Aug 17

Bishops Wandabula, Nhanala re-elected

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.

Bishop Daniel Wandabula

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.

Bishop Joaquina Nhanala

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

Congo Central Conference

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.


Oct. 4-7

West Africa Central Conference

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.


Oct. 17-20

Northern Europe and Eurasia Central Conference

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.


Nov. 13-18

Germany Central Conference

No election.


Dec. 12-16

Philippines Central Conferences

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:

No election.


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  1. Arnalia G.

    Very surprised that Bishop Daniel is re-elected after all the mismanagement revealed by the audit committee. It’s really sad for the church in East Africa.

    1. Mark West

      It does make you wonder. I think UMNS should help us understand this, how people of that conference can reelect this guy after he finally gets cut off after years of allegations of corruption. What are we missing?

      1. Christian Shroll

        I think there is a difference of thought on the issues here, I have just come back from a mission trip to Gulu District in Uganda from June 19-July 30, 2012.I have personally met with Bishop Wandabula and even worked beside him when he came to the construction site for the Gulu District & UMVIM conference center. This was the 3rd trip that was taken to this area, and there are many other ministries that are being worked in the area. In my experience with the ministry in Uganda over the past 5 years, there have not been any issues with funding, and God has blessed the ministry greatly. The thing that I would put more value in is that the ministry is being blessed and lives are being greatly changed. Please feel free to go to the gulumethodistpartnershipinc.org website to see more information about the work being done in the area and the people involved both in the US and in Uganda. There are also YouTube videos about the trips that have been taken.
        As long as the Lord continues to bless the ministry, I will continue to support the ministry.

      2. Mwana Mtoto

        Mark West, to answer your question you’re missing the truth. Rather than complaining about the servant of God based on rumors and false allegations by a faction of rebellious disgruntled individuals you should seek divine revelation. The re-election in itself should be enough testimony that God has ordained the bishop and has instituted him for leadership of the conference.

        1. Mark West

          Give me a break. I’ve been around enough episcopal elections to know that divine intervention is one of the least of the factors involved. You can’t seriously look at 2000 years of church history and tell me that all the leaders we have chosen were hand picked by God. The fact remains that this guy’s conference failed repeated audits. As someone who sits in the pew and puts money in the offering plate, I want recipients of that money to be accountable. Having traveled in his conference and talked with folks on the ground, I know there are serious complaints about corruption, and the reluctant decision by a general agency to halt funding until issues of accountability and transparency are resolved underscores this observation. You can raise your hands and acclaim the greatness of the bishop all you want, but he’s not getting any more of our money until he shapes up.

          1. Christian Shroll

            Again, I direct the focus to where my money and involvement have been, which is in the Gulu District working through Gulu Methodist Partnership, Inc. This is an organized non-profit organization that has worked in this area for 5 years and processed the funds for 3 mission trips, pastoral support, micro-financing loans, the purchase of property for the churches in the district and a District/UMVIM center. The funds for these projects have been sent with full accountability. I would direct those interested to look to http://www.gulumethodistpartnershipinc.org to see all we have done and continue to do.
            As far as the election of Bishop Wandabula and others different conferences worldwide, God’s hand is always involved in the process. Can human intervention play a part as well? Yes. It all comes down to the fruit being produced by the individual. I have spent my life in the church, and see the ups and downs. I think there are many issues in the US that are of greater error that go by without as much publicity as this issue which could be true or false or even a misunderstanding in the process of all the steps that are taken along the way and the difference between American time and Africa/Ugandan time.
            To answer your question, I serve a Sovereign God that appoints leaders to their positions. Are those leaders perfect? No. None of us are. The point is whether it is Saul or David in Old Testament, or the leaders of today, God allows them to have that position, and those leaders must then choose to follow His lead or their own.

          2. Mark West

            Christian, I’m glad you’re involved in fighting those “greater errors” in the U.S. I appreciate your commitment. But I’m confused about your interpretation of divine involvement. If a sovereign God appoints ALL leaders to their positions, then it’s God who is to blame for Joseph Kony and Idi Amin and Omar al-Bashir. Thanks for clarifying that for me. I’d always been confused. Now you’ve set me straight.

