Dr. John Loum, director of Concordia Seminary’s Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology, will return to the country of his birth thanks to a new partnership between the Seminary and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) Office of International Mission.
Loum will lead an ongoing mission to the Gambia, a small African nation on the northwest side of the continent. While retaining his duties at the Seminary, Loum will spend a total of four months in the Gambia, largely focusing on teaching the Lutheran doctrine to an established group of Christians.
“I’m cut out for this,” Loum said. “I’m a missionary. I was brought to faith by the mission agencies, so I feel everything about me is about missions and sharing the Good News of Christ.”
He said he has been doing mission work in the Gambia on his own for the past three years and is excited for the opportunity to further this mission. Along with teaching and catechizing the pastor and lay leaders of the church in the Gambia, he also will be instructing the teachers and students of the Lutheran school in the village of Abuko. Finally, he said he simply wants to bolster morale among the Christians, who are a minority in the largely Muslim-dominated country.
“Dr. Loum has long been an evangelist in the St. Louis area and has guided scores of missionary pastors through his leadership of the Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology,” said Seminary Provost Dr. Jeff Kloha. “Concordia Seminary is very excited to partner with the LCMS Office of International Mission in this direct Gospel mission work in the Gambia, where doors are opening today in ways that they were not possible just a few months ago. Dr. Loum’s enthusiasm and regular interaction with the mission field will immediately benefit the students of Concordia Seminary and strengthen their own outreach ministries.”
“Rev. Dr. Loum is not only from the Gambia, but brings years of rich field work experience throughout West Africa to bear,” said Rev. Daniel McMiller, associate executive director of the LCMS Office of International Mission. “His willingness to serve halftime via a call from the Board for International Missions, while also serving as professor and director of the EIIT program at Concordia Seminary, is a great undertaking and blessing.”