Mission worker: Sarah Henken, regional liaison for the Andean Region, South America
Presbyterians began their involvement with Ecuadorian Christians in 1945. From the beginning our partner church has engaged in ministry with many surrounding churches to pool resources, leaders, opportunities for education, efforts for human rights and social justice, and response to refugees fleeing from turmoil in neighboring Colombia.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) cooperates in ministry in Ecuador with partner churches and with the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI), an ecumenical organization of Protestant churches throughout Latin America based in Ecuador.
Read a brief history of Ecuador.
Partner churches and organizations
Presbyterian witness in Ecuador began in 1945 with the United Andean Indian Mission, an interdenominational group which included the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., the Presbyterian Church in the U.S., the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ and the Disciples of Christ. In 1965 the Iglesia Evangelica Unida del Ecuador (United Evangelical Church of Ecuador) was formed as a result of a merger between the United Andean Indian Mission and the Church of the Brethren in Ecuador. Besides the Dominican Evangelical Church of the Dominican Republic, it is the only other United Church in Latin America that was organized by more than one denomination. The United Evangelical Church of Ecuador has become now the Iglesia Evangélica Metodista Unida del Ecuador (United Methodist Evangelical Church of Ecuador).
The Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI) is an ecumenical organization comprised of 145 member churches and fraternal ecumenical and confessional associations from Mexico to Chile, including the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. Since its years in formation (from 1978 until its official founding in 1982), CLAI has provided a forum for the process of church unity, evangelization, theological reflection, ministerial formation and action and response to social justice issues. While based in Quito, Ecuador, CLAI also maintains five regional offices in Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina, plus program offices on evangelism in Uruguay and for Women, Family and Children in Costa Rica. CLAI program emphases include youth, environment, liturgical development, racial justice, refugees, displaced people and human rights, the monitoring of peace processes in Guatemala and El Salvador, and development of communication processes and technologies inchurches and ecumenical organizations.
The PC(USA) participates in a project with the Communications Department of CLAI and a Lutheran publisher in Brazil to publish the book series Partners in God’s Mission in Spanish and Portuguese.