Formerly known as “Dutch Guyana”, Suriname lies immediately southeast of Guyana – which was “British Guyana”, and west of the small country of French Guyana.
This country maintains close ties with the Netherlands, and Dutch is still widely spoken, as well as many other languages. Guyana, Suriname and French Guyana are 3 of the 4 non-Hispanic language countries in South America (the 4th being Brazil whose major language is Portuguese). Because of their location on the northeast coast of South America, they are grouped with our companion churches in Haiti and Cuba and considered to be “Caribbean”.
The Evangelisch Lutherse Kerk in Suriname (ELKS) elected Pr. Marjory Slagtand as their new President in 2015. There are 5 congregations and 6 ordained clergy. Pr. Kevin Jacobson served as ELCA Missionary to Suriname until November 2016, when he took a position with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services in Baltimore, MD.
In November 2016, Danielle Dokman and Urwin Holband were ordained and began serving churches in Suriname. The most recent trip to Suriname was in October of 2019. There is a desire on the part of ELKS board members to come to the USA for an immersion trip in the future. The most recent project of the FB Synod was a renovation project for the ELKS Senior Housing Ministry.