Gidada Solon, an Ethiopian evangelist, is the inspiration for Gidada Theological College. Beginning in 1924 and in spite of his blindness, which was the result of smallpox, Gidada (along with other evangelists) traveled throughout Western Ethiopia teaching, preaching, and planting churches in many villages. [For a brief biography of Gidada Solon, click here or here.]
With the collapse of Ethiopia’s communist Derg Regime (1974-1991), a revival of Christian faith in the Western Wollega Province produced a great need for pastors and lay leaders, and Gidada Bible School was established in 1993 in memory of this great evangelist.
Gidada uncompromisingly walked in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. It is the sole objective of this theological college to train evangelists and pastors who will uncompromisingly preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, following in the footsteps of the great evangelist and Pastor Gidada Solan!
Initially the school offered a two-year curriculum, continuing education opportunities for church leaders, and a lay leadership training program. In 2012, in recognition of an expanded curriculum, Gidada Bible School's name was changed to Gidada Theological College. By 2019 (the centennial anniversary of the first preaching of the gospel by Presbyterian missionaries), GTC will be upgraded to a degree level program.
According to history, all the Oromo that resided in Qellem (the present target area of Western Wollega Bethel Synod) followed traditional religions until 1919.
When a devastating influenza epidemic occurred in 1918, United Presbyterian Church medical missionary Thomas Lambie led a team that arrived in Sayo (present-day Dembi Dollo) in 1919. By 1921, they had established a hospital and an elementary school, and offered a two-year biblical education to 150 people. It was out of this group that Gidada Solon was chosen for further training for evangelism.