John and Gwenda Fletcher
In January 2009, John and Gwenda Fletcher were appointed to serve with the Presbyterian Community of Congo (CPC) in the Kasai region of Democratic Republic of the Congo. This is not their first encounter with the Congo. The Fletchers were appointed mission personnel by the PC(USA) in 1989, and they served in the Congo until January of 2001. Both John and Gwenda grew up as children of Presbyterian mission workers in India.
John works with the Christian Medical Institute of the Kasai (IMCK), helping the staff build and maintain a unified network of all the CPC’s mission hospitals. Although John’s primary surgical responsibilities are at the Good Shepherd Hospital, his broader charge is to work with the CPC medical director in support of the CPC medical program. He teaches medical residents, medical students, and nursing students at the IMCK. The CPC, which emerged out of the efforts of the “American Presbyterian Congo Mission” from 1891 to 1970, has been a fully autonomous church since 1961. The CPC serves a large part of the population in West and East Kasai through its ministries of evangelism, health, education, and development.
Gwenda works with the CPC as an educational consultant, helping the church with teacher training, administration, and community involvement. Gwenda holds a BS in education from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon and an MS in special education from Portland State University. John holds a BS in cell and molecular biology and an MD from the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington.
Both John and Gwenda are ordained to the office of elder and are active members of the First Presbyterian Church, Yuma, Arizona. Until leaving for mission service in 2009, Gwenda served as clerk of session. The Fletchers are the parents of two adult children, John and Rachel, and the grandparents of six, John, Emily, Robbie, Savannah, Summer and Samuel.