Central African Union 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.

First Published: January 26, 2022 | Last Updated: December 8, 2022

The Central African Union Mission is a part of the West-Central Africa Division of Seventh-day Adventists. It was organized in 1949 and has undergone several reorganizations. Its headquarters is in Libreville, Gabon.

Present Territory: Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon; comprising the Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon Missions; and the Congo Region.

Statistics (June 30, 2021): Churches, 142; membership, 16,518; population, 31,719,000.1

Organizational History

The Central Africa Union Mission was organized in 1949 as the French West and Equatorial African Union Mission.2 It was part of the Southern European Division and comprised the territories of French Cameroon, Chad, Ubangi-Shari, Middle Congo, Gabon, Spanish Guinea, Fernando Po, French Guinea, Senegal, Niger, Sudan, Upper Volta, and Mauretania.3 J. A. de Caenel served as president, and K. Scheidegger as secretary-treasurer.4

By 1960 the entity was renamed Equatorial African Union Mission, and its territory consisted of Cameroon, Congo Republic, Gabon Republic, Central African Republic, and Chad Republic; comprising the East Cameroons, Kribi, Nanga-Eboko, North Cameroons, Sangmelima, and Yaounde Missions, and the Bangui Mission Station.5 Its officers were Aime Cosendai, president, and Secretary-Treasurer and Auditor Kurt Scheidegger.6

In 1970 the institution’s territory was Central African Republic, Chad Republic, Congo (Brazzaville) Republic, Equatorial Guinea (Fernno-Poo and Rio Muni), Federal Republic Cameroun, and Gabon Republic, comprising the Central African Republic, Central Nyong, East Cameroun, Nanga-Eboko, North Cameroun and Sangmelima Missions; the Douala, Equatorial Guinea, Kribi, and Yaounde Mission Districs.7 Its officers were President Edwin Ludescher and Secretary-Treasurer and Auditor Raymond Collin.8

In 1981, when the Africa-India Ocean Division was organized, Equatorial African Union Mission became one of its unions. Its name was changed to West Central African Union Mission and its territory was: Central African Republic, Chad Republic, Congo Republic (Brazzaville), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon Republic, Niger Republic, Principe, Sao Tome, and United Republic of Cameroun; comprising the Central African Republic, Central-South Cameroun, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), East Cameroun, Gabon and Sao Tome, North Cameroun, and West Cameroun Missions.9 The officers were President Georges Hermans and Secretary-Treasurer and Auditor Manuel Marinheiro.10

By 1985 the name of the union had changed to Central Africa Union Mission. Its territory was Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon, comprising the Central African Republic, Central South Cameroon, Chad, East Cameroon, Gabon, North Cameroon, People’s Republic of Congo, and West Cameroon Missions. Officers were President Georges Hermans, Secretary Clement Roger Mahele, and Treasurer and Auditor Jose Olmedo.11

The name Central Africa Union Mission had previously been used for another territory in the Africa-Indian Ocean Division, comprising the Central Rwanda, East Burundi, East Rwanda, North Rwanda, South Rwanda, West Burundi, and West Rwanda Fields. In 1984, Rwanda became a union mission, and Burundi became an attached field to the Africa-Indian Ocean Division.12 The name “Central Africa Union Mission” was given to the present union that bears the name. Rwanda and Burundi are now in the East-Central Africa Division.

The Latest Reorganization of the Central Africa Union Mission

In 2013 Cameroon was split off to become Cameroon Union Mission, and the remaining countries retained the name Central African Union Mission.13

The Central Africa Union Mission headquarters was in Brazzaville, Congo. The first end of year executive committee of the union was held from January 13 to 18, 2014. In May 2014 Pastor Joseph Parfait Randriamampionoma, from Madagascar, was called to serve as union president. Before coming to the Central Africa Union mission, he served as the ministerial secretary and legal affairs director of the Indian Ocean Union.14

In September 2016, after much deliberation, the division executive committee decided to relocate the union headquarters from Brazzaville, Congo, to Bangui, in Central African Republic. In November 2017 Randriamampionoma was called to serve at the West Sahel Mission Union in Dakar, Senegal.15

