Southern Ohiio Synod. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Task Forces

Tanzania Companion Synod Task Force

The Lutheran Church has been an important presence in Tanzania since the late 1800's with the arrival of German colonists. The Southern Ohio Synod partners with the East of Lake Victoria Diocese, with 19 covenants in place today.

Over the years, the synod and its member congregations have engaged in a number of different programs with our partners in Tanzania, including care for orphans and the "Red Eyed Women" fund; health care and education.

Correspondence and partnership with the newly installed bishop, Bishop Andrew Gulle, is going well.

To be part of this companionship, please contact Mr. Terry Rapoch at

One of the ministries to Tanzania is called "Red Eyed Women" and is intended to help the elderly women of Tanzania whose eyes have turned red over the years because of cooking over an open fire. These women are often said to be possessed by evil spirits because of their eyes and killed to rid the village of the spirits. The Southern Ohio Synod Women of the ELCA (SOS WELCA) and many of our congregations have made contributions to assist the with care and education of these women since Bishop Holloway first shared this story in 2006. Donations to this ministry are still being accepted. 


None at this time.