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First Missions
Latin America
Revised December 30, 2022

Countries included in Latin America Work:

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Falkland Islands (UK), French Guiana (France), Guyana, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela

Workers are presently in all the South American countries, with Colombia being the last place in South America where workers went, which was over 20 years ago.  There are native born workers from all the countries.  In South America, unlike in the US, workers don’t necessarily stay in their home area forever, so there are Chileans, Argentines, Peruvians, Brazilians, etc. scattered everywhere. In Spanish speaking countries, the preachers are referred to by the friends and by each other as "servants," whereas Americans use the word "worker."

The three smaller countries along the northern coast—GUYANA, SURINAME, AND FRENCH GUIANA—are usually not considered “South American” in speaking of the work, since they’ve always had workers from the Caribbean.  They really don’t have much to do with the work in South America, since they don’t speak the same languages and they are much more Caribbean/European in their culture than Latin. 

Latin America Church Names. Respecting the law, the Workers have registered names for their church with the government that typically include the base words Christian Church (Iglesia Cristina). Each country’s name is unique, e.g. Christian Church of San Felipe (Chile), Christian Church of Paraguay, Primitive Christian Church of Peru, etc. Avoiding a common sect name or a regional or global identification preserves their anonymity and makes tracing them difficult. New registrations may become necessary to comply with authorities; the name may change, and board members may change

Click Here to read Accounts about First Workers going to South America

The Latin American Pioneers:

Uruguay: Robustiano Ferreira, in 1920. 
Brazil: Jack Jackson and John Robert “Bob” Smith, in 1923.
Bolivia: John Pattison and Fred Hogan, in 1957. 
Peru: Willie Boles and Norman Campbell, in May 1969. 
Ecuador: Willie Boles and Norman Nash, in 1974. 
Venezuela: Ted Rozema and Lynn Walker, in 1980. 
Columbia: Munro MacAngus and David Lockhart, in 1985. 
Paraguay: Jorge Webster and Steven Stivers, in 1962. Morelia Zapata and Margery Harrison, in 1968 

Belize: Jack Campbell, Holmer Bolinger, Willlie Pollock, in 1985
Costa Rica: Lynn Walker and Jack Campbell, in 1970
El Salvador: Pat Daniels and Lilian Bateman, in 1973
Falkland Islands: Jim Boles and Lawrence Blizard, in 1954
Guatamala: Wilbur Walker and Lynn Walker, in 1962
Mexico: Lewis Murray and Daniel Leighty, in 1933
Nicaragua: Carolyn Forsland, Lesvia Dominguiez, in 1990
Panama: Willie Pollock and Jack Campbell, in 1969

Overseer: Jack Jackson was the South America Overseer until his death in Argentina in 1966. 

ARGENTINA: go to separate page

BRAZIL: go to separate page

BOLIVIA: John Pattison (from Ireland) and Fred Hogan pioneered the Work in Bolivia. Pattison died there in 1978, aged 85, and was buried in Cochabamba. Beginning in 1922, he labored in South America for over 50 years. At his urging, his father, Goodhand Pattison, of Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, compiled an "Account of the Early Days," an invaluable resource for early 2x2 history. The current Overseer is Brett Hammett (California, Western US).

CHILE: Jack Jackson and Maurice Hawkins were the first in 1921. There was very little response through the 1920s. Some were at the point of abandoning the country when in 1928–1929 when the workers finally encountered a community of recent German immigrants in southern Chile.  One of that pair of workers spoke German, and they found interest among those colonists.  So the first churches established in Chile were actually German-speaking, and there are still a large number of people of German descent among the friends in Chile today, though hardly anyone speaks German anymore. In 2022, the current Overseer was Max Bowman, from Idaho, Western US. The official church name in Chile is The Christian Church of San Felipe.

COLUMBIA:. An exploratory trip was made in 1985 by Munro MacAngus (Scottish, previously worked in Chile and Venezuela). The Workers began laboring there in 1986 with William Rosal (from Venzuela) and David Lockhart (Irish, previously worked in Bolivia). Julio Gómez was the first Colombian to start in the Work in 2008. The most successful mission was in Ipiales, a town on the Colombia-Ecuador border where perhaps 200 people professed, and five Fellowship Meetings currently assemble there. The current Overseer is Munro MacAngus (Scotland, UK).

ECUADOR - see separate page 

NICARAGUA: The last country to be pioneered in Latin America was Nicaragua in 1990 by Carolyn Forsland and Lesvia Dominguiez.

