British Guiana mission photos added


Ingalls children in church

Ingalls children in church, British Guiana, 1950s.

Fifty-two images of the United Lutheran Church in America’s mission work in British Guiana (Guyana) have been scanned and added to the ELCA Archives’ Flickr account. A brief description of Lutheran mission work in British Guiana can be found in our finding aid for General Synod Board of Foreign Mission records related to South America:

The work in British Guiana was a continuation of work begun in 1743 by Dutch Lutherans and supported by the Lutheran Church in Amsterdam. A congregation called Ebenezer was established in New Amsterdam. This congregation continued off and on without outside help and often without a pastor for about 100 years after the withdrawal of the Dutch missionaries. In 1878 John Robert Mittelholzer, a Black born in British Guiana, became their first Guyanese pastor. Mittelholzer applied for admittance as a pastor in the General Synod in 1890 and also gained backing for the church from the East Pennsylvania Synod of the General Synod. Mittelholzer died in 1913, leaving the congregation again without a pastor.

In 1915 Dr. M.J. Stine was commissioned by the Missionary Committee of the East Pennsylvania Synod to visit British Guiana and investigate the work there. Upon his return, the General Synod as a whole took over the support of the work in British Guiana and sent its first missionary, the Rev. Ralph J. White, in January of 1916.

In 1918 the newly formed United Lutheran Church in America, of which the General Synod was a part, took over the Pan Lutheran Society work in Argentina and the General Synod work in British Guiana.