Church of Christ in Congo - Baptist Community of Congo
(Eglise du Christ au Congo - Communauté baptiste du Congo, CBCO)
The Livingstone Inland Mission started working in Lower Congo in 1878. The work was taken over by the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society in 1884 which, together with seven other mission societies, created in 1902 the Missionary Conference, forerunner of the Protestant Council of Congo in 1928. The Baptist Church of Congo was formed in 1946. It went through several name changes and mergers, was a founding member of the Church of Christ in Congo and adopted in 2004 a new constitution under the name Baptist Community of Congo. The foundation of the teaching of the church is the word of God as revealed in the holy scriptures, which is freely studied in the light of the faith, the Baptist and evangelical tradition, Christian conscience and modern science. The church opens its doors to each person on the basis of the faith in Jesus Christ, without imposing any confession of faith, regardless of race, region, country and ethnic group. It assembles the faithful in evangelism, social activities, worship and in the mission of Jesus Christ so that together they contribute to the furtherance of the kingdom of God on earth and in the country and constitute through the gospel, the source of eternal life and of progress of the individual and the society. The CBCO seeks to consolidate the unity of its action through the respect of the diversity of the people and ethnic groups which form the community, the principle of autonomy and decentralization, better communication between the local churches and regional alternation in leadership.
The community has departments for evangelism, church life and mission, for education, medical services, women and development. It has a convention with the state for the running of 608 primary and 453 secondary schools. It operates nine hospitals, 96 health-care centres and two training schools for nurses. It is actively involved with other churches in Congo, in particular with member communities of the Church of Christ, in several institutions such as the Protestant University of Congo, the Evangelical Centre for Christian Literature, and more recently the Protestant University of Kimpese in Lower Congo. Looking to the future, the CBCO intends to dedicate itself to the primary needs of the population. The community would like to encourage means to increase and improve food production for survival, strengthen cooperation with the state in primary health care programmes in rural areas and reinforce the Christian management programme.