PARAGUAY: Jorge Webster (from Chile) and Steven Stivers (from Argentina) went to pioneer Paraguay in 1962. The first Sister Workers to arrive in 1968 were Morelia Zapata (from Chile) with Margery Harrison (from US). In 2022, Paraguay, Rio Grande Do Sul Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina consolidated into one staff with the Overseer being Lealand "Percy" Broughton (from Western Canada, Ontario). The official church name in Paraguay is The Christian Church of Paraguay or Friends in Paraguay.

PERU: Freedom of worship was granted in May 1967. The first Workers to go to Peru were Norman Campbell and Willie Boles in 1969. A couple from whom they rented a room were their first converts. In the first five years after the Workers arrived, five or six converted. The current Overseer is Trevor Loechel (South Australia). The official church name in Peru is The Primitive Christian Church of Peru.

URUGUAY: In the 1920s, Robustiano Ferreira, a Uruguayan man, professed through the Workers in Argentina. He and a Co-worker started the Work in Uruguay. Except for Guyana, Uruguay has exported the most Workers in South America. There are Guyanese workers in a number of other countries, and a number of Guyanese friends live in New Jersey, USA. Most of the Worker staff understand both Portuguese and Spanish. Read Mark Huddles Account

In 2022, Uruguay, Rio Grande Do Sul Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina consolidated into one staff under Overseer Lealand "Percy" Broughton (from Western Canada, Ontario). The official church name in Uruguay is Igreja cristã (Christian Church).

VENEZUELA - see separate page


Lewis Murray and Dan Leighty went to East Mexico on October 10, 1933.

East Mexico Overseers have been Clarence Anderson (died in Melbourne, Australia  January 17, 1987), Donald Bowen and Alan Anderson (Clarence Anderson's nephew). West Mexico Overseers were Roy Lacy, William Berger and Glen Yung. After Mexico was united into one field in 2004, the Overseers have been Alan Anderson, William Berger and Alan Anderson again.

The first native of Mexico to enter the Work was Manuell Leon in 1942. He was in his 60s and spent 15 years in the Work. Previously a landlord, he burned the deeds to his property, which effectually gifted the property to his tenants. Juventino Valdez was the second native to enter the Work.

The first Convention was held in 1943 in a ranch village, El Venado, Nuevo León, in Northeast Mexico, 10 years after Workers first arrived. About 25 people attended, including George Walker , Overseer of Eastern US.

1947: Old Mexico Workers List. Clarence Anderson, Daniel Leighty, Lewis Murray and Manuel Leon.

1947 Workers List

CHILE: Enrique Savage, Carlos Varela, Guillermo Walters, Julio Herrerra, Juan Tuft, Mario Gonzalez, Guillermo Bules
Esther Jones, Muriel McKirdy, Josefina Puebla, Morelia Zapata, Margarita Lewis, Violeta Wilson

ARGENTINA: Alton Myers, Carlos Salkeld, Marcelo Marquez, Edgardo Roderick, Jorge Brunick, Juan Baldini, Esteban Stivers, Custodio Rodriguez, Manuel Gallardo, Juan Jackson, Ramon Lynn, Juan Patterson, Reginaldo Beer, Basillio Alvarez
Ruby Pellet, Maten Rodriguez, Adelina McGovern, Constancia Sposato, Candida Rodriguez, Sara Camelino, Gladys Coburn, Isabel Misdaris, Violeta Carlyle, Guillermina Vargas, Luela Colman, Angela Lopez, Olivia Nelson, Margarita Craig, Mirta Darnell

URUGUAY: Robert Sterling, Leon Parks, Rubustiano Ferreiro, Domingo Rosso, Albysiline Vazquez
Emilia Griffin, Mabel Boles, Adalia Alano, Diamantina Aspiroz

BRASIL: Van Miller, Lyall Kirkup, Carlos Schupbach, Robert Hendy, Carlos Miles, Gilberto Neundorf, Nicolau Chiorniavi, Donald Henderson, Alfred Absalonsen, Enrique Burchill, Lenard Johnson, John R. Smith, Martha H. Smith
Sara Sutton, Carlota Hendy, Rose Sparks, Lourdes Mariano, Noemia Gibson, May Abalsonsen, Irene Iost, Elisa Anacleta, Jenell Wetzel, Lily F. Wetzel, Mabel Tenniswood


TTT Editor's Note: In the absence of a written account, the above information has been compiled by the TTT Editor from various sources. Corrections or additions are most welcome; as well as other historical accounts for this country Email TTT

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