The Church Planting Bishops of Brazil
Five Brazilian bishops gathered for the first time as a province at an Anglican Communion event. Gafcon 2018 is the largest gathering of Anglicans in 50 years, with about 2,000 representatives from 50 countries, and five of those participants are those who are bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and reclaiming the face of Anglicanism in Brazil. Their movement in Brazil is characterized by youthful passion, up and coming leaders, and new strategies.
Archbishop Miguel Uchoa and Bishops Marcio Meira, Flavio Soares, Marcio Simoes, and Evilasio Tenorio Silva gathered outside during Gafcon 2018 to talk about church planting strategies in the new province.
One such strategy is the House of Peace. Church planting is promoted primarily through cell groups, which, when they multiply to five or seven groups, combine to form a new congregation. Archbishop Miguel Uchoa explained the process:
“To start a House of Peace, we gather one cell group and they choose one house belonging to one friend, usually not a Christian, who is willing to host a Bible study for seven weeks. It is the host that will invite their non-Christian friends and family. We commit to go to that person’s house and do the bible study . . . By the end of the seven weeks, they usually want to keep meeting and if they do, we continue for another 12 weeks, which we call a friends group. Usually during this time most people accept Christ, and we start a cell group with those gathered there. If it is in a town that is far, they will multiply by doing a House of Peace themselves until they become a congregation in that area. This process is new for us in the last two years, but it has been very successful.”
The current zeal for church planting now displayed in the Province of Brazil is not much different than in the past. They were already church planters in the Diocese of Recife, but the rest of the Church was not. It was an island of zeal surrounded by a dying church that is still dying. Recife was mission-minded and continued to develop new strategies despite the lack of support from much of the other Episcopal leadership, and now that they have left to form their own province, they have flourished more than ever before.
While the zeal for church planting has not changed since the split, strategies have, and all the bishops were excited about the promising developments in the House of Peace movement. Bishop Marcio Meira explained, “With the House of Peace strategy, we have seen how we have grown and how quickly we have planted over the past two years.” They have grown indeed. Currently there are 55 churches in the Province of Brazil, three dioceses, and 74 clergy. This includes the five bishops present at Gafcon 2018, five men who are gatekeepers through which the Lord has worked to build his church in Brazil by the Holy Spirit.
Order in photo (left to right)
Bishop Marcio Simoes – Diocese of Vittoria
Archbishop Miguel Uchoa – Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Brazil
Bishop Flavio Soares – Missionary Bishop of the Diocese of Recife
Bishop Marcio Meira – Diocese of Joao Pessoa
Bishop Evilasio Tenorio Silva – Assistant Bishop for Diocese of Recife