The Power of Church Planting Ideas in Action

Brooke Helder - GACX

By Brooke Helder, GACX Content Creator

The GACX member organization, Horn of Africa, is a brilliant organization that uses its ideas to plant churches in Africa. Horn of Africa’s Operations Director, Chris Hawes, states, “We want to be a labor and delivery room. We’re just going to birth many ideas and then make them happen. Just like the Acts church, we will send individuals to go.”

Founded in 2002 by Dr. Markos Zemede, Horn of Africa equips and mobilizes people and resources worldwide to establish culture-affirming churches and holistic care. Horn of Africa engages with local churches to recruit, train, and send individuals to plant churches.  

In 2015, Horn of Africa started an initiative to reach the last twenty-five unreached people groups in Ethiopia with the Gospel. Seven of these groups have come to know Christ, ten are moving quickly in that direction, while the last eight are proving difficult to reach, creating room for collaboration.

In 2018, Erik Laursen from New Covenant Missions met Dr. Markos at the GACX Forum. A collaboration between their two organizations began immediately. The two organizations coordinate the roles of their local church planters, acquiring physical supplies and uncovering where a new church is needed when working in the same area. Together, they generate ideas to further their reach in the Horn of Africa. “We’re not a big organization, so collaboration is not only biblical, it’s a must for us,” says Hawes. 

A church service at one of Horn of Africa’s church plants in Ethiopia

Horn of Africa had the idea to shift to business training for church planting in high-security countries like Somalia. Due to this shift, Horn of Africa started working alongside GACX member Activate Global. Brandon and Jessica Hotz, CEOs of Activate Global, assist in conducting business training for Horn of Africa’s church planters. 

One of Horn of Africa’s leaders now has a photography business to interact with Muslims regarding their birthdays, celebrations, graduations, and weddings. Another runs a Kindergarten program where he gets to knock on every door in the village and connect with families and their children. “They (the Hotz’s) gave tools to help our church planters become side-by-side business people.” reflects Hawes.

An image of an Ethiopian marketplace that Activate Global and Horn of Africa are working in

In addition, Horn of Africa is collaborating with other GACX members like Talking Bibles International, Africa Inland Mission, and Mega Voice to enhance and accelerate their goal of planting churches. Because of these partnerships, Horn of Africa has sent 54 additional church planters to spread the Gospel in Africa.

As an innovative organization, Horn of Africa is making an impact by linking arms with other GACX members. “It’s fun to crazy dream with others. GACX has been an amazing place to collaborate.” Chris Hawes says excitedly.

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