Bishop John Yambasu of Sierra Leone dies in road accident; he was also chancellor of Africa University

Bishop John Yambasu of Sierra Leone dies in road accident; he was also chancellor of Africa University

bishop yambasu

Photo by Paul Jeffrey/UMNS 

Bishop John K. Yambasu, the Resident Bishop of the Sierra Leone Area of The United Methodist Church, died in a road accident this morning (August 16, 2020) just outside Freetown in Sierra Leone.

He was on his way to attend a funeral service for Rev. Edward Kamara in Yonibana in the north of the country, according to Phileas Jusu, the director of communications for Sierra Leone Annual Conference.

“Our hearts are broken, and we’re devastated by this sudden departure of Bishop Yambasu. This is a great blow to the people called United Methodists! It is our hope and prayers that God will comfort the family in particular and The United Methodist family at large! May his soul rest in perfect peace,” said Bishop Samuel Quire of the Liberia Episcopal Area.

Bishop Yambasu was instrumental in bringing together a diverse group of representatives from United Methodist advocacy groups with contrasting views and bishops from around the world to collaborate on a proposed agreement for the separation of The United Methodist Church.

The agreement, the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation, was achieved on December 17, 2019, and announced early this year and will be considered at the next General Conference of the church set for 2021.

Bishop Yambasu was also president of the Africa College of Bishops of The United Methodist Church.

Born in southern Sierra Leone, Bishop Yambasu studied at United Methodist mission schools. He was ordained a deacon in 1987 and an elder in 1990. He served churches in Moyamba and Freetown until he began to focus on Christian education and youth ministry.

A graduate of Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Bishop Yambasu taught in many schools, including the denomination’s Harford School for Girls in Moyamba. He also was the Sierra Leone Conference’s director for Christian education and youth ministries and founded the Child Rescue Centre in Sierra Leone, serving as its executive director until he became a regional missionary in 2000.

He was elected a bishop of The United Methodist Church in 2008 and installed in 2009.

Bishop Yambasu is survived by his wife, Millicent, and their five children — Rebecca, Adima, John, Emmanuel and Elizabeth.

Media Contact:
Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga
Director of Communications – Council of Bishops
gro.boc-cmu@agnelumm
(202) 748-5172

UMC Bishops call for justice in wake of Ahmaud Arbery’s death

UMC Bishops call for justice in wake of Ahmaud Arbery’s death

WASHINGTON, D. C. –  The Bishops of The United Methodist Church are calling for justice and the eradication of racism and white supremacy in the aftermath of the killing of an unarmed Black man, Ahmaud Arbery, in Brunswick, Georgia.

In a statement released today and signed by Council of Bishops President Cynthia Fierro Harvey, the leaders of the church joined the General Commission on Religion and Race and the General Board of Church and Society in condemning this senseless killing and racism and white supremacy in every form.

“Racism is real and it must no longer exist in our communities. The recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the disparities in our system that have been fed by racism in cities across America,” the statement reads.   

Noting that the list of innocent Black lives who have been killed grows each day, the bishops said it was time for “The United Methodist Church to take a stand and to join our prayers and our actions and denounce our complicity. It is time for us to reclaim The United Methodist Social Principles that name racism as sin and states that it is antithetical to the gospel itself.” 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STATEMENT FROM THE COUNCIL OF BISHOPS

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Bishop Mueller Assigned to United Methodist Men Agency for 2020-2024 Quadrennium

During their recent gathering at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, the Council of Bishops announced assignments of bishops to board and agencies of The United Methodist Church for the 2020 – 2024 quadrennium.

Bishop Gary Mueller has been assigned to the board of the United Methodist Men, one of the 13 agencies of The United Methodist Church. Bishop Mueller will serve in the role along with Bishop Kasap Owen and Bishop Leonard Fairley.

According to a Council of Bishops’ press release, “UMC agencies provide resources and services that equip local congregations and provide a connection for ministry throughout the world. The agencies also provide essential services and ministries beyond the scope of individual local congregations and annual conferences.”

In his role, Bishop Mueller will share oversight on the board of UMM along with the agency’s board of directors, comprised of bothy laity and clergy, elected by jursidictions and central conferences.

More information on bishop’s assignments to boards and agencies can be found by reading the press release sent by the Council of Bishops.

UMC Bishops call for justice in wake of Ahmaud Arbery’s death

Bishop Cynthia Harvey elected president of United Methodist Council of Bishops

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C.  – Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, the area bishop of Louisiana Conference, was today elected president of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church during the bishops’ meeting at Lake Junaluska Assembly.

Also elected were:

  • President-Designate: Bishop Thomas Bickerton
  • Secretary: Bishop Tracy Malone
  • Executive Secretary: Bishop Bruce Ough
  • Ecumenical Officer: Bishop Sally Dyck
  • Past President: Bishop Ken Carter

The current officer holders are Bishop Carter, president; Bishop Harvey, president-designate; and Bishop Mande Muyombo as secretary. The new officers will take office at the end of the May 2020 General Conference.

Outgoing Secretary Bishop Mande Muyombo was elected chair of the Connectional Table Chair.

The executive secretary serves as the operations officer of the Council and works closely with the Secretary to monitor actions of the Council and Executive Committee. The ecumenical officer is responsible for relationships with other Churches and/or ecclesial bodies. Both serve four-year terms and take office on September 1, 2020. Bishop Marcus Matthews and Bishop B. Michael Watson are the current holders of the positions.

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Media Contact: Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga
Director of Communications – Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church
mmulenga@umc-cob.org
202-748-5172
www.unitedmethodistbishops.org

UMC Bishops call for justice in wake of Ahmaud Arbery’s death

United Methodist Bishops meet to discuss General Conference, elect new officers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church will meet November 3-6 at Lake Junaluska Assembly in North Carolina to prepare for the 2020 General Conference, elect new officers and ratify a constitutional amendment among other things.

Coming from Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, the more than 100 bishops who will be in attendance will also tackle proposals on how to dismantle racism, promote discipleship; and strengthen mission strategies in the global denomination.

The meeting opens on Sunday, Nov. 3, with a Memorial Service at First United Methodist Church in Waynesville, North Carolina, to remember and honor bishops and spouses who have died in the preceding year.

Among the bishops to be memorialized are Bishop Benjamin R. Chamness, Bishop William B. Oden, Bishop Judith Craig and Bishop C. Dale White. There will be a special moment of remembrance for Bishop Kenneth Hicks and his wife, Lila Elaine Hicks, who died a few days apart. Spouses of bishops to be honored include Mrs. Mary Ann Hunt, Mrs. Mary Jean Russell and Mrs. Linda Carder.

Election of officers
The bishops will be electing a new president, president-designate, and secretary of the Council who will serve for two years. The current officer holders are Bishop Ken Carter, president; Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, president-designate; and Bishop Mande Muyombo as secretary. The new officers will take office at the end of the May 2020 General Conference.

Also to be elected will be the executive secretary and the ecumenical officer. The executive secretary serves as the operations officer of the Council and works closely with the Secretary to monitor actions of the Council and Executive Committee. The ecumenical officer is responsible for relationships with other Churches and/or ecclesial bodies. Both serve four-year terms and take office on September 1, 2020. Bishop Marcus Matthews and Bishop B. Michael Watson are the current holders of the positions.

Constitutional Amendment 1
The bishops will also vote to ratify a constitutional amendment, which annual conferences had to revote because of an error in the earlier text sent to the conferences. Amendment #1 was one of the five constitutional amendments that were approved by the 2016 General Conference.

Residential bishops will later meet in a Learning Retreat from Nov. 6-8 at the same venue.

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Media Contact: Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga
Director of Communications – Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church
mmulenga@umc-cob.org
202-748-5172
www.unitedmethodistbishops.org