Lutheran missionaries from Northern Europe began arriving in Ethiopia in the late 19th century. In 1959 the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) was incorporated as a Lutheran church affiliated with the Lutheran World Federation. In 2012, Rev. Kebede Getachew Yigezu and about 50 other people left the EECMY for doctrinal reasons. They registered their new church with the Ethiopian government under the name Lutheran Church of Ethiopia (LCE). After several years of talks with WELS representatives, the Lutheran Church of Ethiopia and WELS declared fellowship at the 2017 WELS Synod Convention. Learn more about WELS mission history in Ethiopia.

The LCE operates several schools under the name Maor Lutheran (Maor means “Light”). The first school that bore this name was Maor Lutheran Theological Seminary, which is authorized by the Ethiopian government to grant theology degrees at the bachelors, masters, and doctoral levels. Currently, there are about 22 students under instruction; four intend to be pastors in the LCE. Maor Lutheran Primary and Secondary School in the city of Dukem has a student body of about 900 children. Bible lessons are taught to the children every day. Another Maor School in the city of Gambella is set to open and will provide education and Bible teaching to several hundred children.

WELS assists the Maor Seminary by providing guest instructors who teach short courses on theology. WELS has also provided funding to help complete some of the buildings used for LCE ministries. With support from WELS Multi-Language Productions, the LCE has also produced multiple gospel tracts in Arabic, Amharic, and Afaan Oromo.

Fast Facts

  • Confirmed members: 438
  • Organized congregations: 1
  • Preaching centers: 4
  • National pastors: 1
  • National evangelists: 3

Download the latest world mission field overviews.

Latest News

Praying for Ethiopia

Pray for this young and growing band of believers ministering among a nation that is nominally Christian, but with very few churches that proclaim God’s word in its truth and purity. Pray for the students of the Maor Lutheran Seminary as they study God’s Word and prepare to take the pure gospel message to the lost throughout Ethiopia. May God use our partnership to build his kingdom in Ethiopia!


Consider supporting mission work in Ethiopia with your prayers and gifts.


Browse through and share pictures of Ethiopia, taken by WELS missionaries and national workers.