Global Ministries Honors Staff Member Elected Bishop
By Elliott Wright*
In an act symbolizing The United Methodist Church’s spiritual unity as well as its cultural and geographic diversity, directors and staff of Global Ministries blessed a staff member elected to lead an episcopal area in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
As other bishops present and members of the agency’s leadership team participated in the laying on of hands, directors and staff members extended their arms in affirmation of the new role of Bishop Mande Muyombo, 44, will take on as he leads the North Katanga Episcopal Area of the denomination in the DRC. He was elected on March 18, but continued to also serve as the executive for a major unit of Global Ministries through the semi-annual board meeting on April 20–22.
PHOTO: MIKE DUBOSE, UMNS
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung of Wisconsin, Global Ministries’ president, offered a prayer of blessing and spoke of the unity that United Methodists and other Christians share in their faith—a unity that crosses the boundaries of nationality, race, and language.
Thomas Kemper, the chief executive of Global Ministries, presented the bishop with a plaque that reads: “In appreciation for your love of God and neighbor and your work on behalf of God's mission from everywhere to everywhere.”
Bishop Muyombo’s wife, Blandine, and three of their four children, Lisa, Christelle and infant son, Luke, were present for the recognition. A prayer was offered for their welfare as they become an “episcopal family.” Their oldest daughter, Christiana, was unable to attend.
Bishop Mande came to Global Ministries in 2012 and since 2015 has led the Global Mission Connections unit, which relates to United Methodist conferences and ecumenical partners around the world. “He has an amazing knowledge of the worldwide church,” said Kemper. “He also has an episcopal sense of authority along with a sense of humility that respects the gifts and talents of others.”
Bishop John Yambasu of Sierra Leone, vice president of Global Ministries, spoke of the leadership qualities that brought the young Pastor Mande Muyombo recognition among the clergy and laity of the DRC church that elected him as bishop. He is one of the youngest persons ever selected for the United Methodist episcopal office in Africa.
Global Ministries has mission personnel in some 60 countries and projects and partners in another 60 around the world.
*Elliott Wright is information consultant for Global Ministries.