by Dr. Clifton L. Holland

(last revised on June 12, 2003)

Historical Overview:

Discovered by the Spanish:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1544

Under Spanish and French control:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1604

Territory disputed by the Dutch, French and Portuguese until:†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1676

Under French control:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1676††††††††


Number of North American Protestant Agencies in 1997:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 5

Indicates European society*

Significant Protestant Beginnings or Other Key Events

†††† 1624†††††† -††† First French Protestants arrive; this is considered to be the origin of the Evangelical Church of French Guiana, which was officially established in 1997.


†††† 1636†††††† -††† *Roman Catholicism established by the Spanish and French; the Diocese of Cayenne was established in 1956.


†††† 1900s†††† -††† *Early 20th century arrival of the Christian Brethren (the Open Plymouth Brethren)


†††† 1940†††††† -††† Seventh-day Adventists


†††† 1982†††††† -††† Southern Baptist Convention


†††† 1986†††††† -††† The Evangelical Church of the West Indies (West Indies Mission, now World Team)


†††† 1988†††††† -††† The Church of the Nazarene


†††† 1991†††††† -††† Church of God of Prophecy



Date of Origin Unknown:




(1)       Dates listed indicate the earliest recorded ministry or in case of discrepancies, the date most frequently indicated.


(2)       North American Agencies include U.S. and Canadian.


(1) Daryl L. Platt, "Who Represents the Evangelical Churches in Latin America? A Study of the Evangelical Fellowship Organizations." Pasadena, CA: an unpublished Doctor of Missiology Dissertation, School of World Mission, Fuller Theological Seminary, June 1991. Used by permission of the author.

(2) PROLADES (Latin American Socio-religious Studies Program), international headquarters in San Josť, Costa Rica: www.prolades.com, prolades@racsa.co.cr

††††††††††† (3) John A. Siewert and Edna G. Valdez, editors: Mission Handbook of U.S. and Canadian Christian Ministries Overseas (MARC 1997).

(4) Jean-Jacques Bauswein and Lukas Vischer, The Reformed Family Worldwide (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999).