History of Togo
History of the CLC’s work in Togo
In 1999 Elinore Gbedey was returning to the USA from teaching in the country of Benin. She came through Lome, Togo to visit there, since she is married to a Togolese. While in Lome, she came across a Lutheran, Amegan Kwaku Kpello (Mike) and explained our church to him. He seemed to have some interest, so she contacted Pastor Koenig who had previously been her pastor at Peace Thru Christ in Middleton, WI. Email correspondence resulted. Literature was sent and Mike decided to remain with his Lutheran church which is affiliated with the LC-MS. He gave contact information.
April 2001 – Kossi
This was a visit to contact a new prospect, Kossi, who Mike had found. We missed each other and did not meet. Kossi indicated he was still interested and was sent literature by mail.
September 2001 – Kossi
Study began with Kossi, who is a school teacher and a member of a Baptist church. Just as with Gideon so now with Kossi, theological education by extension was being carried out.
Studies continued with the missionary’s visit. At this time Kossi told how he saw that the Baptist church was not correct in baptism and commuion as he had seen in our catechism references. He said he had not been baptized and would like to be. On April 3rd the missionary baptized him at Gideon’s house.
Missionary Koenig made a brief visit to Lome to work with Kossi. A small congregation has been started and Kossi is trying to train another man to go to Kossi’s home villiage to work there.
December 2002 – Kossi in Efa, Nigeria
Kossi made a trip to visit with the missionary and the brethren in Efa. Studies on Law and Gospel continued with the missionary.
Pastor Karl Stewart visited with Kossi and his people and worked with them in Lome.
Pastor and Mrs. Koenig visited with Kossi. A loan of $500 was made to Kossi to plant sugarcane to support family and perhaps shift from teaching into full-time ministry.
April saw the missionary on the field. Registration with the government was started. An anticipated outreach with TV and videos is to be started. The congregation has 35 members in Lome, Togo with attendance of 25.
Registration to be finished in January 2006 – Land purchased and services started at Segbe – New man, Jerome, joining as pastor.
Missionary in the field in June and November.
Dec. – Missionary and Pastor Kossi could only confer for two days. A new pastor and congregation are requesting to join.
Due to time factors Pastor Kossi was invited to travel to Accra to meet with the missionary on the church’s work for two days. During this year more visiting between the NCLC and the EELCT has taken place building up the fellowship relationship.
Jan. 2008 Pastors Ude and Koenig visited the field. Pastor Kossi is training three new men and we pray these will be faithful and carry through. There are two congregations totaling 115 members and they are trying to open more stations.
Dec 2008 – Pastor Ude visits Togo with Pastor Gideon from Ghana. Pastor Kossi is ordained on Sunday, Dec 14th 2008.
Pastor Ude, Pastor Gideon from Ghana, Pastor Eric and Michael from Lagos, and member Martin Essien journey to Togo for open pastoral conference. The week leading up to Sunday was spent in open air evangelism meetings right outside the walls of the church where Kossi meets with his main congregation. At its height I would guess about 500 people were at the meetings each night. On Sunday after church we held a conference which 8 men attended as well as one female Sunday school teacher. A number of things were discussed, but most of it centered around infant baptism. These men for the most part understood the Biblical teaching of baptism, but were eager for a more thorough discussion since it is one of the areas they are most often attacked.
Pastor Ude visits Togo for a week. He continues work with the new men that Kossi is training to help him with the Lord’s work there in Togo. Together they spend a week beginning study in Wedland’s “Go and Teach”.
Missionary Matthew Ude was unable to make a visit to Togo, but did meet with Kossi in Badagari at the Joint West Africa CLC Pastoral Conference. Pastor Kossi along with five young men studying for the ministry under Kossi’s guidance, arrived in Badagari.
Kossi’s congregations in Varipariso ( 100 adults ) and Segby ( 20 adults ) remain about the same. He does however have two additional outreach areas. Both areas began with families who asked Kossi to come preach and have since grown slightly, in Hatoe there are about 9 adults, and 12 in Zangara. Kossi is also pursuing the possibility of working across the border in Benin.
He still has about five young men whom he is working at training for the ministry. He has taken them through the Catechism, “What does the Bible Say,” and is currently working on “What is preaching.” Besides this he prints out the ministry by mail each week and goes through that with them as well.