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The Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba

History and Overview

In 1890, Evaristo and Magdalena Collazo opened a Christian school in their Havana home. Their work flourished and Evaristo wrote to the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church U.S. (PCUS) to request “assistance and instruction.” ​​


The PCUS board sent the Rev. Anthony Graybill, founder of the PCUS mission in Mexico, to assist the Collazos. Graybill baptized 40 people and ordained two elders and two deacons elected by the new congregation. At the request of the congregation Graybill ordained Evaristo Collazo as the congregation's first pastor.

In 1906, Collazo became the moderator of the Presbytery of Havana, which was placed under the jurisdiction of the Synod of New Jersey. The Cuban synod eventually included three presbyteries: Havana, Central, and Matanzas.

In 1961, the government of the United States broke diplomatic relations with Cuba. In the post-Revolution context the Presbyterian Church in Cuba lost half its parishioners and half its pastors. Still, no churches were closed.



"If I knew the world was ending tomorrow,

I'd still plant my apple tree today"
- Juprecu (IPRC Youth)

​​​In 1967, the Presbyterian Church in Cuba became autonomous and was constituted the Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba, la Iglesia Presbiteriana-Reformada (IPRC).


In 1985, representatives from the mission agencies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) visited the IPRC at its invitation. The two churches developed a Mutual Mission Agreement, which was subsequently approved by both General Assemblies in 1986. The agreement was later amended to allow partnerships between congregations. The
most current Mutual Mission Agreement was adopted by the IPRC in January 2018 and by the PC(USA) 223rd General Assembly July 20, 2018 (to read the agreement, click here).


Between 1986–2023, 15 U.S. presbyteries and synods and nearly 90 congregations have formed partnerships with Cuban congregations, presbyteries, the synod and the seminary in Matanzas.  These partnerships provide opportunities for building personal relationships, strengthening spiritual bonds, and sharing mutual goals and the strategies to achieve them.


Today, the IPRC is thriving with 32 churches in its three presbyteries, with 12,342 baptized members (1,894 active members), plus 21 mission and house churches—all led by 34 ordained Presbyterian pastors.


Condensed and edited in 2024 by the CPN Communications Committee from a larger history prepared by Rev. Dean H. Lewis.

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