West Central Ethiopia Field

West Central Ethiopia Field

Historical Background

Historically in the book of “Adventism in Ethiopia it has stated that “Green Lake Seventh-Day Adventist Church was established in 1963 by the indigenous person whose name was Jabesa Ejeta. His title was “Balambaras”-a military title, which means the head man of the Amba or hill fortress. He was a member of parliament in the House of Representatives. He had made some commitments to the people around Jimma Genet at the time of his election campaigns. He now was trying his best to fulfill his promises. With these thought he went to EUM office in 1963. By sheer coincidence he knocked at the office of Tiruneh W/Silasse ‘s office.  After exchanging his traditional salutation with him he explained his entire burden concerning the urgent needs of his people at Jimma Genet. He presented his request to open Clinic to meet the health needs of his people. Then Pr. Tiruneh stated that “I must admit, I too was impressed by the urgency of the need and the sincerity of the man.” I introduced Balambaras Jabesa to pastor O. Jordal, president of the Union. The Idea caught fire,” and the committee decided to send both Pr. Tiruneh and Pr. O Jordal to the Jimma Genet specifically to the place B/Jabesa Ejeta had a plan to erect the clinic which later called Green Lake.

“Green Lake is in the Wellega province, 307km from Addis Ababa and 116km away from near-east hospital from Nekemte and 226km from WEC/Gimbie/while Bako town is 191km from Gimbie the head quarter of the WEC.  Pastor Turuneh has also stated that “The visiting group was taken by big surprise at the time they arrived at Green Lake, to find such a vast gathering of people waiting to welcome them. In their surveying of the place they saw a large lake covered by green grass which was the deepest lake in Ethiopia with about fifty islands on it. Thus, according to pr. Tiruneh it was pastor O. Jordal who called the place Green Lake, which otherwise was called Jimma Geneti. Jordal called it Green Lake because of the green grass we saw covering the lake and that was how the name green Lake was coined.”

After two years of processing on the project, “a brand-new clinic was born, whose birth brought untold joy and rejoicing to the heart of the indigenous people and Seventh-Day Adventist Church.” That was the foundation for the introduction of the Gospel to the area. It was in “May 2, 1965 that the official opening date of the clinic was conducted.” Since, that pioneers such as “Sr. Anna Jensen, Mr. John Oddie, Mr. David Syme, Sr. Alice Osana and Ato Tamiru Dafa and etc., was rendered their service “as the physician and church pastors.

The book of “Adventism in Ethiopia” has stated that “Green Lake is a very isolated place. The feeder road from Bako to the Clinic was miserable in the summer months and impassable in the rainy season. There was no telephone line and no sign of civilization around there. People who volunteered to work there had to accept that kind of environment.” However, despite of many challenges to penetrate the area with Good news of the Gospel of Christ, the SDA church has been expanded to the four directions of its surroundings.  The church grew from single mother church Green Lake to 45 churches in both Green Lake and Bako.  But today praise the Lord and the Current government has connected the place with towns around and provided with electric power and road. Thus, Bako is the expansion from Green Lake surrounded by many un-entered areas, like Gedo, Ijaji, Shoboka, Sire, Chari, Gebeya Sanbata,  Guduru Kombolcha, Dadu, Homi, Amarti, Jarte, Abe Dongoro Boshe to west Bako and areas around Gibe river to Limu Saka.

Bako was penetrated in the year 2000  by the Global pioneer pastor Temesgen Edesa who was assigned by the WEF at the time. Teacher Yohannes Gudina and His family were the right hands for the establishment of BaKo SDA church who were settled in the town at the arrival of the Global pioneer. This family was the base to allow some members to worship God in their own house every week for some years. Then, upon the arrival of the pioneer SDA church is introduced to the government officials and the house of worship is rented and the activity of worshiping is officially started under the leadership of the global pioneer.  His leadership helped the WEF leaders to further plan for the future of the church around green lake.  Probably, it was after five years of struggle the West Ethiop Field leaders determined to buy the land with 100,000.00 ETB with one residence and open kg school at the request of the community. Today this kg school has developed to elementary school.

