Bishop Dandala's new role will be boon for Africa, CWS says
5/22/2003 News media contact: Tim Tanton · (615) 742-5470 · Nashville, Tenn.
NOTE: A photograph of Bishop Mvume Dandala is available at http://umns.umc.org/photos/headshots.html.
By Carol Fouke*NEW
YORK (UMNS) - The election of Methodist Bishop Mvume Dandala as top
staff executive of the All Africa Conference of Churches is great news
for Africa and its churches, according to the head of Church World
CWS, a humanitarian agency with offices in New York, is
seeking to bring increased attention and resources to the struggles
faced by most Africans. It will launch the Church World Service Africa
Initiative in January, a program developed in partnership with the All
Africa Conference of Churches, national ecumenical councils and regional
fellowships of churches across the continent.
election in May to the All Africa Conference of Churches' top staff
position comes at a time "when many of the nations of Africa cry out for
the voice of the church in favor of peace and reconciliation," said the
Rev. John L. McCullough, CWS executive director and a United Methodist.
is a journey of integrity and courage," McCullough said, calling
Dandala a dear friend. "The Apostle Paul wrote about powers and
principalities. Mvume's ministry has long been characterized as one that
has challenged powers and principalities when faith demands such
Dandala, 51, is known for his efforts in conflict
resolution in the 1980s, especially at the height of the apartheid era
in South Africa. In 1985, after the declaration of a state of emergency
in his country, he was detained by authorities for 10 days without
trial. In subsequent years, he has been called upon to mediate and work
for nonviolent solutions in South Africa and beyond.
served as regional secretary for Southern Africa of World Methodist
Evangelism, a program related to the World Methodist Council. In 1978,
he became the first black minister in South Africa to be pastor of a
multiracial congregation. Later, in 1991, he became senior minister of
Johannesburg's Central Methodist Mission, South Africa's largest
multiracial Methodist congregation.
He was elected in 1997 to
his current position as presiding bishop of the Methodist Church of
Southern Africa, which has 1.2 million members and twice that number of
adherents in seven countries.
Dandala also serves as president of
the South African Council of Churches and moderator of the Advisory
Group on Regional Relations and Ecumenical Sharing of the Geneva-based
World Council of Churches.
He led a WCC multinational Living
Letters delegation of church leaders to the United States in November
2001 for dialogue with American church leaders in the wake of that
year's Sept. 11 attacks.
He will begin at the All Africa
Conference of Churches Sept. 1. He succeeds Interim General Secretary
Melaku Kifle, who was seconded to the organization by the WCC for a
The conference, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, is a
fellowship of 168 national churches in 39 African countries with a
congregational membership estimated at 120 million. National Christian
councils are associate members.
CWS is an agency of the 36
Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican member denominations of the National
Council of Churches USA. It works with local organizations in more than
80 countries to support sustainable self-help and development, meet
emergency needs, aid refugees, and address the root causes of poverty
"I look forward to walking the next part of
the journey with Bishop Dandala," said McCullough, "knowing that he will
have a profound influence on and witness amongst the peoples of
# # #
*Fouke is Church World Service's media liaison, with offices in New York.
Back : News Archives 2003 Main
“We believe in God and in each other.”The people of The United Methodist Church
Still Have Questions?
If you have any questions Ask
Purchase a $20 buzzkill t-shirt and help save a life
Buy a t-shirt