Meserete Kristos Church
Meserete Kristos Church, meaning "Christ is the foundation Church" (based on I Cor. 3:11) is an Ethiopian Anabaptist (P'ent'ay) church with 205,508 baptized members and a worship community of over 389,482 persons as of August 2009. The church has over 591 congregations and 863 church planting centers scattered in all 18 Administrative Regions of Ethiopia. The denomination's growth rate in the last decade stands at 37%. The church is part of the larger Anabaptist body as a member of Mennonite World Conference, an organization which has seen the majority of its recent membership growth outside of Europe and North America. MKC is the largest Anabaptist conference in the world. By comparison, the largest Anabaptist body in the USA is The Mennonite Church, with 110,000 members.
Meserete Kristos grew out of the work of Ethiopian Mennonite Missions in the 1950s. Mennonite missions set up hospitals and schools, eventually starting a church as a result of demand. Growth in early years was rather slow, until 1974, when the Derg took power. At the time, 5,000 Meserete Kristos members went into hiding. Small groups started, and meetings and baptisms were held at night. During this time many Mulu Wongel members joined the church, and growth was astronomical. In 1994, after the fall of the Derg, Meserete Kristos members gathered in a stadium to publicly congregate for the first time in twenty years, bringing in a total of 50,000 people.
Meserete Kristos College
Since only one out of nearly 7,000 people in Ethiopia has a college education, founding Meserete Kristos College was a necessity to produce new church leaders. However, the need for leaders has far outpaced graduation rates. Located in Addis Ababa until January 2007, the college has a partnership for accreditation with Eastern Mennonite University. Since its founding in 1994, the college has produced 262 graduates, and had 110 full-time and 42 part-time students enrolled in the fall of 2006. Construction of a permanent campus in Debre Zeyit is underway. In January 2007, all physical assets were moved to the new campus, and classes began there on February 6. The five-story education building, the first of 11 planned buildings, is half-completed, and currently houses all classrooms, academic offices, library, and language and computer labs. A men's residence was completed in 2010. Negash Kebede was installed as College President on 11 March 2007. Kiros Teka Haddis was installed as President on September 12, 2012, with fall 2012 enrollment of 180 students (160 male, 20 female).
- Mennonite Weekly Review, 2010-01-10, MKC makes decisions on polygamy, women in leadership
- Meserete Kristos College Newsletter, May 2007
- "Meserete Kristos College moves in," The Mennonite, 15 May 2007
- Meserete Kristos College
- Meserete Kristos College Newsletter, September 2012