. In 1970, at Garangosso, a public evangelism effort was held by Denote Michel and Parsanga. This effort resulted in the baptism of 20 people. By 1971 the group was large enough to give birth to one of the first Adventist churches in Chad. In 1972 Ouankissam Paul, a native from Chad who became the first native evangelist, was sent to establish churches. He succeeded and established Adventist communities in Farfara, Gouboussia, and Saiga.6

As the work moved forward, a Swiss missionary, Pastor Sturn, was sent to direct the work in Chad. He established Bérée Medical Station in 1973. Armin Krakolinig, an Austrian missionary, came to Bérée in 1974. This led to the establishment of the Moundou Adventist church.7

On November 20, 1975, H. D. Burbank reported that “on November 5, 1975, the first agreement was reached with the government of Chad which opens the way for the Seventh-day Adventist World Service to enter that country and begin an agriculture program.”8

Creation of Chad Mission

Chad Mission was officially established in 1967 as part of the Equatorial African Union Mission. However, according to the archives, the Chad territory was part of the North Cameroon Mission which was established in 1931, organized in 1933, and reorganized in 1967,9 at the end of that year. The headquarters of the North Cameroon Mission was located in the Chad Republic. It was only in 1974 that Chad as a country became a mission by itself, with Albert Bodenmann as the president of the mission.10

When the Chad Mission was established, it was attached to the North Cameroon Mission, with headquarters in Chad. The Adventist message was first preached in the 1950s in the town that is called today N’Djamena. The work would be established inside the country through health infrastructure such as the Beree Hospital. The conversion of Gonyoa Ahmed from Guéra in 1981 was a great asset to reach out to Muslims in the north of the country.

Permanent Headquarters

Chad as a territory was part of the North Cameroon Mission, with headquarters in Chad. The permanent headquarters was built in 1969 by Albert Bodenmann who acquired land in the residential area where the Europeans who lived in Fort Lamy used to live. This headquarters was a one-story building with two apartments and some offices. The building is still being used in 2019 as the headquarters of the church in Chad.

Leadership

Presidents: Albert Bodenmman (1967-1983), Daniel Robsemann (1984-1985), Parsanga Biroubel Elie (1986-1988), Hans Obenaus (1989-1993), Ngba Alphonse (1994-1995), Asso’o Raymond Espoir (1996-1997), Ruben Rogerio da Conceicao (1998-2003), Klavack Paul (2003-2004), Allah Ridy Koné (2006-2008), Kamga Etienne (2008-2009), Asssembé Valère (2009-2010), Allah Ridy Koné (2010-2011), Wangkel Jacques (2011-2015), Atchouma Dieudonné (2015-2018).

Secretaries: Job Nguerebaye Ngaroita (1997-2009), Sali Togloko (2009-2011), Sateguele Sateguele (2012-2013), David Aoudou (2013-2016), Betsahel Moulngari (2016-2018).

Treasurers: Raymond Collin (1973-1979), Manuel Marinheiro (1979-1984), Jose Olmedo (1984-1986), Job Nguerebaye Ngaroita (1997-2009), Sali Togloko (2009-2011), Ramadan Pilkanra (2012-2015), Élisée Aminga (2016-2018).

Sources

General Conference minutes for November 20, 1975, Vote 75-434, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1975-11.pdf.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1968, 1973-1974.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2019.

Notes

  1. “Chad Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press Publishing Association, 2019), 388.

  2. “Chad Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1973-1974), 131.

  3. Betsaleel Moulngari, interview by author, N’Djamena, Chad, December 6, 2019.

  4. “Southern European Division,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1967), 229.

  5. Betsaleel Moulngari, interview by author, N’Djamena, Chad, December 6, 2019.

  6. Ibid.

  7. Wangkel Jacques, former mission president, interview by author, N’Djamena, Chad, December 6, 2019.

  8. General Conference minutes for November 20, 1975, Vote 75-434, http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Minutes/GCC/GCC1975-11.pdf.

  9. “North Cameroon mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1968), 239.

  10. “Chad Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1973-1974), 131.

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Ogouma, Tony. "Chad Mission." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Accessed January 27, 2022. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=4CBF.

Ogouma, Tony. "Chad Mission." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Date of access January 27, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=4CBF.

Ogouma, Tony (2021, April 28). Chad Mission. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved January 27, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=4CBF.