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Gabon


Gabonese Republic

World Convention is currently building a global reference for the  countries and territories where we know there are Christian – Churches of Christ – Disciples of Christ Congregations. Of the 193 United Nations States, the Stone-Campbell Movement exists in 165. This listing includes other nations and territories, numbering 194 countries where there is at least one representation of our churches.

Rather than waiting for comprehensive, complete information we are putting up the details we have available. If you can correct or add to this information, please contact the World Convention Office with details at gary@worldconvention.org.

Background

The West African nation of Gabon is bisected by the Equator. To the north lies Cameroon and to the east and the south is Congo. The tiny country of Equatorial Guinea is bordered by Gabon on two sides. Gabon is a large nation with an area of nearly 268,000 sq km (103,000 sq miles). The population, made up largely of Bantu Tribes, stands at about 1.3 million people making Gabon a rather sparsely populated country.

The area of Gabon was thought to be originally populated by Pygmies. The present population is largely descendant of Bantu ethnic groups which entered the area after 1300. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to stake a claim in the area, arriving in 1483. France gained control in 1842; the French Navy was pivotal in suppressing the slave trade out of Gabon. The French released captives at a place on the coast that was named Libreville (Libertyville), which later became the capital. Gabon achieved independence from France in 1966, though France has continued to play a role in the country’s politics and oil-based economy. Gabon introduced a multi-party system in 1991 which was designed to allow a greater political voice for the many ethnic groups. Gabon is a republic with a single legislative body known as the National Assembly.

Economically, Gabon is still largely under developed. Significant oil reserves and about a quarter of the world manganese deposits are important segments of Gabon’s domestic product. Still largely covered by tropical rain forest, Gabon exports valuable timber and wood products. Despite these resources, half of the population still survives as subsistence farmers.

Religion

73 %  Christian, 12%  Islam , 10% traditional indigenous religious beliefs , and 5 percent practice no religion.

Stone-Campbell Movement in Gabon
Churches of Christ have been responsible for bringing the Stone-Campbell Movement to Gabon. Ghanaian Christians of the Churches of Christ were known to have entered Gabon in 1990. Every four years Churches of Christ in Africa host a conference known as Africans Claiming Africa for Christ (ACA). The purpose of the ACA movement is to mobilize Christians and churches in missions throughout the continent and beyond. A goal is that Africans themselves be the pioneer missionaries on the ground. After the first conference in 1992 members planted churches in several African nations, including establishing five churches in Gabon.American missionary, Dan McVey, assisted the African Christians with visitation and obtaining French-language materials in 1995. Others who have assisted in Gabon have been Jerry L. Davidson, George Akpabli and Sylvain Arseneault.
International Churches of Christ have a congregation in Libreville.
In October of 1998 Reggie Thomas and Jim Boman of Christian Churches/Churches of Christ from White Fields Overseas Evangelism made an exploratory trip to Libreville with the hopes of establishing a church. While in Gabon they became acquainted with Brother Felix, the minister of Eglise du Jesu Crist, a non-denominational congregation in Libreville. Thomas and Boman shared with Brother Felix the doctrinal points of New Testament Christianity and found that they were in one accord. Brother Felix invited White Fields to return to Gabon in the following year to preach an evangelistic crusade. In June of 1999 Reggie Thomas and song evangelist Barbara Barger returned to Gabon where a meeting was held in a local stadium. Afterwards, they remained for several days conducting teaching seminars. As a result of these meetings the congregation led by Brother Felix and another congregation decided to fellowship together and become Christian churches.

Clinton J. Holloway
National Profiles Editor
2008

Revised by Gary Holloway, December 5, 2013

For further historical reference:
Churches of Christ Around the World, Lynn, Mac, 21st Century Christian Publications, Nashville, TN, 2003.

Disciples of Christ Historical Society, 1101 19th Avenue, South, Nashville, TN (USA) 37212, Telephone: 615 327 1444
Website: http://www.discipleshistory.org (provides links to other historical sites/databases).

Contact Information

A. National Office
B. Congregational Information
C. Educational Institutions
D. Social Service Ministries
E. Magazines/Periodicals
F. International Ministries

White Fields Overseas Evangelism, Reggie Thomas, Evangelist
P.O. Box 1089 Joplin, MO 64802-1089
Telephone: 417-483-9029, 417-782-7672
Email: whitefds@sbc.net, webmaster@christiancall.com

G. Conventions/Lectureships/Assemblies/Forums/Conferences
H. Points of Interest