          3. Christian Shroll

            As I said in my comment, it is the leaders choice of whose lead they follow. Their own lead, which brings about tragedies like Idi Amin, Joseph Kony, Hitler, and many others have brought about, is one choice that can be made, or the leader can follow God’s lead to the best of their ability, of which would be various figures throughout history like King Nebuchadrezzar, King David, and other contemporary US and international figures that I will save us from further debate about. God is not to blame for those leaders mistakes and poor choices, but He does allow those leaders to have the positions they hold. I will close this by saying that I will not add anymore to this because I can see that neither of us are gaining ground and feelings seem to be getting hurt. I apologize if you were offended by what I said, but my intent was to clarify my statements as best as possible.

          4. Mark West

            Sorry you’re leaving. I wasn’t offended by anything you wrote, I was just trying to understand why we feel a need to defend people who are crooks. The church needs more accountability and transparency, not more cover-ups. And our theology needs to quit passing the buck to God. Any serious ethical posture will not accept corrupt leaders. Be well.

  2. Rev. NGENDAHAYO Edouard

    Congratulation bishop Daniel Wandabula go ahead

  3. patrick omondi

    congratulation my bishop!

  4. patrick omondi

    congratulation my bishop!go go and God be with you!

  5. Traci

    Congratulations Bishop, conference and East Africa. Now you can get busy and get on with the work God has planned! Put the garbage that has happened and all the rumors that are going around behind and let the Holy Spirit start moving!

  6. Christian Shroll

    Congrats Bishop Wandabula. I really enjoyed working beside you when you came to the Gulu Conference Center construction site. You have great leaders in Sam, Peter, Solomon, and the other pastors as well as great new leaders that are growing like Dennis and Douglas. May the Lord continue to bless you and your ministry.

  7. Arnalia G.

    I can see lots of flattery here. That’s what Westerns never get to understand. The fact that the work of God is moving forward back home in Africa does not mean there are no problems. Mark West is just another more person adding to the number of people from the West who only listen to what their friends in power tell them. The work of God is progressing because many of the pastors give themselves to God’s work regardless of what they are paid. But often times it’s our leaders or those who surround them misuse the resources. As a matter of facts, check how many African bishops do not have any relative working in the bishop’s office or working in the bishop’s circle? Go find this information, you will learn more about how leaders abuse power. Funds mismanagement is just one mall piece of the big picture, Nepotism!!!

    I give thanks to God for humble and unmentioned African pastors, who continue to serve God even when their leaders continue to use the church as personal businesses

  8. Arnalia G.

    Sorry, I meant to say Christian Shroll not Mark West.

    1. Christian Shroll

      I have been part of a ministry in Gulu Uganda for 5 years. I know from experience not what just what is told to me. I have personally met the bishop, his cabinet, and the pastors from the Gulu District. I give full credit to those pastors and leaders for the work they are doing.

  9. marilyn

    Congrats to the two of them. from my own observations and for the number of years I have spent working with the united methodist church both in the usa and Africa, all I can say is that there is a lot of politics in the united methodist church and this is going to kill the church worldwide. There are so many people sitting in the pews in the umc churches in the usa complaining about their pastors but never been publicized but when it comes to somebody in Africa, its got to be publicized. when will the white man ever have some respect for a black person. there is still alot of racism in the church. Instead of some people focusing on God and doing ministry, people are focusing on the leaders. As for Arnalia and Mark West, have you ever heard of a leader that is not hated or not talked ill about? I have immersed my self in the American culture but people in the usa, love rumours and they friend those who are able to give them rumours or lies.

    About planting a seed. When you sow bean seeds, do you have to wait every night to see how they will germinate or when you sow your bean seeds, do you order the ground to bring them out the way you want to. If you want to help the ministry in Africa, do it with one hurt coz Its only God the knows the truth and who will appreciate you. Most times, the people who complain about the whereabouts of their money that they put in the offering plate are the ones who do not even give a penny and the ones who give are always quiet just enjoy ing the blessings and the fruits of their giving.

    Let us focus on the ministries and the church and forget about the politics in the united methodist church. God bless you all

    1. Mark West

      Marilyn, you make this sound like a US vs. Africa thing. How do you explain the people within that conference who have complained about corruption and mismanagement? Are they mere stooges of the White Man?

      1. marilyn

        Well, Mark west, I think you just have your own issues with Daniel Wandabula. I dont want to continue on this topic. Quick recovery Mark West

        1. Mark West

          Sorry, Marilyn, but it’s not just a problem of my “issues” with the conference leadership. A lot of people have had difficulties, particularly in getting funding to where it was intended. It’s not because of “my issues” that the GBGM decided to cut him off. I had nothing to do with it. That move was unprecedented and comes after years of trying to work out a different solution. Yet you seem to think the board’s decision was based on “runors and lies” or “a lot of politics,” whatever that means. Face it, Marilyn, people are tired of having their money stolen. If you’re happy about how your money is used there, fine. But don’t ascribe racism to those who demand accountability and transparency in how the church handles money. Because not demanding responsible stewardship of funds is precisely what Dambisa Moyo and other African leaders would describe as racism, and what in the long run sets back the economic development of Africa rather than advancing it. That’s why you don’t want to continue this discussion.

