around the world
UB Global works alongside the 400-some United Brethren churches which have been established in nearly 20 countries.
Not only is Canada the closest economic trading partner of the United States, but also its UB church is the strongest partner in missions. UB Global serves both our Canadian and American United Brethren churches. All of the Canadian churches are located in Ontario Province.
The Canadian churches have strong ties to UB churches in Haiti.
The churches of Guatemala Conference began in 1997 when two families began meeting in their homes. The movement grew through extensive evangelism and the development of lay leaders. Like many of our Central American ministries, most of the UB churches in Guatemala minister to the poorest of the poor.
In 2000, a UB leader from Nicaragua stopped in Guatemala for a few days while on his way to Mexico. He became acquainted with these churches, and they inquired about the United Brethren denomination. One thing led to another, and they became a mission district under the supervision of the Nicaragua Conference. Then, in 2010, the Guatemala churches were accepted as a new national conference.
United Brethren history in Haiti began when Rev. Oliam Richard, a Haitian minister then living in Paris, France, connected with the United Brethren in America.
In October 2000, Rev. Richard moved back to Haiti to personally supervise the Haitian churches. For many years, the Haitian churches were a mission district under the supervision of the UB Church in Canada.
There are over 100 churches in Honduras, mostly in the northern part of the country around San Pedro Sula and La Ceiba (the nation’s second- and third-largest cities). La Ceiba has been the conference headquarters throughout its history. Honduras Conference, for many years, has been a pacesetter in the denomination in starting new churches.
Honduras Conference was instrumental in sending ministers to start Nicaragua Conference in the 1960s. They also provide oversight of the El Salvador mission district. Today, they are sending missionaries across the ocean to work among various people groups.
Hong Kong work began in the 1940s as believers came over from mainland China. The conference was officially organized in 1962. They have always been under national (rather than missionary) leadership.
Jamaica Conference began in 1944 under the leadership of Jimmy O’Sullivan, a native of Jamaica who had been living and studying in the United States. He began working in Jamaica under the auspices of Global Ministries. The conference was formally organized in 1951 with 11 churches.
The Jamaican churches have been under national leadership throughout their history with the exception of 1964-1968, when missionary Jerry Datema served there as conference superintendent.
A group of nine churches connected with UB Global in 2011. Since Liberia is next to Sierra Leone, they were referred to the UB leaders there. In the years ahead, the Sierra Leone Conference shepherded the Liberian churches in becoming its own national conference.
A group of churches in central Mexico affiliated with the Church of the United Brethren in Christ in 1997. The initial contact with Mexico came through contacts in several Hispanic churches in California.
Rev. Denis Casco, who was then director of Latin American Ministries for the denomination, began connecting with the churches in Mexico. At the 2005 General Conference, Mexico was accepted as a national conference. Mexico chose Denis Casco as its bishop.
Most of the Mexico churches are located in the central part of the country, near Mexico City. However, there is also a cluster of churches located in Juarez, Mexico.
Nicaragua Conference includes over 30 churches, most of them located in the western part of the country around Managua and Masaya. All have arisen since 1965. Nicaragua also oversees the churches it pioneered in Costa Rica. In addition, Nicaragua was instrumental in bringing the churches in Guatemala under the United Brethren umbrella.
Nicaragua is the first “third generation” national conference–started by Honduras Conference, which in turn was started by the US National Conference. That would make Guatemala a fourth-generation conference.
The churches of Nicaragua were organized as a self-governing conference in 1993.
In the 1800s, Sierra Leone was our largest mission field. Missionaries were sent in 1855, and the first two churches were organized in 1876. The work grew to include a hospital, dozens of primary schools, five high schools, and over 50 churches.
In 1994, all UB missionaries were evacuated because of the rebel war which continued throughout the 1990s and devastated the country. By 2001, a high degree of peace had returned to Sierra Leone, and our churches began rebuilding and expanding. The conference now consists of roughly 78 churches, 40 primary schools, 5 high schools, and Mattru Hospital.
Sierra Leone Conference has a sister congregation in Berlin, Germany, which consists primarily of immigrants from Sierra Leone.
The work in Costa Rica began in 1995 as an outreach of Nicaragua Conference. A Nicaraguan pastor who had married a Costa Rican woman spearheaded the work in an impoverished section of San Jose, the nation’s capital. It operates under the supervision of the Nicaragua Conference.
In 1999, the UB churches of Nicaragua, Honduras, and the United States partnered to begin working in El Salvador. That work is now under the supervision of the Honduras Conference.
In 2007, the Hondurans sent one of their best church planter, Rev. Gonzalo Alas, to start a church planting movement in El Salvador. Rev. Alas had been working in the Copan region of Honduras where previously there were no UB churches. When he left Copan to go to El Salvador, 13 established churches and 5 church plants were functioning.
In November 2019, a church on the outskirts of Paris, France, affiliated with the worldwide United Brethren Church. They are now a mission district under the supervision of UB Global. It primarily consists of immigrants from Haiti.
In 1997, Eric Mustapha, an ordained minister from Sierra Leone Conference, fled the civil war and resettled in Berlin, Germany. He started a church consisting mostly of other Sierra Leone immigrants. Mustapha later relocated to London, but another Sierra Leone minister, Peter Mansary, assumed leadership of the church.
Peter attended the Sierra Leone conference meeting in 2006 and said, “We’re a United Brethren church, and have come back to our roots for a relationship.” He asked Sierra Leone to accept them as a mission district, and the conference agreed. Rev. Alimamy Sesay now pastors the Berlin church.
In the mid-1980s, a UB Conference and UB Global partnered to start churches in Macau, a peninsula west of Hong Kong off of the Chinese mainland. The United States provided two families, and the UB Conference provided a coworker. Many UB Global staff and volunteers have served in Macau over the years. Teaching conversational English has been an important tool for developing relationships with Chinese people.
Two UB churches now exist in Macau. In 1999, Macau became part of China (it had been governed by Portugal). Macau is the gambling capital of the world.
In 1994, a UB Conference began working among the Akha people high in the mountains of northern Thailand, on the border with Myanmar, in the area known as the Golden Triangle. The Akha are a group of people who migrated from China in the early 1900s. Rev. H. M. Lee, a Thai minister, has spearheaded the work from the beginning. The work includes churches and schools in two villages. Hundreds of people have become Christians in this predominantly Buddhist area.
In 2016, a multinational team of UBs from Asia, the United States, and Honduras began working in Chiang Rai, a major city in northern Thailand. They have established a ministry center and will focus on reaching ethnic Thai Buddhists, the majority population among whom very few Christian groups are ministering.
We have work in several restricted access countries, where Christianity is not welcome.