The English colonized Suriname in the early 17th century but ceded control to the Netherlands in 1667. After two decades of autonomy, Suriname was granted full independence in 1975. Suriname is located on the northeastern shoulder of South America. The population is concentrated along the Atlantic coast, leaving about 80 percent of the country covered with pristine tropical rainforest.
- About 80 percent of Suriname is covered with pristine tropical rainforest.
- Suriname's diverse population includes Hindustanis, Creoles, Javanese, Maroons, and Amerindians.
- Surinamers express dissatisfaction or annoyance by using the tjuri: one points the lips and sucks in air between the teeth and lips while looking away.
- Most Surinamers speak Dutch, but Sranan Tongo is the most common language for informal conversation.
Source: Culture Grams
The Rev. Leonard W. Leitzel family were the first missionaries in Suriname. They arrived in Suriname April 01, 1945. Rev. Leitzel and Rev. Leo van der Kuyp led the first church service on December 23, 1945. By May 1947, twelve members were received in to the Pelgim Holiness Church. Rev. Leo van der Kuyp was the first ordained Surinamese citizen. He later served as District Superintendent. In 1950, Rev. Leonard Leitzel left the ministry in the capital city of Paramaribo to begin ministry in the interior at a place called Pelgrim Kondre along with Willem Parris. A school was established in 1953 that continues until the present. Mrs. Johanna Bartelink served as the first teacher at the school. While the ministry in Suriname began as an outgrowth of the Guyana District, in 1995 it became independent from the Guyanese District and since that time has operated as a ministry directly under Global Partners. Rev. Levi Ingibe was elected as District Superintendent in 1995 and served in the position until 2011. Suriname reached Provisional District status in 1996. In June 1996, The Wesleyan Church of Suriname participated the first time in General Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, represented by Rev. Levi Ingibe. In 1999, the Church in Suriname began to reach beyond its borders neighboring French Guiana.
Rev. Dennis Beieren, District Superintendent