Lesotho Evangelical Church
The Lesotho Evangelical Church traces its origins back to the work of the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society which began in 1833. The LEC became autonomous in 1964 under Basotho leadership. Like other parts of the body of Christ, the church preaches the good news of salvation that comes from God through his only Son Jesus Christ, who was crucified and risen from the dead, who sits at the right hand of God the Father, from where he shall come to judge the living and the dead in the fullness of time. The church seeks to carry out its mission through the preaching of the word of God, the publication of its newspaper, Radio Lesotho, and other appropriate ways. With its limited means, the LEC tries to express its obedience to the Lord through medical and educational services. It has two hospitals which are involved in primary health care, and a centre for the rehabilitation of alcoholics. The church runs 500 primary and 75 post-primary schools. Other departments of the LEC include a lay training service, a printing press and book depot (at Morija, established in 1863), youth work, guidance and counselling (on family and social matters). A planning commission gathers and identifies the critical ministry issues and opportunities from the various boards and other commissions of the church and advises the synod. The women's desk was established in 1988. A department of justice, peace, integrity of creation and ecumenical relations was set up in 1991 to provide leadership, communication and education on JPIC and ecumenical issues. The LEC has a museum (the only one in the country) and archives which are an important resource for students from different faculties. Pastors are trained at the theological seminary founded in 1882, also at Morija.
The organization of the LEC is made up of church councils at the local level, parish councils (consistories), presbyteries and the national synod. At each level clergy and laity are represented, and the various commissions, departments and boards are also represented in the national synod. The church has a strong tradition of ecumenical commitment and has followed a policy of joining in "a fellowship of conversation, mutual enrichment, common purpose and common action" with other churches and ecumenical bodies. It sees this fellowship as the best way to express the oneness of the church.