The Greater Nashville Church, along with other churches in TN, AL, CA and TX, support the Andean Mission Alliance (AMA).
Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador and Peru are countries that make up the northern part of Continental South America where you can find snow-capped volcanoes, rugged mountain terrain, tropical jungles and open plains, making it an incredible part of God‘s beautiful creation!
Over 30 years ago the International Churches of Christ began planting churches in this part of the world, starting with Bogota, Columbia, then moving west to Quito, Ecuador, northeast to Caracas, Venezuela, and south to Lima, Peru. In addition, a second generation of churches has been planted in the cities of Cali and Medellin, Colombia, as well other churches scattered across the region.
Early in this century, the Greater Nashville Church (GNC), along with other churches in TN and AL, began supporting the work in these four countries. The GNC has supported these brothers and sisters financially and encouraged them spiritually, as well as making yearly mission member trips to visit the different churches in the group. Many lasting bonds of friendship and fellowship have been formed, despite distance, cultural and language differences. Because of these relationships, we have become known as “The Andean Family of Churches.”
In order to better unite our efforts in supporting our southern friends and family, a missions society was formed —originally called SEMA (Southeast Missions Alliance)–but now called AMA (Andean Mission Alliance). This work was originally begun under the direction of Doug Lambert, the evangelist in Nashville at the time. Since his departure from Nashville the work has been carried on by Steve and Diane Brown with Steve serving as the missions director for AMA.
The churches currently involved in supporting this work with us are Knoxville and Memphis; Huntsville, AL; Sacramento, CA; and the Rio Grande Valley, TX. Matt Brown, our current GNC evangelist, serves as AMA president.
Over the years, one of the encouraging indicators of growth has been watching the churches in Columbia become largely self-supporting. However, we do continue to subsidize their travel and expansion efforts. In addition, we have seen the churches in Columbia spread throughout the nation, as people converted in Bogotá have reached out to family members back in their cities of origin. A number of churches have been planted this way, as these individuals have moved back home to help encourage and strengthen the new believers there.
This part of the world has been especially stressed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the loss of jobs and income. In spite of these challenges, most notably, the churches in Ecuador and Peru have continued to grow significantly during this past year. The church in Caracas heroically continues to thrive under very difficult conditions. In spite of social unrest, violence, crime, and scarcity of food and basic necessities, the Caracas church has been able to plant and nurture a new church in Yaguaracual.