It is now about sixty one years since Danish Evangelical Mission (DEM) began the work of evangelism and social services in Bale, which means the Mission arrived in the area in 1954. The Officials of the Imperial Government of Ethiopia requested that the Mission launch educational and medical services to surrounding communities. It is obvious that the main interest of the Government was not evangelism but only that mission launch modern and medical services. Thus the Mission commenced holistic services in Dodola, Hebano and Worqa.
Wabe Batu Synod is serving in Bale Zone and Western Arsi Zone, in South Eastern Part of the Capital Addis Ababa, with its Headquarters at a small old town of Dodola. Prior to establishment as a Synod, it was first established as an area work in March 1997 when the former Southern Ethiopia Synod with its Headquarters in Hawassa was divided into Two Synods and one area work, and it was named South East Area Work. The area was part of the large south Ethiopia Synod with head office in Hawassa.
South East Area Work strived to increase its human power, strengthen its financial and facilities of the Headquarters and increase the number believers for about seven years. After the Constitution of prospective synod was drawn and other formalities were fulfilled and thename of Synod was coined, the EECMY Wabe Batu Synod was established in March 2005 on approval of the General Assembly of the EECMY with the Headquarters still in Dodola.
Currently the Synod comprises 7 Parishes and 1 especial group, 99 established congregations where the work is going on and 115 preaching places. According to 2014 Statistics the members of the Church in the Synod are 52,215.
As mentioned above Wabe Batu Synod is serving in two zonal areas, Bale Zone and West Arsi Zone, with its Office located in West Arsi Zone of Oromiya Region. It is located at 74 km from Zonal Capital called Shahemene and 320km from Addis Ababa.
The area is vast, dominated by Muslims which are in the majority, and there are a relatively a few Christians in the area.
The area is known for its attractive natural features such as rare animals and one of highest Mountain chains like Mount Batu whose top is more than 4000 meters high. Moreover, in Bale Zone there were (and are) different kinds of landscape from fertile highland plains to barren mountains and dry desert-like areas.
The main task or ministry of the synod is evangelization and church planting, nurturing church members and development/diaconal ministry.
At present the Synod is running different development projects. There are a total number of 7 projects, 3 projects in West Arsi Zone and 4 projects in Bale Zone and one medium clinic in Dodola. The is also running one academic School and one kindergarten admitting school children up to grade 4. The Synod is also running one Bible School at the Synod Center in Dodola Training potential evangelists and pastors to serve in parishes and congregations.
The synod has prepared its own 5 years operational strategic plan following the EECMY 5 years strategic plan. Therefore, this operational strategic plan has been focusing on 13 themes that has been agreed upon at the Church level, which contains different objectives, expected outputs, selected strategy and activities.
The synod management committee had worked on it as much as possible for the effectiveness of operational plan and will plan to work further improvement.
The synod’s challenges are its lack of financial resource, inadequate number of trained and qualified personnel. The threats/challenges to the synod are the large distances that make communication and travel difficult, and the fact that Christianity is minority in the region dominated by Muslims.
Taking this opportunity we invite all EECMY Synods, members and others to take part in proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in Bale and West Arsi Zone together with our synod.
The current president of the Wabe Batu Synod is Rev. Mude Mati