God always had a plan for Cyprian Guchienda’s life, a plan that was different than what he could have ever hoped or imagined. From serving as a youth Sunday school teacher in Kenya, to being asked to plant a church 100 miles from his hometown, Cyprian was consistently astonished by the doors God continued to open for the advancement of the Gospel. As pastor of a new church plant, he decided to attend seminary in the United States, leaving behind his wife, kids, and community for an environment completely foreign to him.
Cyprian ventured off to Dallas, where he would study at SMU. Despite this difficult and scary transition, he knew this was where God was calling him.Cyprian was far from all that was familiar, but he quickly found a home at Highland Park Pres. The community made him feel like he wasn’t alone, despite being the only African in the congregation. One day, former Senior Pastor, Ron Scates shared with Cyprian a dream that God had placed on his heart. Aware of the struggles of moving to a foreign and distant land, Ron hoped to create a space where people from different countries could be loved, have a place to call home, and encourage one another in a new, sometimes overwhelming environment. Cyprian loved hearing about this and was honored they were seeking his wisdom. What he didn’t expect was to be asked to take the lead on this bold mission. Letting go of his plans to move back to Kenya, Cyprian said yes to the All Nations dream and moved his family to Dallas to plant new roots. This aspiration was about more than having a safe haven for new residents of Dallas—it was about investing in the city by breaking down ethnic and cultural barriers. The All Nations gatherings started out small—only six people attended that first Sunday. But over five years, they have outgrown three rooms, eventually reaching over 200 African immigrants joining together for worship and community.
Since saying yes to the vision of All Nations, Cyprian has had a huge impact not only on our church family, but on the nationwide Presbyterian community as well. God has used Cyprian to remove barriers and remind everyone that the good news of the Gospel is for people of all nations. Currently twelve African countries are represented in our All Nations congregation: twelve different cultures, twelve distinct tribes, twelve separate nations united, breaking down barriers under the banner of God’s love.
Through Cyprian’s obedience and faithfulness, All Nations has enabled the love of Christ to bring together people of different tribes and tongues to celebrate and praise the one who saves. We thank Cyprian and his wife, Hellen, for the past 20 years of commitment to this eternity-building dream and for reflecting the heart of Jesus who broke down barriers for the sake of love.