Mennonite Church West Africa celebrates credentialed pastors

At the January 27 ordination service, members of the Catel Mennonite Church gather for worship. Photo: Beryl Forrester
Release date: 
Tuesday, 2 April 2019

During its 2018 annual conference, Mennonite Church West Africa (MCWA) celebrated its first-ever credentialed leaders: Adriano MBackeh, Sangpierre Mendy, Daniel Djin-ale, and Gibby Mane.

More than 200 joyous attendees – the most ever for this type of event – filled Catel Mennonite Church’s new meetinghouse for MCWA’s annual conference 26–31 December 2018.

On 27 January 2019, Dijn-ale and Mane were ordained at the Catel congregation to serve the church in Guinea-Bissau. MBackeh and Mendy will be ordained in The Gambia 10 February 2019.

Daniel Djin-ale (right) is installed as a credentialed pastor on January 27 at the Catel Mennonite church in Guinea-Bissau. Dijn-ale’s father (left), village chief and adherent of Islam, joins him for the event. Photo: Beryl ForresterMBackeh also addressed the annual conference as a keynote speaker on “Jesus: Our model as a servant leader.”

“Christian leadership is meant to be servanthood, not masterhood,” said MBackeh. “Just as Jesus gave himself willingly, so also should church leaders today follow that example rather than seeking honour and prestige from their flock.”

Eastern Mennonite Missions volunteer worker Beryl Forrester indicated that the credentialing process is supervised completely within the oversight of MCWA. The church received input and information from MWC member church LMC — A Fellowship of Anabaptist Churches; however, this movement affirms the leadership of these local leaders, no longer under the supervision of missionaries.

The Catel congregation – which “took full charge of organizing and directing the program” according to Forrester – completed years-long construction of their building just prior to hosting the annual conference.

MCWA, an EMM partner, has been part of a Mennonite presence in the greater West Africa region since 2000.

— An MWC release by Micah Brickner of EMM.

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