Bishops Daniel Wandabula and Joaquina Filipe Nhanala on Aug. 17 were re-elected as United Methodist bishops by delegates in the Africa Central Conference. The quadrennial meeting is taking place in Nairobi, Kenya.
In the Africa Central Conference, United Methodist bishops are not elected for life. A bishop typically is elected first to a four-year term and with re-election then serves until retirement.
Wandabula was elected in 2006 at a special called session of the central conference to fill the position vacated when Bishop Alfred Ndoricimpa died in office in 2005. The Africa Central Conference chose not to call another special election in 2010 for the normal “re-election process after four years of service.” This is the first re-election for Wandabula.
He leads the East Africa episcopal area, which encompasses the countries of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan. The area has 300,265 United Methodists, according to the most recent report from the East Africa Annual (regional) Conference. In addition to the East Africa Conference, he will oversee the creation of a new Burundi Annual Conference, whose formation was approved at the recently completed 2012 General Conference.
Nhanala in 2008 became the first woman United Methodist bishop elected in Africa.
Her episcopal area encompasses the Mozambique North and Mozambique South Annual Conferences as well as the South Africa Provisional Annual Conference.
As in the United States, local United Methodist churches around the global are organized into increasingly larger groups: numerous districts, dozens of annual conferences and many central conferences in Africa, Asia and Europe. Five active bishops now lead the nine annual (regional) conferences that form the Africa Central Conference.
The United Methodist Book of Discipline directs each bishop to “guard the faith, order, liturgy, doctrine, and discipline of the Church” and to “lead all persons entrusted to their oversight in worship, in the celebration of the sacraments, and in their mission of witness and service in the world.” Bishops also are to be “prophetic voices and courageous leaders in the cause of justice for all people.”
Below is a list of other elections ahead in the central conferences:
Aug 19 – 24, 2012
Meeting in Kolwezi, Katanga Province, Democratic Republic of Congo
A new episcopal area is yet to be named and a new bishop will be elected for the area.
Meeting in Freetown, Sierra Leone
Nigeria Episcopal Area
There will be an election to fill the position of the late Bishop Kefas Kane Mavula, which has been filled in the interim by Retired Bishop Arthur Kulah.
Meeting in Kaunas, Lithuania
The Eurasia Episcopal Area and the Nordic-Baltic Episcopal area
There will be an election to fill the position of retiring Bishop Hans Växby.
Germany Central Conference
Baguio Episcopal Area
Bishop Rodolfo Alfonse Juan is up for re-election.
Davao Episcopal Area
There will be an election to replace retiring Bishop Leo A. Soriano.
Manila Episcopal area
There will be an election to fill position of Lito C. Tangonan, who was suspended as bishop in 2009 and replaced by Daniel C. Arichea Jr. under complaint in Jan. 2010. Taganon left The United Methodist Church in 2011.
March 13-17, 2013
Central and Southern Europe Central Conference, meeting in Winterthur/Switzerland: