Friday, May 15, 2009

A brief history of ECSS

In the late 1980's, young Sudanese men and women from the Southern Sudan, fleeing the constant fighting and persecution of the war in Sudan, began to arrive in Kenya. Some of these Sudanese settled in the Dadaf refugee camp, others in the outskirts of the town of Thika, and still others in Nairobi.
Some of these refugees became Christians. Instead of seeking resettlement overseasor in neighboring countries, these Christians determined to go back to war-ravaged South Sudan in order to share the Word of God with those who had remained behind.
The first Evangelical Church of South Sudan (ECSS) congregation was formed early in 1998 in Torit County, which is in Eastern Equatoria State. The membership decided that it would be preferable to be called ECSS which would more correctly reflect their desire to be a non-denominational church both in their nature as well as in their approach. This grew out of a desire to avoid what has happened to other churches in South Sudan, as well as in the rest of the world. That is, that the churches had become divided into denominational lines. It was felt that by dividing along denominational lines, Islam and African traditional religions would likewise continue to gain ground. The memborship felt strongly that South Sudan needed a united Church which could face the expansion of Islam from the northern part of the country to the south.

ECSS is a non-denominational, indigenous, evangelical church committed to the Protestant Reformation. For the last 10 years of its existence, ECSS has held the privileged position of being the established church in its area. ECSS seeks to initiate, maintain, and strengthen its relationships with and engage in mission work alongside of other evangelical Christain churches, denominations, missions, and ecumenical agencies for the common mission of our Lord Jesus Christ.
At present, the ECSS has 6 congregations in Southern Sudan, all in the Eastern Equatoria State, which borders Kenya and Uganda. Currently, the church has over 3,500 registered full members with their ministers.

The ECSS has a mission vision of reaching the unreached in all parts of Southern Sudan as well as into the surrounding nations beyond the borders of Sudan. As we have only been in operation for some 10 years, our initial ministry focus or concentration has been among the Otuho people group in eastern Equatoria State. Nevertheless, we are also currently working with other ethnic groups including the Boys, Didinga, Lang'o, Lopit, Pari and Acholi people groups in Easter Equatoria State.