On November 1, 2017, Pastor Salomon Assienin Grah was elected president of the Central Africa Union Mission. He had previously served as president of East Sahel Union, based in Lomé, Togo.16

On August 16, 2018, the West Central African Division executive committee, in Cote d’Ivoire, voted to transfer the headquarters of the union from Bangui, Central African Republic, to Libreville, Gabon.17 The Gabon Mission gave the union a building for their temporary use. On June 1, 2020, the union voted to buy a piece of land and a building in Okala for its permanent headquarters in Gabon.18

The Central African Union Mission has gone far. It is fulfilling its mission, despite such challenges as political instability in the countries where it serves. Since 2020, the union has started building apartments for its administrators and departmental directors. Plans are underway to organize countries such as Gabon, Chad, and Equatorial Guinea from mission to self-sustaining conference status.

Executive Officers Chronology

Presidents: Gilbert Wari, interim president (2014); Joseph Parfait Randriamapionoma, (2014-2017); Salomon Assienin Grah (2017-).

Executive Secretaries: Luc Sanda (2014-2015); Jean Moukoko (2015-).

Treasurers: Luc Sanda(2014-2019); Basile DjossouDjeglo (2019-).

Sources

Anonaba, Kingsley C. Notification letter “Délocalisation du Siege de l’Union de Afrique Centrale de Bangui, RépubliqueCentrafricaine à Libreville, Gabon,” Abidjan, August 20, 2018. West-Central Africa Division archives, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

Minutes of the Central African Union Mission Executive Committee, June 1, 2020. Accessed April 20, 2021. Central African Union Mission archives, Libreville, Gabon.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. https://www.adventistyearbook.org/.

Notes

  1. “Central African Union Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (2022), https://www.adventistyearbook.org/entity?EntityID=52482.

  2. “French West and Equatorial African Union Mission French West and Equatorial African Union Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1950), accessed September 20, 2022, YB1950.pdf (adventistarchives.org).

  3. Ibid.

  4. Ibid.

  5. “Equatorial African Union Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1960), accessed September 20, 2022, YB1960.pdf (adventistarchives.org).

  6. Ibid.

  7. “Equatorial African Union Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1970), accessed September 20, 2022, YB1970.pdf (adventistarchives.org).

  8. Ibid.

  9. “West Central African Union Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1982), accessed September 20, 2022, YB1982.pdf (adventistarchives.org).

  10. Ibid.

  11. “Central African Union Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1986), accessed September 20, 2022, YB1986.pdf (adventistarchives.org).

  12. “Rwanda Union Mission” and “Burundi Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (1985), accessed September 23, 2022, YB1985.pdf (adventistarchives.org).

  13. “Central African Union Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (2014), accessed September 20, 2022, YB2014.pdf (adventistarchives.org).

  14. Joseph Parfait Randriamampionoma, president of the Central African Union Mission (2015-2017), interview by author, November 8, 2017, Bangui, Central African Republic.

  15. Luc Sanda, treasurer of the Central African Union Mission (2013-2019), interview by author November 8, 2017, Bangui, Central African Republic.

  16. Salomon AssieninGrah, president of the Central African Union Mission (2017-), interview by author November 8, 2017, Bangui, Central African Republic.

  17. Kingsley C. Anonaba, notification letter “Délocalisation du Siege de l’Union de Afrique Centrale de Bangui, RépubliqueCentrafricaine à Libreville, Gabon,” Abidjan, August 20, 2018.

  18. Minutes of the Central African Union Mission Executive Committee, June 1, 2020, accessed April 20, 2021.

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Ogouma, Tony. "Central African Union Mission." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. December 08, 2022. Accessed May 28, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=BJAY.

Ogouma, Tony. "Central African Union Mission." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. December 08, 2022. Date of access May 28, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=BJAY.

Ogouma, Tony (2022, December 08). Central African Union Mission. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved May 28, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=BJAY.