By The Very Rev Opeyemi Awe
Interim General Secretary, AMC
Contagious is the best word to express the feeling with which Heads of Methodist Churches across Africa, representing Methodist families in the Sub regions received the proposal for the ratification of the proposal for the formation of Africa Methodist Council at the Heads of Churches Summit which took place at the Freeman Christian Centre, Kumasi Ghana from the 14th -19th October 2015.
The venue was enthusiastically alive with the spirit of unity that pervaded the entire atmosphere where the Facilitator of the meeting Archbishop Michael Kehinde Stephen, Archbishop of Ibadan, Methodist Church Nigeria and an officer of the World Methodist Council led the Heads of the various strands of Methodist Churches and other invited institutions through the historical background of the initiative from the conception to the point of the ratification of the document.
The participants at the summit were drawn from the various sub regions of Africa
Southern Africa, East Africa , Central Africa and West Africa . We also had in attendance the Excecutive Secretary Africa, Dr Alfiado S. Zunguzza from the General Board of Global Ministries.
The Council is a Pan African association of Methodist, Wesleyan, and related Uniting and United Churches. The Council is set to encourage Methodist unity in witness, facilitating mission in Africa, and fostering ecumenical and inter-religious activities which will enhance Methodism within Africa and promote the unity of the Methodist families in Africa in order to showcase the African Identity through the Wesleyan movement
- The summit agreed that officers should be spread across the sub-regions and the following appointments were made in the following manner:
- General Secretariat/ Headquarters – Nigeria, Interim Gen secretary Very Rev Opeyemi Awe
- Communication Coordinating Secretary – Southern Africa, Mrs Bongi Mayo-Bango:
- Mission and Evangelism Coordinating Secretary – Kenya, Rev Nicolas Mutwiri Nteere
- Justice, Development, Peace and Reconciliation Coordinating Secretary – Benin, Rev Dr Zabulon Djarra:
- Coordinating Secretary for Wesleyan Studies/ Human Capacity Development – Ghana, Very Rev Dr Paul Boafo
- The summit put in place an Interim Committee that will drive the Council till a constitution/Bye Laws are in place is drafted and in turn organize the first General Assembly where officers will be duly elected.
Interim Chairman: Archbishop Michael Kehinde Stephen
Interim General Secretary: Very Rev Opeyemi Awe
Honorary Treasurer: Bishop Dr Asamoah-Okyere.
- All countries are reminded of the need to put in place National Councils that will provide the much needed network and cooperation that is required to sustain the Council at the continental level. Therefore, in line with this understanding we must move with dispatch to establish the National Councils.
The Secretariat is aware that countries like Ghana have functioning National Councils consisting of the various Methodist Families in the country. Where this is not the case, we expect Heads of Churches of the various Methodist families in each country to reach out to each other and make possible the much needed interaction.
The participants at the Heads of Churches Summit had a rare privilege of paying a courtesy visit to the Ashanti King – Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who received the delegates of the Summit in his splendid palace with his royal blessings and his advice which surprisingly was a summary of the aspirations of the council. The King was glad that it was in the Kingdom under his charge that such a great movement will be officially born. Prayers were offered for the King and his kingdom by the Presiding Bishop of Methodist Church Ghana, Most Rev Titus Awotwi Pratt and his predecessor in office Most Rev Emmanuel Asante. All the delegates were delighted to have had such an opportunity to experience such a deep cultural heritage kept intact in the Ashante Kingdom.
The Summit heartily appreciates the hospitality of the Methodist Church Ghana for willingly and successfully hosting the Summit, which demonstrates and re-affirms the true African Koinonia and ensuring that the purposes of this summit was achieved
The Africa Methodist Council is born and we all need to brace up to give maximum support to make all its dreams and aspirations a reality.
The Council appreciates the pledges of support from World Relationship Office of the Methodist Church U.K and the General Board of Global Ministries.
If necessary the Secretariat is ready to assist in facilitating immediate consultations for the National Councils. We will be glad to have updates on events and activities going on around Methodist Families in Africa. For further inquiries please contact the secretariat.
Africa Methodist Council Temporary Secretariat,
Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu House.
No1, College Crescent, Mafohun Molete.
Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.