Cuba is the newest Mission Province of the Board of World Mission, but the roots of the ministry go back about 15 years. In the late 1990’s, Rev. Robert Sawyer (then Southern Province Provincial President) received a letter from a small group of brothers and sisters in Cuba, asking if they could “be Moravians!” Eventually, the group was designated as a Mission Area of the Moravian Church under the supervision of the Moravian Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. In January, 2012, its supervision was transferred to the Southern Province in America and then accepted by the BWM.
Seven Facts About the Moravian Church in Cuba:
- On January 11, 2013, the Cuban government gave full legal recognition to the Moravian Church in Cuba. This is a very important and significant step for this Mission Area and will consider January 11, 2013 as their official founding date.
- There are 8 congregations and 14 “fraternities” (fellowships) in Havana, Matanzas, Holguín and Camaguey, Mayabeque and Guantanamo.
- The first National Conference was held in Havana in October 2013 with 10 delegates from each of the 5 districts of the Moravian Church in Cuba, along with 3 fraternal delegates. The 53 folks gathered at the Episcopal Diocese center in Havana. The Book of Order was ratified and an official board was elected with Rev. Armando Rusindo as president.
- In October 2013, Rev. Armando Rusindo was consecrated a Presbyter, two pastors were ordained as Deacons, and one Deacon received from the Reformed Church. The Rt. Rev. Sam Gray officiated at the service of ordination and consecration.
- The Rev. Juan Miguel Cruz and Rev. Leonardo Gonzalez serve in Holguin.
- A Women’s Conference was held at the end of November, 2012 with participation by representatives from the BWM, the Southern Province in America and the Eastern West Indies Province.
- A covenant has been signed with Laurel University, making it possible for pastors, ministerial candidates and others in Cuba to complete their Biblical, Pastoral and Theological studies online at a reduced cost. The BWM hopes to focus on leadership development and equipping pastors for continued ministry and outreach with and among our Cuban sisters and brothers.