Mission History in Cameroon

1970: The Lutheran Church of Cameroon (LCC) is started by Christians that cross the border from Nigeria into Cameroon to escape war. Pastor Paul Chonasen of the LCC requests affiliation with WELS.

1971: Missionary E.H. Wendland visits Cameroon and recommends helping the small church body.

1975: Another field visit is made by world mission administrators and WELS adopts Cameroon as a new mission field. Because the church body is not yet officially registered with the government, no missionaries could be called to live there.

1977-1978: Visits reveal no progress in the registration process. Provisional approval is received from the government to start of a series of biennial, two-week teaching visits.

1979: In May, Zambia missionaries E.H. Wendland and R. Cox arrive in Cameroon for training. Four pastors of the LCC attend.

1988: WELS begins training church workers by sending missionaries to Cameroon on a visitor’s visa for two-week training programs. This occurs about two times per year with as many as nine LCC pastors attending the classes.

1990s: Government registration is completed. Funds are available from a special “Lift High the Cross” offering to send two missionaries to Cameroon for a five-year period that includes finding capable nationals to train for ministry and to carry out a four-year seminary training program.

1994: Missionary Ray Cox, who had been serving the Lutheran Church of Central Africa in Malawi, accepts the call to Cameroon to head the seminary training program. After selecting candidates for the seminary program and beginning the seminary, Missionary Cox returns to the U.S. for health reasons after serving about one year. Pastor Salimo Hachibamba from the Lutheran Church of Africa – Zambia finishes the year teaching.

1995: Missionary Norbert Meier arrive in 1995 to join Missionary Cox. Missionary Meier teaches four years of seminary classes from 1995 to 1999.

1996-1997: Missionary Carl Henkel is granted a one-year leave from his congregation to teach the second year of seminary classes.

1997: Missionary Del Kannenberg arrives in October to teach the last two years of seminary classes. He remains in country until 2001 to help the new pastors get started in their ministry, conduct conferences, and begin lay worker training.

1999: Missionary Daniel Westendorf joins the Kannenbergs for one-year of service.

2001: Missionary Keith Haag arrives in Cameroon for one-year of service.

2003: Missionary Richard Warnke is called to permanently serve Cameroon.

2005: Missionary Richard Warnke returns to a stateside call.

2007: Missionary Dan Myers arrives on field in August.

2011: Missionary Dan Myers leaves Cameroon unexpectedly due to health. He continues to serve as WELS stateside administrator to Cameroon until his death in 2013.

2014: Missionary Dan Kroll arrives in June. His work includes establishing an indigenous worker training program, continuing education for national pastors, and supervising lay-leader training.

2016: The worker training program restarts in September with 12 students enrolled and with Missionary Dan Kroll and Pastor Israel Mesue serving as teachers. This is the first time the LCC has trained new pastors since 1999.

2017: Pastor Jeff Heitsch is called as a part-time missionary to Cameroon and part-time missionary to Nigeria. He arrives in Cameroon in October.

2018: Ten men graduate from the two-year Bible institute program in May. Due to political strife, Missionary Heitsch returns to the U.S. in April to serve in a state-side ministry. Missionary Dan Kroll is relocated to Lilongwe, Malawi, in July where he continues to serve both Cameroon and Nigeria from a distance.

2021: Missionary Kroll and other members of the One Africa Team resume visits to the country, meeting with the national church in the capitol city of Douala.  

2022: The Lutheran Church of Cameroon graduates seven men from its seminary, a historic event, as the last graduating class was in 1999. The seminary adds a second professor, Pastor Gervase Ngalame. 


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