Belize is small Central American country of approximately 275,000 people. Old Colony Mennonites first arrived in Belize in 1958. In 1988 they continue to live in colonies.
Outreach to the Old Colony Mennonites was: begun in 1960 by Mennonite Central Committee. In 1963 this was transferred to Eastern Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities (MC). During thb time and up to the mid-1970s, medical and agricultural work was carried out by missionaries in the Orange Walk District. As a result, outreach to the local Belizians began in place of continuing to help the colonies, which were now self-sufficient Emphasis was placed on evangelism and church growth.
By 1973 the Belize Evangelical Mennonite Church General Church Council was established, consisting of pastors and deacons from each congregation. The church was incorporated in 1981. In 1987 the Belize Evangelical Mennonite Church (Iglesia Evangélica Menonita de Belice) had 14 congregations and approximately 400 members, worshiping in English, Spanish, and Garifuna (the language of an ethnic group descended from African slaves who intermarried with indigenous peoples), or often in a combination of two of these languages. All of these churches have Belizian pastors. A yearly country-wide conference helps to unify the congregations. Pastors also unite for leadership training. In 2003 there were 425 members in 13 congregations.
Three missionary families working under the Eastern Board served the churches in leadership training in the districts of Orange Walk, Belize and Cayo, and Stann Creek. Approximately 40 pastors or potential leaders weres involved in weekly Bible studies and leadership training courses as well as three or four regional seminars per year. In 1987 three of these leaders are also enrolled in SEMILLA, the Mennonite extension seminary for Central America (Consulta Anabautista Menonita de Centroamericana).
Kraybill, Paul N., ed. Mennonite World Handbook. Lombard, IL: Mennonite World Conference, 1978: 192-193.
Mennonite World Handbook Supplement. Strasbourg, France, and Lombard, IL: Mennonite World Conference, 1984: 49.
Mennonite Yearbook and Directory (1988-89): 153.
Cite This Article
Mellinger, Ruth. "Iglesia Evangélica Menonita de Belice." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 19 Apr 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Iglesia_Evang%C3%A9lica_Menonita_de_Belice&oldid=54421.
Mellinger, Ruth. (1987). Iglesia Evangélica Menonita de Belice. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 April 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Iglesia_Evang%C3%A9lica_Menonita_de_Belice&oldid=54421.
Herald Press website.
©1996-2014 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.