Bishop Dr. Matthew Peter Byamungu, Presiding Bishop of Tanzania Methodist Church, passed away on 30 December 2017, following health complications. A burial ceremony was held on 4 January 2018, in his native Tanzania.
Born in 1954, Matthew Peter Byamugu had a thirst to learn, and in 1981 he joined the Asian Center for Theological Studies and Mission in Korea where he received his first theology degree. It was there that he met his wife Jae-young Ryu, who was his interpreter and Korean tutor. In 1984, after graduation he returned to Tanzania with her and engaged in evangelizing in secondary schools and universities in Dar es Salaam.
From 1987-1989 he was a church pastor serving in Tabata and Mburahati and instituted the Calvary Cross Christian Center Orphanage-Boko area in Dar es Salaam.
In 1991 he received a second theology degree from Hyup Sung University, and in 2009 he graduated from University of Latin California.
In 1991 he was appointed pastor of the Immanuel Methodist Church in Korea and was invited to attend the preaching work in Tanzania, the work he performed so effectively. He succeeded in registering the church branch in Tanzania, renaming the original Tanzania Christian Methodist Church (TCMC) to Tanzania Methodist Church (TMC) and increasing the number of believers and Methodist churches in the short term.
In 2003 he was appointed the first bishop of the church in the country where he continued to serve until 2009 when he was appointed as Presiding Bishop until his death. He leaves behind his wife, Jae-Young Ryu, who is also the Leader Pastor, and two children.
Affectionately known as “Dr. Of God”, Dr. Matthew Byamungu will continue to be honored by establishing the Methodist church in the country and developing its leadership. He recognized the importance of having church-educated and experienced church leaders, and instituted an educational college for pastors and ministerial servants in Arusha. He leaves behind a legacy of more than 30 churches in the country, and the the development of social services through the education and health sector responsible for running schools, health centers, and a child care center. He was an international preacher who preached in various parts of the world and was able to connect the church with various stakeholders, including governmental and religious institutions and non-religious organizations.
Dr. Matthew Byamugu is remembered as a humble, loving and cooperative leader for people of all ages. The World Methodist Council honors the life and ministry of Bishop Dr. Matthew Peter Byamungu.
Biographic information from http://www.tanzaniatoday.co.tz/news/askofu-mkuu-wa-kanisa-la-methodisti-nchini-afariki
Photos from www.facebook.com/pg/tmc.songa.mbele/photos