Methodists Celebrate 100 Years of Ministry and Mission in Eastern Congo

United Methodist Bishop Gabriel Yemba Unda (right) leads the procession to the 100th anniversary celebration for Methodism in Congo. The celebration was held in Tunda, site of a former Methodist mission station and hospital. Photo by Philippe Kituka Lolonga, UM News.
United Methodist Bishop Gabriel Yemba Unda (right) leads the procession to the 100th anniversary celebration for Methodism in Congo. The celebration was held in Tunda, site of a former Methodist mission station and hospital. Photo by Philippe Kituka Lolonga, UM News.

Bishops, clergy and laity representing the country’s four episcopal regions of The United Methodist Church gathered recently to celebrate the first 100 years of Methodist mission in Eastern Congo.

A century ago, chiefs in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo requested missionaries to bring evangelism to the Maniema Province, Kibombo Territory and Akunchu Chiefdom on the other side of the Lomami River.

According to the Rev. Antoine Kalema Tambwe, regional historian, predecessors of The United Methodist Church responded.

Participants during the recent celebration included missionaries of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, representatives of Connexio Switzerland, and heads of chiefdoms and groups of Kibombo. The Rev. Mahamudi Ngereza Benoit was an officiant.

Bishop Mande Muyombo, North Katanga Episcopal Area, spoke on behalf of the Council of Bishops. He noted that United Methodist involvement started in a tiny village with a small number of faithful and today Eastern Congo has more than a million faithful.

Bishop Daniel Lunge, Central Congo Episcopal Area, said, “Today all the tribes are found in the church in Eastern Congo. For me, it’s a source of pride.” Much remains to be done, he added, especially in evangelization, because the field is still vast.

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Source: United Methodist News

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