Presbyterian Church in Cameroon
English Baptists had first come to this part of West Africa in 1845. In 1884 the territory came under German protection and it was agreed, at a conference of European Missionary Societies, that the Basel Mission should take over the work of the English Baptists. This was done in 1886. During the first world war the administration of the country passed into British hands and the German and Swiss missionaries were called back. This had a tragic effect on the work of the mission but a small group of faithful people continued the work, making the church a truly indigenous one. In 1925 European missionaries began returning to the country. The second world war again disrupted church life, which was however followed by a period of intense activity and growth. The church became autonomous in 1957. A new constitution was drawn up and adopted, marking the autonomy of the church. It consists of three parts: basic principles, organization, worship and life.
The church runs three general hospitals, a rehabilitation center for leprosy patients, 18 health centres, two with an opthalmological unit, and a central pharmacy. Much emphasis is placed on primary health care in the villages. In the educational field the church has 23 nursery schools, 122 primary schools, 14 sec-ondary/high schools and a teacher training college. There is also a centre for agricultural and employment training. The pastors receive their training at the theological seminary in Kumba (66 students in 2004/05). Some are still being trained outside Cameroon, in Africa and overseas. There are plans to begin a church university by the year 2010. The church has departments for women, men and youth. The radio and communication department runs its own radio station, the Christian Broadcasting Service in Buea.
The PCC has joined other Protestant churches in Cameroon to address common issues of an educational, social, political as well as spiritual nature. It supports and promotes the information and eradication of HIV/AIDS and has a very strong policy statement on the issue.
Last year the PCC celebrated one hundred years of the gospel in the Grassland, in Ntanfoang, Bali, where the first Basel missionaries settled. The church is looking forward to celebrating in 2007 the golden jubilee of its autonomy. To God be the glory.