Raise the Roof!

Help us put a roof on the Gambella Anglican Centre Church

Download a printable brochure about this project.

During the rainy season in Gambella, Ethiopia, worshippers at the Gambella Anglican Centre and St. Frumentius Theological College will get wet!

Architects have designed a circular shaped church building based on a traditional Ethiopian design for the site. This future multi-purpose building is designed to be used for conferences, teaching and worship, and will seat well over 500.


Artist's rendition of St. Frumentius College Chapel
Until recent years, there was only one Anglican congregation in Ethiopia. However, during the protracted civil war in Sudan (mid 1970s to early 2000s), many refugees sought shelter in Ethiopia. Many of these new refugees were Anglican and they began churches in the refugee camps. Later Anglican churches were established in the villages of the Gambella region. There are now 80 congregations in Gambella worshipping in a variety of languages including Anuak, Dinka, Nuer, Mabaan, Jum-Jum and Opo.

The Gambella Anglican Centre is the heart of the Anglican Churches in Gambella and hosts monthly clergy training, literacy training, and Mothers’ Union training, as well as library facilities and sports programs. It is the future site of the St. Frumentius Theological College, which will open in January 2015. There is currently a church office, a guest house, a library building, a classroom at the centre, and the residence of Bishop Grant LeMarquand, the Area Bishop for the Horn of Africa, and his wife Dr. Wendy. As the original funding for the Gambella Anglican Centre came from a secular organization, a church building was never built.

The need

Artist's rendition of St. Frumentius College Chapel
The primary use of the new church will be the St. Frumentius College Chapel. There are only 16 clergy leading 80 churches in Gambella, and a desperate need to train new leaders. Also, there is a need for theological education for the current clergy. As most of the priests were ordained in a war-time situation, they had no opportunity for training. Even now there is only one priest in Gambella who has attended theological college.

In addition, the church will be used by the St. Barnabas Anuak congregation, and an English speaking congregation. As there are few large venues in Gambella, it will also be used by large gatherings, lectures and conferences.

The design

The building of the church has three phases:

1. Laying the foundations
 The ground is currently uneven, and the lower parts need to be filled so that the ground is at the same level. The floor will be constructed from local stone and cement.

2. Building the walls 
An arched wall will surround the main worship area. This will allow the air to flow in the church, but still be protected from the rain. A verandah will surround the arched walls, which will provide circulation space and overflow seating.

3. Constructing the roof and furnishing the church 
A roof will be built on the arches, and the seating, altar, vestry, and baptistery will be added. The baptistery will be outside the church in the style of ancient North African churches

Help us put a roof on the St. Frumentius College Chapel

If you are in the USA, you can contribute through the Friends of the Anglican Diocese of Egypt, a registered US charity: www.friendsanglicandioceseegypt.org

If you are in Canada, you can contribute through DevXchange, a registered Canadian charity: www.devxchange.org/Nehemiah.html

If you are in the UK, you can contribute through the Friends of the Anglican Church in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa, a registered UK charity: info@friendsanglicanethiopia.org.uk

Contact details 

For further details, please contact:

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Grant LeMarquand
Area Bishop for the Horn of Africa
Email: bishopgrant777@gmail.com
Mobile: +251 928310823
For more information about St. Frumentius Theological College see: frumentiuscollege.dioceseofegypt.org

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