Research Team:

Eric Guild

James Scudder

Richard Chowning





Guinea is one of the least evangelized countries in Africa. It is primarily a Muslim nation. Most of the ethnic groups have very few Christians among them. The Kissi are one of the forrest people who have experienced the most growth, yet they only have seventy congregations among them. Most of them are Eglise Protestante Evangelique de Guinee.


Brad Willits gave us some thoughts concerning the inappropriateness of working among the Kissi. They have been the focus of most of the efforts of the Evangelical community for at least three decades. Three-fourths of the EPEG is of the Kissi ethnic group. There are comity agreements that are being respected by members of AEMEG. C&MA, Philafricaine, and EPEG were assigned the forrest region. David Zimmerman, of the C&MA, is doing well in church planting and is training pastors to evangelize.


The Kissi are one of several ethnic groups who are called the "forest people" by other Guineans. They are said to have originated in the more open northern regions of the country, but fled to the forests to escape the onslaught of Islamic peoples. The Muslems feared the forest and would not bother them if they stayed there.


Even after many years of Christian witness in this area, the fetish leaders and family members persecute those who become Christians. The strongest Fetish leader became a Christian and three days later died. This story continues to be told, causing some to not become followers of the Lord.


Eventhough this has been been an area that has had the primary focus of the C&MA for year, they are now wanting to concentrate the mission's efforts on more of the Muslim ethnic groups in rural areas. They feel that they can leave the primarily animistic forest people groups (Kpelle, Toma, and Kissi) to the EPEG. The EPEG is not in total agreement with such a move. They feel they need some of the benefits of having missionaries working among them.


The EPEG congregation in Kissidougou had fifty people in attendence the Sunday Eric and James met with them. The leaders in this congregation had conducted a church growth study in 1994. They found that there were a total of 125,000 people in Kissi area. In in Kissidougou prefect there are 83,000 Kissi and ten percent are Christian. Kissidougou town center has 18,000 people 8.5% of whom are Christian.


In Kissidougou, there are three C&MA missionary families and one single involved in leadership development. Philafricane has two couples in the same city, one couple in evangelism and the other in development.


Campus Crusade has a national evangelistic team in Gueckedou. There are two couples for C&MA who are doing relief work out of the city as well.




Kissdougou is a seventeen hour bus ride (16,000 GF) or eleven hours by Peugeot (20,000 GF) from Conakry. Faranah to Kissidougou is not paved, but there are some patches of tarmac that is heavily pot holed. The dirt road is hard and wide.




Only the Kpelle, the largest non-Islamic ethnic group in the country, have a larger percentage of Christians (4.9%). The Kissi, for all the years of evangelism among them, cannot be considered highly receptive. Only 1.7% of the Kissi are Christian. There are Kissi Christians in congregations in Conakry, Kissidougou, and Geckedou, as well as in fourteen villages in and around Kissidougou. Paul Keidel, missionary and Vice Director of C&MA, characterizes their responsiveness as slow.




Kissidougou is an overgrown village. These are tall buildings for produce storage, but all else is basically single storied. The town's roads are not paved.


Unlike town of similar size in West Africa, Kissidougou has taxis service.


There is a military base in town.




Liberians brings a lot of products across the boarder, but they are expensive. The town is so far removed from Conakry that all but locally grown produce is costly.


There is no electricity in the town. They use a 12 volt system at the school.


There are no phone either. Average missionary house is between $100 and $250 per month. Kankan is more expensive, $250 and up.




Gueckedou is the most Christian town among the Kissi. The large number of refugees from Sierra Leone contribues to this.


The church in Gueckedou is about to send one of their own to be a missionary in Beyla.


Institute Biblique Telekoro


The campus is seven kilometers from Kissidougou.


John Faya, a Guinean, is the President of the school. He has been in this position for the past four years after a one year internship. Accoding to Keidel, "all preacers in this area come through here." The Bible School is the only place that trains people for the ministry, except those who go to the USA.


It is a four year preacher training program. A whole range of Bible classes is complemented by courses in church doctrine and mission. Graduates receive a certicificate upon completion of the program.


There a about thirty students currently enroled in the school. They are required to live on campus and work in the rice fields. Most of the classes are taugh by African professors who also live on campus. Five of the students are converts from Islam, but the majority are formerly animists from the forrest ethnic groups.




10,000 refugees in Gueckedou area which has more Kissi than Kissidougou.


Assemblies of God


There are some Assemblies of God congregations among the Kissi. There is one congregation in Kissdougou. Many of the members are from Sierra Leone and Liberia.




There is a New Testament in the mother tongue of the Kissi.




Guinea does not yet seem to be populated by ethnic groups which are highly receptive to the gospel. The high degree os Islam seems no also be an environment highly challenging for church growth. There does seem, however, to be some in roads being made among the Islamic population in Conakry. This may be the place where new models will be developed.


There are other ethnic groups and cities in Francophone West Africa that should be primary targets for new teams of missionaries. They have a higher potential for extensive church growth.


I recommend that we keep a studied eye and focused prayer on what is going on in this country. It would even be beneficial for a two family team to locate in Conakry and be a part of the outreach to the Muslims.


It does not seem that the Kissi would be a target. There are missionaries and nationals working among them. I recommend further reseach into the receptivity and needs among other predominantly animistic ethnic groups in Guinea.