"If you are Christian, you have to show that because it is impossible to hide...we have to show who we are and what we have as followers of Jesus."
--The Rev. Etienne Fomgbami
Pastor Fomgbami was born into a first generation Lutheran family in Nagoundere, Cameroon in 1959.
Twenty years later, he felt a calling to be a pastor and enrolled in the Meiganga Seminary from 1980-85. He feels that going to seminary to become a pastor and meeting Jeanne are answers to his prayers.
Etienne was the Chaplain and taught religion to secondary students at College Protestant in Ngaoundere from 1985-91.
He was also the pastor at the French congregation in Ngaoundere during this time, providing assistance to an American intern at the English speaking congregation. Ordained in 1987, he used two-month breaks in the school year to earn a Diploma in Communications from a multi-denominational school in Ivory Coast. There he assisted with the casting and directing of an evangelism film while working with a pastors' conference.
From 1991-92, Etienne was pastor of a French congregation. In 1992, he toured Europe for two months with Gospel Singers choir serving as pastor responsible for preaching events. They did evangelism in the streets, singing or using skits to invite people to events later in the day. Upon returning home he supervised ministry in 91 congregations before receiving a scholarship to study at the School of Mission and Theology in Stavanger, Norway from 1995-97. After completing a thesis on intercultural communication he received a Masters of Philosphy in Theology. While in Norway, he preached in area churches.
In September 1997, Etienne became a Professor at the Bible School/Seminary in Garoua-Boulai. He taught Pastoral Theology (homilectics), the Lutheran Confessions and the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. In 1999, due to a shortage of pastors in the Central Region of the EELC, Etienne was recalled to serve as a pastor in the Ngaoundere area.
Upon finishing his three years in Canada, Etienne will return to his homeland. He is sure the EELC would make use of him as a pastor and in evengelism. He thinks that one of the benefits he will be able to provide to the EELC is through contacts made while in Canada.
Having worked with poor video equipment in the past, he hopes that he will be able to arrange asistance for video projects he plans after returning to the Cameroon. Etienne knows that he will face some difficulties in adjusting after returning from Canada, but he loves his country, Cameroon, and is called to God's work there.