Lesotho Evangelical Church Celebrates 175 Years

Lesotho Evangelical Church Celebrates 175 Years

Howard Goodrich and his daughter Darla represented Global Ministries at the Lesotho Evangelical Church’s 175th anniversary celebration.

One of Global Ministries historic partners in southern Africa, the Lesotho Evangelical Church (LEC), celebrated 175 years on October 25-26, 2008.  Founded in 1833 by missionaries from the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society (French Reformed Church), the LEC is one of the oldest Christian churches on the continent.  The LEC is the largest protestant church in the country of Lesotho with 250,000 plus members.  It is an ecumenical church– a member of the All-Africa Conference of Churches and the Lesotho Christian Council. 

The LEC sponsors and operates many specialized service ministries in this nation of two million:  580 primary and secondary schools, two hospitals and associated clinics, a seminary, a fine museum representing the history of the church and country, a major printing works that produces religious and commercial materials, HIV/AIDS programs and other human development efforts.  A first radio station was dedicated at the celebration.  It will carry religious music, educational HIV/AIDS and agricultural programs as a part of its ministry.  Water acquisition and storage projects for LEC schools are currently underway with aid from Global Ministries.  Winter and early spring droughts are causing severe shortages that impact the schools of the country. 

The 175th celebration lasted two days –attracting thousands across the country.  The midnight worship Holy Communion service at Morija on October 25 numbered about 10,000 worshipers.  The king of Lesotho and the prime minister, a Mosotho LEC layman, heads the democratic government of the country.  The LEC, during dictatorships lasting from 1970 to 1994, was the liberation church of Lesotho – standing with the people, suffering leadership loses by forced exile, arrested and imprisonment without charge or trial and a number of murders.

Mr. Mark Behle, a high school educator, is the Global Ministries missionary currently serving in Lesotho, and along with Rev. Darla Goodrich Glynn and Dr. Howard B. Goodrich, represented Global Ministries at the 175th anniversary celebration.

To read a DisciplesWorld article on the 17th anniversary celebration, click here: