Few sources for this period of FATEB’s history were available beyond what existed in my personal files. I hope that additional sources may be found to develop this narrative further and to facilitate the writing of a more complete subsequent history of FATEB.

As a participant in the nearly five years of work between the decision to found a Francophone seminary in January 1973 and the beginning of classes at FATEB in October 1977, and having read the correspondence on which the above narrative is based, I would like to make several observations. 

First, Byang Kato’s initiative as general secretary of AEAM and as head of its Theological Commission was essential to initiating the work that led to FATEB’s founding.

Second, Don Hocking’s negotiations with the Central African government were essential to President Bokassa’s decision to grant seven-and-a-half acres of choice land for the seminary.

Third, the work of Isaac Zokoué, a Central African, in representing the emerging association of evangelical churches to the CAR government, in managing the interview with the chief of state, and in guiding the early days of the school as president of FATEB’s governing board and its general assembly, was essential to a successful launch of the seminary. 

Finally, the role of Paul White was critical in planning, communicating, and fundraising before the seminary began and in administration and teaching during its first five years of operation, though marred by conflict over institutional values, management methodology, and struggles by various individuals for control.  

That FATEB exists today as a thriving educational institution almost fifty years after its conception would have been difficult to predict during the first decade that followed the AEAM meeting in Limuru, Kenya, in 1973.

Jack Robinson

Graduate of Wheaton College and University of Strasbourg, Jack, with his wife, Theo, has been engaged in the formation of Christian leaders in French Africa since 1965. While teaching in northeastern Congo in the 1970s, Jack was appointed to the Theological Commission of the Association of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA). In that role, he participated with African leaders in the founding of the Bangui Evangelical School of Theology (Faculté de Théologie Evangélique de Bangui or FATEB) that has been serving the Francophone churches of west and central Africa since 1977.