African Bible Fellowship – Meets Sundays at 12:30 PM at Hope in Room 154
How did this ministry opportunity develop?
In the spring of 2017, Pastor Clay was approached by Elder Jay Omot from Christ Bible Church of Minnesota. Their church, of African refugees, was interested in becoming part of a larger church family so that they could make disciples more effectively both at home and abroad. They had spent a great deal of time in prayer and had visited many churches, but Hope Church was at the top of their list for this partnership.
How was the decision made to add the African Bible Fellowship to Hope’s ministries?
Pastor Clay met with the leadership team from Christ Bible Church. They laid out a clear vision for the potential partnership and expectations were discussed. Theological and missional alignment were confirmed. Clay brought this to the Elder board, Hope staff, and our EFCA district leadership. Next, several Elders and leaders from Hope visited their church to meet the larger body and praise Jesus. The board through research and prayer was unanimous in their decision to invite this ministry to join the Hope Church family. We believe that God has called us to this partnership.
Where in Africa have they relocated from and what brought them to the US?
The majority of the African Bible Fellowship are from the Anuak/Anyuak ethnic group. They are from the countries of South Sudan and Ethiopia. They have been given refugee status by the US government because of the violence that is occurring in their home countries. Their land is very resource rich and there are entities that are seeking to wipe out their people group and take their land. This violence has been present for 20 years and it is still a very tense situation in their home region.
Why does this ministry desire to be a part of Hope Church?
Ultimately, their desire is to make disciples more effectively than they are doing on their own. They see the benefit of being a part of a church with robust children’s and youth ministries. They want the leadership training and theological education that comes with being a part of a larger church and denomination. They long to be further equipped for mission at home and abroad. They desire to build Christ centered relationships outside of their people group. When it comes specifically to Hope, they were drawn to our mission, our commitment to the gospel, and the welcoming people they have experienced within our family.
How large a ministry is the African Bible Fellowship?
ABF currently has around 50 people involved in the ministry. These numbers are evenly split between children and adults.
Is the African Bible Fellowship a separate church?
No, by becoming a part of Hope, their church ceased to exist independently. ABF is a ministry of Hope, not as a church within a church. In much the same way that we have a youth ministry, we have a ministry to African refugees.
When does ABF worship and meet and can I attend the ABF gathering?
ABF meets Sundays at 12:30 PM. (Many people also attend the 10:30 AM service and stay for the afternoon meeting.) These gatherings are open to anyone who wants to experience and worship God alongside our brothers and sisters. They are excited to have you visit. You may even decide to become a regular in the group!