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CLUB 444: a special statement from the wca

September 13, 2022

The WCA, as it has from its beginning, deeply values our sisters and brothers in Africa, as they are a vital part of our movement to contend for the faith entrusted to us. For over a decade, we and our sister organizations have worked together with African leaders as equal partners to help give African General Conference delegates a way to voice their deeply held, theologically conservative convictions in a way that impacts the entire denomination in proportion to their majority membership status. We have a rich and valued representation from Africa on our WCA Global Council that demonstrates the strong level of commitment to our movement from theological conservatives on that continent.

We are deeply disappointed, but not surprised, by the statement purported to come from all the African Bishops. We have been told the statement is not supported by all the bishops in Africa and lament that it insinuates that it is. Further, the statement is unclear which bishops support it as it lists bishops present, not bishops that were present and supported the statement. We believe strong-arm control tactics by some African bishops infringe upon the Christian freedom of their members to speak into the current and future direction of The United Methodist Church and their role in it. We remain committed to working with theologically conservative Methodists across the continent of Africa to empower their witness to the faith and their right to make informed decisions about their future in the church.

Additionally, the following African leaders aligned with the Wesleyan Covenant Association have shared the following official statement:

As leaders of the WCA in Africa, the statement by our esteemed bishops left us flabbergasted. This militant and combative position by some of these bishops does not proffer the unity and love for which they call. If anything, it opens a massive rift between them and the flock that they are supposed to look after. To openly attack your own flock diminishes the essence of being “good shepherds” that the bishops are supposed to exemplify. In Africa it is generally considered disrespectful to answer back to elders, but we feel pushed into a corner and unfortunately there is no longer any space behind us.

The values and mission of the Wesleyan Covenant Association resonate well with what Africans believe and how we live. That makes the partnership of Africans, the WCA, and the rest of the Reform and Renewal Coalition a natural and obvious one. Further, it is most disappointing for us to realize that the Reconciling Ministries Network, which promotes same-gender marriage and the ordination of active gay and lesbian clergy, enjoys free reign in Africa to the extent of building and dedicating churches and our bishops remain very comfortable with it. As leaders of the WCA in Africa we will continue to contend for the undiluted Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Signed by
Mr. Simon Mafunda, WCA Africa Coordinator, Zimbabwe
The Rev. Dr. Kimba Evareste, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Member of the WCA Global Council

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