According to the Free Methodist Church, the Rev. Phyllis Sortor, a 1964 Seattle Pacific alumna, was released to Nigerian authorities and church officials late last week.
“We thank God Phyllis Sortor, Free Methodist missionary to Nigeria, was safely released today, Friday, March 6, early evening Nigeria time,” Bishop David Kendall said in a church statement.
At around 1:30 a.m. on February 23, armed men in southern Nigeria abducted Sortor from the Hope Academy compound in Emi Woro, Kogi State, where she worked as a financial administrator. Though the abductors initially demanded a $300,000 ransom, the conditions surrounding her release remains unclear.
According to Nigerian authorities, Kogi State gangs often kidnap foreigners for financial gain and do not take them far from the point of capture.
The church declined to comment on whether it negotiated with Sortor’s captors in any way. A spokesman with church said it is unknown if Sortor will stay in Nigeria or return to the United States.
On March 6, SPU sent out a statement addressed to students, faculty and staff.
“We want to thank the entire SPU community for your support and prayers for Phyllis, and we ask that you continue to life her up,” the statement says. “We praise God for her release.”