serving the whole person

Brief Background:

American Presbyterian Mission was the pioneering Mission Organization which launched Evangelistic and diaconal ministry in the territorial boundaries of the current Illubabor Synod in early 20th century. The Mission Organization commenced their ministry by building a station  a Gore town and inaugurating it as a center for organizing their ministry subsequent to their arrival in the area.

The Illubabor Bethel Synod (IBS) is one of the Largest and fastest -growing synods of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY).  The synod renders Wholistic service in three regional states of the country, namely parts of Western Oromiya, SNNPRS and Gambela where over 4 million people of different ethnic groups inhabit.

IBS was established in 1989 with 30,000 members who were worshiping in 65 organized congregations.

The synod Headquarters are located in Metu Town, capital of the Illubabor Zone of the Oromiya Regional State. Mettu Town is 620 kms. from Addis Ababa in the South-West direction

Synod Departments:

The Synod Headquarters are organized into Departments that comprise the following:

General/Admin. Office, Department for Mission and Theology, and Department for Finance and Administration. 

Type and number of synod office staff

At the Synod Headquarters there are 31 elected and employed staff members. This number includes Development and Social Services Commission (DASSC) Branch Office staff members as well. Their qualifications are as follows: BTH 8,  Diploma in theology 2, Diploma in secretarial Science 1,  12th grade and below 11,  MA 1, BA  6 , DVM 1, Diploma in accounting 1

Synod Statistics as of Sep. 2014:

Total membership..................................347,602

Communicant Members...........................205,472

Non-communicant members....................142,130

Pastors.......................................................301

Evangelists..................................................120

Volunteers.............................................23,198

Congregations.............................................421

Preaching places/sites...................................242

 Educational Institutions Run By the Synod

Two years after its establishment, the Synod launched its Bible School (Terfa Jarso Bible School) where a number of pastors and evangelists have been trained on certificate level.  In accordance with its Strategic Plan that was approved by its 12th Convention, the Synod has upgraded the Bible School to Diploma level in Sep. 2013 and the name of the Institution is changed to ‘Terfa Jarso Seminary’ (TJS).  TJS is now running three programs, namely, first and second year Bible training in certificate level, Diploma in theology and Diploma in Church Music. The synod is working to decentralize the first and second year certificate program to presbyteries.  

Diaconal/Development Projects and Social Work

The Synod Development and Social Services Commission (DASSC) Branch Office is coordinating development projects in the synod catchment areas.

These are:

  1. Food Security projects - total beneficiaries- 41,146 people

·  Chewaqa Sustainable Livelihood project in the Illubabor zone of the oromoiya Regional State

·  Bure Rural integrated Development Project in the Illubabor Zone of Oromyia Regional State

·  Shabuye Sange development project in Meti Zone of the Gambela Regional State

·  Shunito  Yeri Development Project  in Kafa Zone of the Southern Peoples, Nation and Nationalities Regional State

  1. Health projects- total beneficiaries 10,000 people

· Aremi Clinic in Illubabor Zone of the oromiya Regional State

· Jimma HIV/AIDS prevention and control in Jimma Zone of oromiya Regional State

  1. Child and Youth Development projects-Total beneficiaries 754 persons

· Gore Hostel

· Compassion International assisted projects in three congregations

Implementation of the Synod SP of the Church

Before the Church’s Strategic Plan was launched, the Synod had its own SP.  When the church’s SP was prepared and approved, the Synod continued its work aligning its SP with the church’s SP. The Synod is implementing the SP according to the given schedule.  

Current (2015) Synod President is:- Rev. Tariku Tolossa