Standing at far right, Adolphe Komuesa Kalunga, president of the Mennonite Church of Congo for the past 15 years, presents newly elected officers: (from left) Martin Musukisa Kasanzu – vice president, Fidèle Yongo Gahombolo – president, and Charles Kazadi Bengankuna Kanyinda – secretary. They have been sprinkled with flour as a sign of blessing. Photo by David Matala.

By David Matala; translated and edited by Lynda Hollinger-Janzen
Wednesday, August 28, 2019

TSHIKAPA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission/Mennonite Mission Network) – The general assembly of Communauté Mennonite au Congo (Mennonite Church of Congo) gathered at the denomination's headquarters in Tshikapa from July 8-14 to worship and elect new officers. The session's theme, Understanding God's Will, was drawn from Ephesians 5:15-17. Choirs from the region opened and closed the week with praise.

The 121 delegates representing the country's church districts elected two pastors – Fidèle Yongo Gahombolo as president, and Martin Musukisa Kasanzu as vice president. A teacher, Charles Kazadi Bengankuna Kanyinda, was chosen to be secretary.

Adolphine Tshiama, administrator of a Mennonite school with 1,400 students, will continue as the president of the women's organization, and Macaire Kilambu Kambu, a businessman, will also serve a second mandate as leader of the association of lay people.

Because the denomination's bylaws require a rotation that prevents people from the same church district assuming the office of president in successive elections, some presidential candidates from Kinshasa were eliminated, as the outgoing president, Adolphe Komuesa Kalunga, is based there.

In all the offices except that of national president of the denomination, delegates affirmed a single candidate. There were two candidates for the presidency, Gahombolo and Albert Mulamba Katompa. Gahombolo from Central Bandundu Province won with 71 votes.

The newly elected officers will begin their terms Oct. 14.

There were conflicts of interest at every stage of the week-long general assembly that required a police presence to keep order. For security reasons, some topics on the agenda were postponed for the next general assembly in 2021.


David Matala is a member of Mennonite Church of Congo and lives in Kinshasa.



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