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Celebrating Cote d'Ivoire

celebrating 50 years in
cote d'ivoire

by Deborah St. Lawrence


Find out more about the ministry of Free Will Baptist International Missions by visiting their website:


ON SATURDAY, MARCH 22, more than 1,000 people gathered in the professional soccer stadium in Bondoukou to celebrate 50 years of God’s blessing. A specially-appointed committee planned the event which included a time of singing and worship, a historical overview, a message from retiring missionary Jerry Pinkerton, and special recognitions.

Alice Smith and FriendSeveral hundred worshipers formed a procession from the city center to the stadium. Many were adorned in outfits made from the commemorative cloth designed specifically for the “Cinquantenaire” (50th Anniversary).

The celebration was attended by several dignitaries including the regional governor and local mayor. A special tent was set up for current and former missionaries as well as Free Will Baptist pastors. Another tent was designated for elders and special guests.

The national church expressed great appreciation to the missionaries who have served in the country and prepared a special framed certificate for every current and former missionary. Free Will Baptist International Missions also honored missionaries as well as ordained and licensed pastors.

According to Director of Field Operations Steve Lytle, “The event was moving, well organized, and beautifully hosted. It was a tribute to the faithfulness of our pioneer and current missionaries. And, it provided a wonderful affirmation of the capability of our national leadership.”

After the celebration, the entire crowd moved across the street to the Free Will Baptist church where all were efficiently served a delicious meal by the Ivorian women’s group.


Ivorian Leaders Honored

To learn more about the celebration, visit


View the complete listing of Free Will Baptist missionaries who have served in Cotê d'Ivoire.



©2008 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists