Speaking at the Africa Extended Cabinet meeting, Bishop John K. Yambasu of the Sierra Leone Conference encouraged his African brothers and sisters to “hold firmly to the truth of the Gospel.”
Yambasu, the president of the Africa College of Bishops, devoted part of his keynote address to the debate over how the church ministers with LGBTQ people.
He expressed hope “for a revived and transformed United Methodist Church … built on the strong foundations of biblical authenticity.”
The 170 attendees at the Feb. 14-17 conference in Accra, Ghana, included African bishops, district superintendents, conference treasurers and other members of the extended cabinets of each bishop.
Reminding the church leaders that they belong to a global United Methodist family called to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” Yambasu recalled early Methodists whom John Wesley sent to America to birth the church.
“The United Methodist Church in Africa exists today,” the bishop said in his address, “because these men and their successors … sacrificed their comforts and lives in order that we might hear the good news of Jesus Christ.
“Over the centuries, and guided by the Holy Spirit, the African people have tenaciously held on to and practiced the great values of the biblical faithfulness that of the membership of 12.5 million United Methodists across the globe, Africa accounts for 40 percent of that growth.”
That means, Yambasu said, that of the 862 expected to attend the 2020 General Conference, 278 of the delegates are expected to come from Africa.
“Africa is on its way to providing the needed leadership for the denomination,” Yambasu declared.
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