  10. LAURA


  11. Cameron

    Now that the recommendation has been made to suspend funds being sent to the East Africa Annual Conference, I wonder where it will lead next.

    “Other responses — including possible legal actions in secular court — are also under consideration by the board, said agency officials and a statement from the finance agency. ”

    I’m hoping that the auditing problems will work themselves out, but it does seem troublesome that there are several years of audits that are incomplete.

  12. Muzerengwa Enesto

    As a church we need to walk the talk all the time.
    Leaders who are corrupt must not stay on positions because they are light of the world, how can they be light of the world when they are corrupt.
    Remove mind of nipotism, we should condemn corruption.

  13. Ssettuba Eric Male

    I have worked with Reverend Daniel Wandabula on Humble project establishment in Uganda as a volunteer and accountant and as a director of charity organization in Uganda (MATAF)
    I have known his as a good man of God and an electric charismatic preacher who inspired my soul to become a preacher BUT just having no opportunity to go to a theological college .
    I emulate his sermons and now I preach almost like him whenever I get a chance to the pulpit.
    United Methodist members in developed countries should also sit down and learn how African s do their things.
    In Africa people compete for small posts in the church or church founded projects and can do any thing to pull whoever assumes position down.
    They can lay all evil traps until they get you down.
    With the eruption of communication technology in Africa, it has been used to precisely pull church leaders like Bishop Wandabula down. Remember that any body can sit with his laptop with internet connection and fight church leaders .Some consumed with personal ambitions or used by opponents who want to assume seat.
    The in fighting don’t only destroy committed leaders like Reverend Wandabula but also destroy the souls and cause suffering to the orphans and needy especial when financial support is cut off or scaled down.
    United Methodist should disregard the accusations and focus on mission ahead knowing that the enemy of the church is awake and can use his snares as arsenals to destroy the good work started in Africa (Ephesians 6:12).
    From many sermons Wandabula preached when I was working as a volunteer at humble place in Uganda I learnt that whatever man gives to the needy or towards the promotion of His work, she or he loans God .
    We should also bear in mind that God sees all those who use the said contributions contrary to the purpose and He is the one to avenge.
    Think about those who contributed to the construction of churches that can no longer stand because they were destroyed by terrorists, wars, earthquake, fire or tsunami.
    Should they regret or call back their in-kind and material contributions ?
    What if some are dead already where can they file their claim or complaints?. (Revelation 20:12-15)
    What we should understand that God does His things as He wants and you can not say otherwise.
    He lets some die young, others live to age, raises some to power(Id Amin Dad former president of Uganda) regardless their education levels, colour, and background.
    He allows storm(super storm sandy, Joshua) tsunami ,earthquakes, accidents and wars at HIS timing.
    So lets support and honour his elect (Romans .8 :33).

    Lets live God to use his divine power to speedily spread His gospel using His elects in Africa.
    Hoping hearing from you soon to share the world of God but remember am just lay man no religious training background

    May the loving God bless you.


  14. Yassir Kori

    Now that East Africa episcopal area, which encompasses the countries of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan.

    So North Sudan is empty and has large number of christian community, especially those who are willing to create new administration by joining UMC So what will be the next step to accommodate these congregation

    1. Yassir Kori

      Now that East Africa episcopal area, which encompasses the countries of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan. The North Sudan which is newly left country after South Sudan got independence, it need to be cover by particular conference. Speaking right now I am one of the people of Northern Sudan. As we attempted to join UMC for long time and been unable to get connected, we still look forward to join UMC. We are a large number that composed of 30,000 members in congregation who are seeking to join UMC for the time being.

      You direct your guidance to us by emailing us at yassirkori@yahoo.com

      May God bless you all

  1. In split decision, church’s top court rules on Western Pennsylvania/East Africa dispute - United Methodist Connections

    [...] Daniel Wandabula, who leads the East Africa Conference, subsequently was re-elected for life on Aug. 17 when the Africa Central Conference met in Nairobi, Kenya. Unlike in the United States, the Africa Central Conference bishops are not elected for life at [...]

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