top of page

Timeline of OC Ministries





Operation Classroom-Primary Division becomes official Minnesota United Methodist Mission Outreach. “Mission Possible” newsletter for Operation Classroom first published. War is ravaging Sierra Leone. Program expands to Brownstown,Jamaica; Ponce, Puerto Rico, and Pachica, Chile. Operation Classroom touches the lives of 6,000+ children in sixteen church-related schools. Operation Classroom becomes OC Ministries. Ten-year anniversary celebrated.

Lyndy Zabel becomes Steering Committee Chair. Pastor Ed Kamara from Sierra Leone spends the summer of 2002 visiting churches in Minnesota. “Operation Connection” student scholarship program for Makeni, SL is started. 20th Anniversary celebrated. Bishops Yambasu and Kulah visit Minnesota. Love Offering for wells in Africa raises over $20k.

“Jericho Vision” eye clinics and “Operation CROP” avocado planting projects begin in Jamaica. Annual budget grows to $116K. 25th Anniversary celebrated with representatives from Jamaica, Sierra Leone and Liberia in attendance. Endowment Fund established. $40K gift received from partner Africa Uplifted. New logo created. “Operation Cut & Sew” begins to provide uniforms, school bags and more. Richard Ormsby Secondary School opens in Baiwalla, Sierra Leone. COVID pandemic suspends all work teams.

La Saline Medical/Dental Clinic adopted as new project in Haiti but work teams cannot visit due to Covid and internal strife. Website updated and social media is established. Solar panels installed in Baiwalla, Sierra Leone. New projects in Liberia include piggery, honeybee hive and oil palm farming in Boway.  Founder Rev. Kathy Horn passes away. Rev. Lyndy Zabel retires and Lori McBride becomes Executive Director. OC Ministries celebrates 35th anniversary.

Our History

After explaining his life’s work and ministry to the Rosemount United Methodist Church congregation in 1987, Reverend Smart Senesie of Moyamba, Sierra Leone invited listeners to come over and work with him to improve the educational opportunities for students in Sierra Leone. Shannon Stire and Reverend Lyndy Zabel, two of those in attendance, took Rev. Senesie up on his invitation and traveled to West Africa in 1989 as part of an eight person “Advance Team.”  Adding Liberia to their itinerary, they toured six different school sites where they gained valuable information about the specific building, program and supply needs of the schools. The outcome of that first visit to Sierra Leone and Liberia was the formation of “Operation Classroom” with an agreement to partner with Methodists in those countries to help with school construction needs in three communities in Sierra Leone and three in Liberia.


Under the leadership of Lyndy Zabel as well as Reverends Kathy and Jim Horn, and through the generosity of Minnesota United Methodists and others, Operation Classroom flourished and grew, with a total of sixteen school sites receiving funding and hands-on construction help over the next twelve-eighteen months. When civil war and rebel activity enveloped both West African countries in the early 1990s work was temporarily suspended in West Africa and expanded to Chile, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Uganda. 


In 1999, Operation Classroom became known as OC Ministries when projects began to include support for Clinics, Churches, wells (Clear Water), agriculture (Crop), Clear Vision, Curriculum writing and student scholarships (Connection), all seeking to inclusively minister to the bodies, minds and souls of children and their families. In October, 2014, OC Ministries celebrated 25- years in service and in 2024 celebrates its 35th anniversary as it continues to grow year upon year. Current countries where OC Ministries is engaged are Sierra Leone, Liberia, Jamaica and Haiti.  

OCM has developed partnerships with Africa Uplifted, Feed My Starving Children, Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, Lions International and autonomous Methodists in Haiti and Jamaica.

bottom of page