Posts tagged Sudan

Bishop Elijah From Sudan Visit to International Center


Pictured (left to right back): Dr. Curtis Peters, John Ater Deng, Rev. Larry Vogel, Abraham, Rev. Roosevelt Gray

Pictured (left to right front): Dr. Albert Collver, Dr. John Loum, Bishop Elijah Arok

9 December 2015

Today, Bishop Elijah Arok from the Anglican Church of South Sudan visited the International Center in St. Louis. He came on behalf of Archbishop John Machar Thon. The Anglican Church of South Sudan was formed in 2004 as a breakaway from the Anglican Communion. Since that time, the ACSS has discovered the Small Catechism and is interested in becoming a Lutheran church body. The ACSS seeks to gain rich and full knowledge of Lutheran theology through study of Luther’s Small Catechism and the Book of Concord, several copies of which have been shared with the church leaders and have been enthusiastically received. In many ways the church body has shown its eagerness to learn more about Lutheran doctrine as taught in the LCMS and to have a close working relationship with the Missouri Synod.

The Anglican Church of South Sudan

The Anglican Church of South Sudan (originally, the “Anglican Church of Sudan”) was established in 2004 in separation from the Episcopal Church of Sudan over the issue of accepted homosexuality in the clergy and church hierarchy. A large number of bishops, clergy, and congregations (probably approaching 50%) left because they deemed the accepted practice was unbiblical. After the independence of South Sudan was declared in 2011, the new church body made its area of emphasis in South Sudan and modified its name accordingly. Through the subsequent years of war, the church body has continued its faithfulness and has ministered to the multitudes of Sudanese refugees in neighboring countries and to the many who now make their homes in Australia, Canada, the United States, and other Western countries. The ACSS has approximately 1 million members.

The next step for the LCMS is to visit Juba, South Sudan, and see the church in person. The goal would be to establish theological education in the Lutheran Confessions and Lutheran Doctrine. May the Lord grant guidance and blessing to this endeavor.

— Rev. Dr. Albert B. Collver, Director of Church Relations

South Sudan Evangelical Lutheran Church (SSELC)

Collver Nathaniel Bol and Shewmaker July 2015

Pictured (Left to Right): Dr. Collver, Rev. Nathaniel Bol, Rev. Russell Shewmaker

On 30 July 2015, Rev. Nathaniel Bol, the leader of the SSELC, visited the International Center to present his request for fellowship with the LCMS. The South Sudan Evangelical Lutheran Church (SSELC) was formed on June 12, 2011 in Bor, Jonglei State, South Sudan.



Prior to June 2011, Rev. Nathaniel Bol was an Anglican priest and theological educator for 27 years in the the Episcopal Church of Sudan. He and 16 other ordained Anglican priests left the Anglican church to form this emerging Lutheran church body. The group did not attempt to take their congregations with them, but rather formed a small congregation consisting of 21 people at the church’s founding. Rev. Nathaniel Bol and the 16 other ordained pastors left the Anglican church over matters of Biblical interpretation, particularly the sexuality decisions made by the Anglican church. Rev. Nathaniel Bol also found the ecumenicalism of the Anglican church, particularly, worshiping with Pentecostals, Methodists, Baptists, to be unionistic and syncretistic. The reason this group departed the Anglican church according to them was for doctrinal reasons and no other reasons. Rev. Nathaniel Bol indicated that prior to departing the Anglican church, they studied what church body might hold a similar view of Scripture and an understanding of doctrine as they did. As a result, they found the Lutheran church, the mother of the Reformation, Eventually, over the internet they located the Missouri Synod. Today, the church has about 3,000 members.


In December 2014, there was a conflict in Bol, South Sudan. many of the church members had to flee from the rebel fighters. The church members scattered to places in South Sudan, Uganda, and Kenya.


It was good to meet the leader of an emerging church in South Sudan. The fellowship request goes to the CTCR for further discussion in September.

— Rev. Dr. Albert B. Collver, Director of Church Relations

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