The LCMS began work in Sierra Leone in 1983. LCMS World Mission was forced to evacuate this field in February 1995 because of civil war. At that time, LCMS World Mission supported work among the Kono, Mende, and Krio peoples. The primary work was evangelism and leadership training. There was also a rural healthcare program. During the war, national leaders ministered to members and started work among refugees abroad.
National leaders were being trained at the Coordinating Center for Theological Studies (CCTS) under an LCMS missionary in Karloken, Liberia, until civil war erupted again in Liberia in 2003. Two leaders completed this training in 2002—designed to help them train more lay leaders. Additionally, two Sierra Leonean men supported by LCMS World Mission scholarships graduated from the Jonathon Ekong Memorial Lutheran Seminary in Obot Idim, Nigeria, in the spring of 2002. Support was also given for the resettlement of returning refugee pastors and to aid congregations with establishing a permanent worship site. In 2003, the CCTS opened a new training center in Sierra Leone near the Liberian border to continue and expand the training work begun at Karloken.
Currently, the LCMS works with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sierra Leone (ELCSL). From 2004 until their retirement in 2010, an LCMS missionary couple was assigned to work in the area on agricultural and humanitarian aid projects.
LCMS World Relief and Human Care first supported mercy projects in Sierra Leone in 1986, by helping several thousand farmers transport produce to market. Later projects included instruction in tailoring and soap making, support for families affected by civil unrest, provisions for refugees returning home, emergency medical fund and agricultural training and support.