A long-term dream is coming true! One of the joys of being a church-based college and seminary is that we are part of the mission of the local church. Bethlehem Baptist Church is committed to church-planting, reaching unreached and untargeted people groups, and theological training in places that are hungry for God’s Word. We have graduates scattered across the world in India, Bhutan, Jordan, Brazil, Afghanistan, China, and the list can go on.
Please join me in giving thanks to God for answering our prayers to launch a church-based seminary in Cameroon, West Africa. Our graduate, Dieudonné Tamfu, and his wife and two children, returned to Cameroon last August. He came to us from Cameroon over a decade ago, studied in The Bethlehem Institute, earned his PhD at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and served as a pastor at Jubilee, one of Bethlehem’s church plants in south Minneapolis. Though he was in the US for all these years, he knew God wanted him to return to Cameroon. After a year of intense French study and settling into Yaoundé, he launched the Bethlehem College & Seminary Cameroon Extension Site this June with its first course, Studies in Theology: The Kingdom of God. Dieudonné and I served as the course instructors; Rick Segal (Vice President of Advancement) and Daniel Kleven (4th year seminary student and Admissions Director) also did substantial teaching in the course.
Four students have been officially admitted to the cohort. The matriculated students are Nelson (an experienced pastor serving a Cameroon Baptist Convention church in Yaoundé); Elison (a government school teacher), Daniel, (a Data Clerk for a ministry addressing the HIV epidemic), and Edwin (in his second year of church planting in Yaoundé). In addition to the cohort, about 150 pastors and leaders came for the 8 hours of lecture. Many traveled significant distances to attend. Some even came from the troubled Northwest and Southwest regions which are experiencing severe turmoil. These participants came by motor bike on the back roads and trails to avoid the many checkpoints. The feedback was substantial and overwhelmingly positive. We have heard many testimonies of pastors who were helped by the balanced Biblical teaching on the Kingdom of God. The prosperity gospel has deeply impacted the church in Cameroon. The Sunday after the conference, one pastor stood up and asked forgiveness from his congregation for falsely teaching that the reason they are poor and sick is that they don’t have enough faith. The “already but not yet of the Kingdom” was profoundly helpful in correcting his prosperity teaching. He will teach differently now!
Bethlehem College & Seminary now has two extension sites, one in Memphis, TN, and one in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Your prayers and generous giving are playing a crucial role in our vision to spread a passion for God’s supremacy in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ.
Together with you in the Greatest Cause,
Please pray for:
- Dr. Tamfu as he teaches three courses to the cohort this semester which is beginning next week.
- All the students, staff and faculty of Bethlehem College & Seminary in Yaoundé, Memphis, and Minneapolis. Specifically pray that this coming academic year will be filled with encounters with the living God through the careful study and Spirit-led application of God’s Word;
- Pray for peace and justice in Cameroon.