Evangelical Baptist Church in Angola
(Igreja Evangélica Baptista em Angola, IEBA)
In 1878 the Baptist Mission Society (UK) began working in Angola. During the years 1961-74, known as the time of exile, most Baptist Christians took refuge in Congo (today's DRC). Two years after the independence of Angola, in 1977, the first general assembly took place and the Evangelical Baptist Church became autonomous. Its confession of faith reads: "We believe that the scriptures teach that there is a living and true God, infinite and intelligent spirit, supreme creator and judge of heaven and earth, glorious in holiness and worthy of all praise, trust and love, existing in three persons in unity and diversity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, equal in all divine perfection, fulfilling distinct functions in accomplishing the great work of redemption." The church practices the sacraments of baptism (believers' baptism by immersion) and holy communion. It is organized according to the Baptist tradition. The supreme decision-making body is the general assembly, in which all the local churches are represented. The church is spread over eight of the 18 provinces of the country. More than 200,000 children and adults attend Sunday school classes (statistics 2001). Besides the pastors there are about 150 other full-time church workers. The IEBA has its own theological seminary in Luanda. The ministry is open to women. The church runs four clinics, a number of primary schools, four agricultural projects, a centre for street children and two vocational training centres.