Carved out of the Central Nigeria Annual Conference as a way to foster development and evangelism, the North East Nigeria Conference was approved last December in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, by the West Africa Central Conference. The newly inaugurated conference consists of 12 districts, 6 mission areas, 124,311 professed members and 88 clergy members.
Those in attendance at the inauguration included the governor of Taraba State, represented by the Rev. John Simon Jatutu; former governor of Taraba State, the Rev. Jolly. T. Nyame; general superintendents of the three conferences; businessmen; politicians and traditional rulers. The new conference’s general superintendent, the Rev. Yehuda N. Zailani, gave a valedictory speech.
A fundraising effort for the conference’s growth and development netted 5,300,000 in naira, the Nigerian currency, or about $17,000 in U.S. dollars. A guesthouse was donated by Mike Dio Jen to support the new conference.
The purpose of an annual conference in The United Methodist Church, according to its Book of Discipline, is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by equipping its local churches for ministry and by providing a connection for ministry beyond the local church.
Eleven years ago, the Gwaten Nigeria Annual Conference, now called the Central Nigeria Annual Conference, was inaugurated by Bishop Nkulu Ntanda Ntambo, the then interim bishop of the United Methodist Church in Nigeria.
With the new North East Conference, Nigeria has four annual conferences. The other three are Central, Southern and Northern.
Sharon Adamu Bambuka is director of communications, Southern Nigeria Annual Conference.
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This article originally appeared at http://www.umc.org/news-and-media and has been re-posted with permission.