Bulawayo, Zimbabwe – Danisa Ndlovu, president of Mennonite World Conference, retired from his position as bishop of Ibandla Labazalwane KuKristu eZimbabwe (Brethren in Christ Church in Zimbabwe), effective 31 December 2014.
Ndlovu has been bishop of the Brethren in Christ Church since 2000. Beginning in 2015 he assumes a new role with the Susek Evangelistic Association, a United States–based ministry that “is committed to the advancement of the gospel of Jesus Christ by strengthening and building of the church” through evangelism, conferences and other initiatives. In this new role Ndlovu will help to organize and co-facilitate leadership summits in Africa and elsewhere.
Ndlovu has ministered as bishop during difficult times for Zimbabweans. Government corruption, violence, famine and skyrocketing inflation have resulted in devastation, despair and even death. Yet, as Ndlovu told the 2008 General Conference of the Brethren in Christ Church in North America, “In the midst of suffering, God is calling us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices.” Under his leadership, the Brethren in Christ of Zimbabwe have committed themselves to service and worship despite seemingly insurmountable trials.
In reflecting on his years as bishop, Ndlovu counts the 2003 MWC Assembly in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, as one of his greatest achievements. The Assembly “gave our brothers and sisters around the world an opportunity to put a face to the plight of the Zimbabwean people,” Ndlovu says. “The world had a taste of our strength (and possible weaknesses) as a church, as well as our spiritual vibrancy.”
At the local level, Ndlovu celebrates the maturity he has seen in the Zimbabwean church during his tenure as bishop. He reflects, “Doing business in the church—whether at the congregation, District Council or Conference level—has been seen as an important, integral and sacred part of worship. As a result, during my years as bishop, business session have been for the most part extremely peaceful and worshipful.”
Ndlovu has served as bishop for fifteen years. He was succeeded by Sindah Ngulube on 1 January 2015. Ngulube has served in various ministry roles in the Brethren in Christ Church in Zimbabwe, most recently as overseer for the Harare District.
– Devin Manzullo-Thomas