French African Christian Education
French African Christian Education, a foundation dedicated to helping spread God`s Kingdom in French West Africa. FACE is governed by a board of directors selected from churches of Christ from both America and Africa. It`s purpose is to assist Africans in their effort to evangelize their own people. Benin Bible Training Center (BTC ) is our preacher training school situated on an eighteen acre campus just outside Cotonou, Benin. Churches, individuals and organizations are providing resources to effectively assist Africans in learning and teaching God`s Word in the nations of French West Africa.
In 1992 the Benton Church of Christ engaged in a mission effort in Benin West Africa with George Akpabli a native of Ghana. We were unaware that the French speaking country of Benin had no churches of Christ in existence. By 1994 when Benin was first visited by Bill Morgan and Ed Jones, elders of the Benton Church, two congregations had been established with about 35 members each. While visiting with George he shared his dream of starting a training center to teach native Africans to preach the gospel and evangelize. In August of 1995 Benin Bible Trading Center began with 18 students embarking on a three year curriculum. By the time the first class graduated in 1998 other French speaking countries were recruited and admission applicants far out numbered the available space in our rented facilities. Our rented facilities were in the city of Cotonou which is the economic capital of Benin.
In 2002 we purchased 18 acres of property some 20 kilometers north of Cotonou with the intent to develop a campus that would allow us to expand our training program. Since that time we have completed eight structures at a cost of $600,000 that will accommodate 60 students studying at the same time. BTC has graduated 69 preachers and presently has 35 students enrolled. Our past graduates and present students represent 10 French speaking nations in West Africa. Those countries represented by our students and graduates include Benin, Togo, Chad, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Burkino Faso, Mali, Guinea and Niger. Many of these countries have a BTC graduate as a located preacher working there. Most of our present students are married and range in age from 22 to 56 years in age. Many of our graduates since 1998 have gone back to work with congregations that existed before coming to school, but they have also planted almost 200 new churches with membership approaching 6,000. In George Akpabli’s own words, “These 6,000 Christians are just the seeds and French West Africa is ready to harvest for Jesus Christ.”
George Akpabli talkd to the Whitehouse Church.