Our Redeemer Oromo Evangelical Church of Minnesota

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History and ministry

from the congregation’s website:

“The Our Redeemer Oromo Evangelical Church (OROEC) in Minnesota is the product of Bible study group started by Oromo students who were attending Luther Seminary and Augsburg College and few other Oromos in the Twin Cities area back in 1987. They were meeting on weekly basis for Bible study and prayer on Fridays at family homes.

This home Bible study group grew as the number of Oromo immigrants continued to increase as a result of political persecution in Ethiopia. God prepared a place for them for future worship and fellowship ahead of time. This growth has been resulted in establishing Oromo speaking congregation that could serve the new Oromo arrivals. By September 1993, the church was incorporated having a legal entity and registered with the Minnesota Secretary of State. In 1995, the constitution of the church has been approved by the congregation […] and OROEC thus became a member church of the Minneapolis Area Synod-ELCA. Starting from its inception, the service and leadership of lay members have played a significant role to its growth. The arrival of a pastor in 1995 has also contributed a significant growth in the life of the church.

This church is considered to be a mother church for Diaspora Oromo churches and is also one of the largest immigrant churches in ELCA. The Our Redeemer Oromo Evangelical Church in Minnesota has been active in helping establish local churches in the US and has been supporting the ministries of Oromo churches in Africa and the Middle East. We have been hosting numerous Oromo international spiritual revival conferences and have been home for the office of United Oromo Evangelical Churches (UOEC).”

Gospel singer connected to this congregation:


(1) Yoomii, si’achanoo Labsaa. Cassette (?) featuring Bilise, Diribe, Lensa and Dame Wedajo. Recorded by _ _ _ in _ _ _


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published in 2013:



Further reading

Adrian, Allison Elizabeth. ” ‘A mighty fortress’ far from Lake Wobegon: The Music of Minnesota’s Newest Lutherans”. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Minnesota, 2008. [Preview on ProQuest]

Shelemay, Kay Kaufman. Sing and Sing On: Sentinel Musicians and the Making of the Ethiopian American Diaspora. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press, 2022. [esp. p. 283-4; Google Books]