Theological Education in Cameroon
The picture above was taken during the 2023 graduation ceremony of our first group of Cameroonian graduates (Haison, Elison, Edwin, Nelson, and Daniel). Timothée had the chance to teach these future sheperds Church History I and II for a year through Zoom.
Our mission is to equip Cameroonian men to treasure our Sovereign God and Sacred Book for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ.
Around the world, there are 2.2 million evangelical churches. 85% are led by pastors with no formal theological training. Cameroon is sadly no different. As a result, the Prosperity Gospel and its advocates reign supreme and unchallenged in the Cameroonian Church. If faithful Cameroonian shepherds who treasure our Sovereign God and Sacred Book are not trained, we might unfortunately see the Gospel vanish eventually. As a matter of fact, when Abby and I were there, we already got to meet an unchurched woman who had left her "church" because of the manifold abuses of her Prosperity Gospel "pastor."
For the Church to thrive in Cameroon and for the Gospel to reach the unreached there, what they need more than classical missions work is theological education. A dear Malagasy friend who has been working in theological education himself all across Africa for years confirmed that is the case: "Do not send missionaries to the unreached, send theological educators and all the rest will be accomplished in time by the African Church herself." When we send theological educators, we eventually equip the local churches with qualified pastors who can then stir up a passion for the supremacy of Christ in all things in their people; a passion for the unreached is bound to follow. Whereas when we send people to the unreached directly, we ultimately make the Cameroonian local churches dependent on our theologically sound and therefore missions-conscious churches in the US while leaving them unable to walk in their biblical calls.
As most of the so-called developed world secularizes rapidly, it is now even more pressing that we share with Cameroonian local churches what has made the Church strong throughout the centuries: theologically educated pastors. Cameroon is surprisingly open to Christ, resists the anti-Nature ideologies and policies from the West, and benefits from a demographic boom (unlike the vast majority of the world). Abby and I believe that this makes Cameroon - and Africa with it - the future of the Church. The only thing they miss is a Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated, and Missions-focused theological education.
Sent by our local church, Bethlehem Baptist, we plan to accomplish this vision by joining the Faculty of Bethlehem Seminary - Yaoundé Extension Site in partnership with our missions agency Training Leaders International. To see God's call come to life, Abby and I could not have hoped for a better sending organization than TLI. Indeed, TLI firmly believes in sending people who strengthen local churches through theological education. You can read more on TLI's mission by clicking here.
CHURCH BASED SEMINARY
What better place to prepare for vocational eldership than in the life of a local church?
Following Bethlehem Baptist's model of a church-based seminary, the extension site is intimately tied to a local church - Église Baptiste Bethléem. While giving students a rigorous biblical language and theological studies education, students will also serve in a Pastoral apprenticeship. This apprenticeship is rooted in service to the local congregation while providing real ministry experiences in the heart of Cameroon.
We pray to join Église Baptiste Bethléem to participate in the local body, for Timothée to help shepherd the local congregation as part of their elder board, and to help mentor seminary students. Read more about Bethlehem's Church-Based model...
FRENCH SPEAKING CHURCH
The concept of the Theological Famine in the Global South has been laid heavily upon the American Church since the beginning of the 21st century.
While measures have been taken to reach English-speaking countries, their French-speaking neighbors have been left without spiritual nourishment. English-speaking countries are not doing well. However, French ones are in an even worse state. Revenir à l'Évangile has been working since 2017, in partnership with Publication Chrétienne, to bring Reformed Theological works into the hands of French-speakers around the world. Currently a printing press is being established in Yaoundé, l'imprimerie Sola Scriptura, with the hopes of distributing theological works in Cameroon.
Timothée has worked with Revenir à l'Évangile since its inception, and plans to continue translating works such as "Ask Pastor John" and Desiring God articles while in Cameroon to reach people beyond the grasp of the local church and the Seminary. Read more about Revenir à l'èvangile...
ABOUT US - THE DAVI FAMILY
Timothée was born and raised in Belgium to immigrant parents. After his conversion in college, he completed his undergraduate in theology and biblical languages in Jerusalem, Israel. Timothée then went on to finish his ThM in exegesis in Strasburg, France where he met Abby. Timothée moved to the US in 2016. He was eventually hired as a full-time Professor at Bethlehem Baptist College and Seminary, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He taught Latin, Greek, and many other classes there for 5 years. A native French speaker, he delighted to awe and amaze his current students with his encyclopedic Church history knowledge as well as gently tease them for their idiosyncratic American tendencies.
Abby was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. She attended Bethel University and earned her undergraduate in Elementary and Middle School education. Abby has spent the last five years teaching 5th grade at Hmong College Prep Academy, a charter school in St. Paul. Now she spends her days studying the growth and development of their little one, Calvin, desperately waiting for signs of reading development. She can be found at home, reading murder mystery novels aloud to Calvin.
We just welcomed our first son, Calvin, in January 2023. Calvin enjoys cuddles and making loud noises. He recently discovered his hands are quite tasty as well.