The West Central Ethiopian Field (WCEF) was established in March 8/ 2017G C. WCEF is subsidiary entity of the former Ethiopia Union Mission which is now subsidiary entity of the Western Ethiopia Union Mission of Seventh-day Adventist Church, established for the purpose of facilitating the proclamation of the everlasting gospel, in the context of the Three Angels Message of Revelation 14: 6-12, to all peoples within its territory. The population data of WCEF Territory as shown in Wikipedia free Encyclopedia is total of 2,109,925 of which 1,054,530 are Male; 1,055,395 are female and 282,900 are urban.  Furthermore the major religious groups comprised West Central Ethiopia Field are Coptic Orthodox 34.21 Protestants 51.67; Muslims; 7.23 Traditional 3.6 Adventists 1.06 in Average. This is based on the 2007 census conducted by the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oromia_Region), accessed on March 10/2021.

West Central Ethiopia Field of Seventh – day Adventist Church is one of the Field encompassed in Western  Ethiopia  Union Mission whose Head Quarter is situated in Bako  town at 250km from the capital of the country Addis Ababa Ethiopia. The Seventh – day Adventist Church began its movement in this western part of Ethiopia in 1925, especially at a place called Aira domi, by the prominent pioneers Mr. W. Kolling and his colleagues Mr. Muse Johnson, the European Seventh – day Adventist Missionaries. Later on, these missionaries opened schools and small clinics at Gimbie and started worshiping in school. Auspiciously, the then station became the present head quarter of the West Ethiopia Field of Seventh – day Adventist Church, which is currently developed to Conference Status and named West Ethiopia Conference.  The Conference has reached many of the provinces of the area with the good news of salvation and won a massive number of souls for the kingdom of God and, although still there are many an entered towns and villages of which the West Central Ethiopia Field is one of the largest territory with many un entered areas with the Seventh Adventist Message.

Bako town was chosen as head quarter for this Field by the EUM realignment committee because of its geographical location. Baco takes its Western direction from Addis Ababa to Asosa road and situated between Ambo and Nekemte town and the center for Part of West Shewa province, East wellega and Horo Guduru Wellega and Benishangul Gumuz provinces or regional states.

Currently the Field comprises of  Five districts namely, Green Lake district, with  5768 members, Bako district with 4313 members, Nekemete district with 1462 members and Arjo district with 1585 members, and Warandab district with 2437  totally it holds about 15,565 total baptized members as of December 2020. The Field consists of 124 local churches (of which 63 are organized and 61 are companies).

Green Lake district has been the Mother for the three districts out of the five districts.

Furthermore the Field is run by six ordained ministers and 39 unordain ministers, of which 29 are regular workers and 14 are contract. The school has run by 33 total teachers of which 26 are regular and 17 are contract. The grand total of the work force of the Field are 78 employees.

The Field runs two junior secondary schools, and two kindergartens, namely Bako and Nekemte respectively.

Bako Junior Secondary School

Bako Junior Secondary school was started in September 2006 GC by opening a new brand Kindergarten school based on the strong request of the Community in the town. The first kindergarten school opened with only 50 students in the rented house.  The house rented was served for dual purposes. The number one purpose was to serve as the house of Worship every Sabbath and the other was as the class room from Monday to Friday. Latter on the same house was purchased and owned by the Field and one big block building was erected for kindergarten students (kg 1; Kg 2 and kg 3 classes was opened in the same campus. After September 2008 GC the school has developed to grade 1-8 and the total number of the students was 268.The school has run by 4 nursery teachers at the beginning and currently run by 16 teachers and the number of students from Kg-to grade 8 in 2020 was 455.

Nekemte SDA Junior secondary School

Nekemte Junior Secondary school was begun in September 2006 with grade 1-4 with total of 253 students and grade 5-8 was begun in 2010 with 150 students. Nekemte SDA kindergarten was began in 2018 with 43 students. The school is located in East Wellega Zonal administration town Nekemt which is around Chalalaki village in Nekemte SDA Church campus. The campus is approximately, fund at 20 minute drive from the center road and directed to the Northern part of Nekemte municipality bureau to geter menged road. The school site is fund in a plain field with a beautiful and green playing ground which is favorable for students at all level. Currently the school is run by 15 teachers and 7 none teaching stuff in both Kg and junior secondary school. The current number of kg students’ are120, Grade 1-8 are 173, and the total of 293 students are registered.

Both of its institutions Bako and Nekemte elementary schools are lovely and promising to develop to high school level. The site is really favorable to reach all unreached areas around it.  The un-entered villages and towns surrounding the head quarter needs careful attention and demands a well-trained evangelists to harvest too many new souls for Christ.  A lot of energy and spiritual preparation is needed to over thrown the kingdom of Satan in the Nekemte city which is big and first among the cities around WCEF.