Rast Idossa GieschenIMG_5911

L-R The Rev. Dr. Larry Rast, president of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne; the Rev. Dr. Wakseyoum Idossa, president of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus; and the Rev. Dr. Charles Gieschen, academic dean, pause during Idossa’s visit to the seminary Dec. 15, 2014.

For Immediate Release
December 15, 2014

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—The faculty, students and staff of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, were pleased to welcome the Rev. Dr. Wakseyoum Idossa, president of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY), to the campus today, December 15, 2014. The EECMY is the largest and fastest growing Lutheran church body in Africa with nearly seven million members. President Idossa’s visit follows meetings that took place in November in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that continued the discussion concerning the relationship between The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and the EECMY. Those discussions were focused especially on partnering in theological education and human care opportunities.

CTS has been providing theological education to Ethiopians for well over a decade with Ethiopian students traveling to study at the Fort Wayne campus and by having members of the faculty teach at the Mekane Yesus Seminary. “We are particularly glad today to celebrate the relationship that is budding between our seminary and the EECMY. We are partnering already with the EECMY in very important ways, especially by working very specifically and intentionally with the Mekane Yesus Seminary in Addis Ababa,” commented CTS President Dr. Lawrence R. Rast Jr.

In his comments to the CTS community President Idossa expressed his thanks. “It is the pleasure of my church body to be partnering with the seminary and with our dear friend, President Rast, who visited us last November to discuss ways of working more closely. We are thankful for your prayers and also for the support you are contributing. I ask you to continue to uphold us in your prayers and also walk together with us as we are engaging in God’s mission to serve the Ethiopian society and beyond.”

Among several participants in the November meetings in Addis Ababa was the Rev. Dr. Albert B. Collver, director of LCMS Church Relations, who commented on the visit, “I am very pleased that President Idossa was able to visit the Fort Wayne seminary. I expect great things to emerge from this and other meetings.”

“We are very blessed to be expanding our working together with the EECMY,” said President Rast. “We look forward to God continuing to bless our relationship.”