Cuba Havana Partnership

The Havana–Chicago Presbytery Partnership unites the Presbytery of Chicago and the Presbytery of Havana. Together, we work toward a common purpose of overcoming barriers to cultivate peace and justice for all God’s people.

The partnership began in 1998 after a group representing 12 Presbytery of Chicago churches made an exploratory visit to Cuba. The travelers found an extraordinary opportunity to develop a mutually beneficial relationship with our Cuban siblings in Christ. Acting on their proposal, leaders of both Presbyteries formalized the partnership in 1999.
The Cuba Partnership Mission Team continues to serve as the Presbytery of Chicago’s agent in sustaining the partnership. By encouraging church-to-church partnerships, facilitating trips to Cuba, and hosting visitors from Cuba, we help each other in a complicated time.


The first Presbyterian church in Cuba opened in 1890. The revolution in 1960 ushered in agnostic policies, yet the churches miraculously stayed open. As official restrictions eased over time, the Cuban churches advanced their vital roles as spiritual and social centers of their communities. Today, they give generously even amid a persistent scarcity of resources.

We support our fellow Presbyterians through travel, advocacy, and prayer because
— as Presbyterians —
we share a commitment to reveal God’s grace wherever there is need.


First Havana

In the heart of Cuba’s largest city, the 1906 landmark church welcomes hundreds of worshipers to Sunday services and many others to community outreach programs (like tai chi) through the week. Chicago Presbytery Partner: Chicago Fourth


Havana’s second Presbyterian church is housed in a stately 1922 building. The congregation serves its community in many ways, including purified water. A new onsite dormitory welcomes visitors to Luyano. Chicago Presbytery Partner: Open


Just east of central Havana, Guanabacoa’s small but mighty congregation faithfully attends Sunday service and Wednesday Bible study. The children’s pageant is a Christmas highlight. Chicago Presbytery Partner: Glen Ellyn Southminster


The largest congregation of Havana Presbytery’s country churches has a vibrant modern music ministry. It also weekly serves more than 300 people with clean water. Chicago Presbytery Partner: Open.

San Nicolás de Bari

The sanctuary, dormitory, classrooms, and garden provide a spiritual refuge in this town southeast of Havana. In addition to a liturgical arts program, young adults serve the elderly and infirm by repairing their homes and providing lunches. Chicago Presbytery Partner: Libertyville

Los Palos

The church at Los Palos, southeast of Havana, was established in 1911. Its 12 pews are filled for Saturday night worship, Sunday school, and Bible study. Cuban music and dance keep the liturgy relevant. Chicago Presbytery Partner: Oak Park Fair Oaks

Nueva Paz

Southeast of Havana, the church in Nueva Paz ministers to its community through a water purification system (delivering water to the homebound) and a breakfast program for the elderly. Youth are actively engaged in music, mission, and worship. Chicago Presbytery Partner: Western Springs

San Antonio de los Baños

Anchoring the rural western edge of Havana Presbytery, San Antonio de los Baños is an active church, with prayer meetings on Thursdays, discussions and lectures on Saturdays, and school and worship on Sundays. Chicago Presbytery Partner: Clarendon Hills Community

La Fernanda

This new church is reviving a poor residential area of Havana. Its youth group meets in the converted home, while a meals program serves the elderly and a water purification system is available to all. Sewing and knitting is taught to provide income for local women. Chicago Presbytery Partner: Wheaton Hope


The Evangelical Theological Seminary at Matanzas develops leadership for Presbyterian churches in Cuba, as it has for more than 70 years. The seminary’s hilltop sunrise service dramatizes the assertion that Cubans are Easter people.


  • Church-to-church partnership. Under the auspices of the Havana–Chicago Presbytery Partnership, churches here can form their own partnerships with churches in Cuba.
  • Resources. All churches are encouraged to donate resources to help our Cuban partners maintain their missions, including their church camp. In response to local needs, we deliver medicines, craft materials, office supplies, and more.
  • Prayer, always. Although formal relationships and shared resources are important and deeply appreciated, our greatest need is for your prayers.

For information, contact Kathy Wennerstrum, Moderator.