Church of Tuvalu

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Te Ekalesia Kelesiano Tuvalu
Classification Protestant
Orientation Calvinist
Polity Congregational
Region Tuvalu
Founder Elekana
Origin 1861
Separated from London Missionary Society, Christian Congregational Church of Samoa
Congregations 18[3]
Members 9,715[4]

The Congregational Christian Church of Tuvalu (Tuvaluan: Te Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu, EKT) is the national church of Tuvalu. Its adherents comprise 92% of the 12,000 inhabitants of the archipelago, and it is the only state church in the world that is Reformed.[5]


Christianity first came to Tuvalu in 1861 when Elekana, a deacon of a Congregational church in Manihiki, Cook Islands became caught in a storm and drifted for eight weeks before landing at Nukulaelae.[6] Elekana began proselytising Christianity. He was trained at Malua Theological College, a London Missionary Society school in Samoa, before beginning his work in establishing the Church of Tuvalu. In 1865, the Rev A. W. Murray of the London Missionary Society – a Protestant congregationalist missionary society – arrived as the first European missionary where he too proselytised among the inhabitants of Tuvalu.

By 1878, Christianity was well-established with preachers on each island. In the fin de siècle, the ministers of what became the Church of Tuvalu were predominantly Samoans, who influenced the development of the Tuvaluan language and the music of Tuvalu.[6][7] In 1969, the Church acquired its independence from the LMS, since which time it has sent some missionaries to serve Tuvaluan migrants in Fiji, New Zealand, Hawaii, Australia, and the Marshall Islands.[8][9]

The former Governor-General of Tuvalu, Rev Sir Filoimea Telito, presided most recently over the Church until his death in July 2011.[10][11] The Church currently publishes a bulletin in the Tuvaluan and English languages.


The Church is Calvinist in doctrine and congregational in organisation. Theres no women ordination. The Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed are generally accepted. Being the de facto established church, the Church of Tuvalu dominates most aspects of social, cultural and political life in the country. The Church operates Fetuvalu High School, a day school which is located on Funafuti.[12][13][14]


The Church is a member of the World Association for Christian Communication, the Boys' Brigade International Fellowship,[1] the World Communion of Reformed Churches, the World Council of Churches and the Pacific Conference of Churches. It also has ties with the Methodist Church in Fiji, the Congregational Christian Church in Samoa, the Kiribati Protestant Church, the Uniting Church in Australia and the Methodist and Presbyterian churches in New Zealand.[4]


  1. ^ a b :- Global Fellowship of Christian Youth / ORGANISATION -:
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Congregational Christian Church of Tuvalu
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b Laumua Kofe, Palagi and Pastors, Tuvalu: A History, Ch. 15, U.S.P. & Tuvalu (1983)
  7. ^ Munro, D. (1996). "D. Munro & A. Thornley (eds.) The Covenant Makers: Islander Missionaries in the Pacific". Samoan Pastors in Tuvalu, 1865-1899. Suva, Fiji, Pacific Theological College and the University of the South Pacific. pp. 124–157. 
  8. ^ "Te Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu". Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "The Rev. Filoimea Telito passed away", Tuvalu News, 22 July 2011
  11. ^ "State Funeral of the late former Governor General of Tuvalu, Reverend Sir Filoimea Telito, GCMG, MBE". Tuvalu Philatelic Bureau Newsletter (TPB: 01/2011). 25 July 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  12. ^ "Fetuvalu High School (Funafuti)". Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  13. ^ Semi, Diana (23 November 2006). "Fetuvalu High School ends the year with a prize giving day". Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  14. ^ Holowaty Krales, Amelia (10 March 2011). "TB Workshop at Fetu Valu Secondary School". Retrieved 20 November 2012.