Snellville Church of Christ
Saturday, January 20, 2018
Loving God, Loving People
Home - Missions - Guyana 


The Snellville church sponsors evangelistic mission work in Guyana, South America
For many years Snellville has had the Great Commission as one of its mission statements.  Because of that mission statement, our church has always been very generous with resources in helping to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to other nations of the world as well as to communities in our area.

The Snellville church is helping to spread the gospel in many areas of the world. One of those areas is in the South American country of Guyana. Snellville has been sponsoring important mission work there since November of 2007. This article will make a brief presentation of the country and the mission work we are sponsoring there.
Where is Guyana?
It is in the northern part of South American on the Atlantic coast line. See the map below.
Below is a map showing a closer look at the country. The Name Michael in red letters indicates the location of the minister we are supporting, Michael Hooper and his family.
What kind of a country is Guyana?
Many people when thinking of South America think of Spanish speaking or Portuguese speaking countries; well surprise, surprise. Guyana is an English speaking country with extensive historical connections to Great Britain. The fact that the official language is English is very important to our missionary work in that country. This allows us to correspond and speak directly with the members of the church there. This is a vital advantage with the work there, just as we have the same vital advantage with the English language with the mission work we sponsor in Liberia.

Years ago Guyana was called British Guiana, because it was a British colony. In the 1600 and 1700’s the British and Dutch competed with each other for control of colonies throughout the world. Guyana was swept up into this world wide competition. The country changed hands a number of times before the Dutch finally ceded permanent control to the British in 1814, when it became one of Britain’s many colonies. Britain continued to promote the use of African slaves to work on the sugar plantations and with forest products industries. As a result 43 percent of the current population is descended from former African slaves. Guyana is considered to be culturally connected to the Caribbean nations and not South America, even though it is on the continent.

Due to many years of strong Christian influence in the British parliament, Britain led the world in a great example to humanity by abolishing the system of slavery in 1834 throughout their colonial world empire. This was about 30 years before the U.S. abolished slavery. Therefore all the slaves in Guyana were given their freedom. As a result there was a severe labor shortage in the colonial industries where the slaves worked. British businessmen turned to their colony in India for work force replacements. Promising land grants and other benefits they persuaded many Indians to migrate to Guyana. 
Thus you now know some of the background why 43 percent of the country’s population is black and slightly more than one-half of the total population is made up of East Indians. Approximately 2 percent are Native Americans. In addition, small numbers of Europeans and Chinese live in Guyana. This also explains the reason why there are many Christians, Hindus and Muslims in this country. About 50 percent of the people are Christians, most being Anglicans or Roman Catholics. The remainder is mainly Hindus (33 percent) or Muslims (9 percent). There are also about 96 churches of Christ in the country.
Some of the geographical features of Guyana
Guyana is a warm tropical country and has a population of 700,000. About 90 percent of the people live along the coast, and 62 percent are classified as rural. Below is a typical scene of a road in a coastal community.
Below is a typical scene from a small coastal town. Notice the East Indian looking bull in the middle of the street. Remember, many Hindus live in Guyana.
Below is one of the many canals and locks built by the Dutch. Much of coastal Guyana is below sea level.
There are many beautiful places and scenery in the inland mountainous areas of the country away from the coastal areas; as below.
The beautiful huge Berbice River at New Amsterdam, which is over a mile across.
How did Snellville become involved in this Guyana work?
In the fall of 2007 our church leaders learned of an exceptional young Guyana church of Christ preacher struggling to pay for a TV program he used to preach the gospel in the southern part of the country. He had a very small church and little money to do this. He was subsisting on a very meager income from a security job with a company. In November of 2007, we developed a missionary team to travel to Guyana to investigate the possibility of sponsoring this important work in that part of the country. Elder Frank Quinn, deacon Ridg Mullins traveled with Ridg’s father Bennie from the Spanish Fort church of Christ who knew this exceptional young black preacher named Michael Hooper. In the early 1990’s, Michael was a top graduate of the Guyana school of Preaching in Georgetown when Bennie was director of the school. 
We were very impressed with Michael’s knowledge, ability and commitment to preaching the gospel with his TV ministry. Our leadership decided to sponsor this important work. Our team helped Michael to develop a new expanded set of TV programs with a local TV station and backed the venture financially as well as supporting Michael and his family. Michael has written a report about this work, which is in the last section of this article. In that report he goes into detail about the TV programs and his local church.  
Below is a picture of Bennie Mullins and Frank Quinn of the missionary team conferring with each other in the Miami International Airport as they traveled to Guyana.
Below shows Michael Hooper and Frank Quinn examining the program set up in the TV studio.
Below is a map of the Broadcast area where the programs are seen.
This concludes this first part of the Guyana Mission work. The second is written by Michael Hooper and goes into some detail concerning his TV work, local church and his family. We are very proud and honored to have this opportunity to sponsor this very important work in Guyana, South America.