The Moravian Church in Guyana
53 New Garden and Anira Streets
Guyana, South America
Office phone: 592-226-2524
PEC Chair: The Rev. Brinmore Phaul
Moravian missionaries first came to Guyana, a tropical country on the Atlantic coast of South America in 1738. British colonial authorities denied them permission to evangelize the African slaves, so they turned their ministry toward the Amerindians, but were unable to establish a permanent mission. Seventy years later the London Missionary Society succeeded in placing missionaries among the African slaves. Slavery was eventually abolished in the British colonies in 1834.
Moravians returned to Guyana in 1878 at the invitation of Quintin Hogg, a landowner who desired Moravian teachers to educate his employees. They established a mission at Graham’s Hall plantation directed to former slaves. Congregations were eventually started in other locations.
Current Scope Of Ministry
The membership of the Moravian Church in Guyana is mainly Afro-Guyanese, despite the racial plurality of the country, which is about 39% Indo-Guyanese, 35% Afro-Guyanese and the remainder being Chinese, Portuguese, Amerindian, and a few whites. Today there are eight Moravian congregations and about 700 communicant members.
The program of the church is primarily the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Youth and women’s work are also emphasized, with groups for each in nearly all congregations. A few congregations also operate thrift societies such as the Credit Union and the Penny Bank.
The Moravian Church in Guyana has a strong ecumenical orientation expressed through its partnership with the Methodist and Congregational churches in the establishment of a United Mission in the bauxite mining districts of Guyana. Five congregations with over 600 members have resulted from this united effort. The Moravian Church in Guyana is also actively involved in the extension seminary program of the Guyana Council of Churches.
Within recent times the church has been seeking to engage in mission beyond its borders and has been involved in exploratory visits to French Guiana and Venezuela.
The Moravian Church in Guyana is governed by a provincial conference, meeting annually. The pastoral staff and provincial leadership of the Moravian Church in Guyana consist entirely of Guyanese. The Rev. Brinmore Phaul is Chairman of the Provincial Board.
Role of the Board of World Mission
The Moravian Church in Guyana and the Board of World Mission have been affiliated since 1958. BWM’s partnership has included pastoral and financial support. Currently, Guyana is working on how to develop a HIV / AIDS response project.