AU alumni from Angola, DRC, Mozambique and Nigeria, representing the 1994 pioneer graduating class through the class of 2010, served as translators and staff at GC2012.
Africa University's expanding influence across Africa and throughout The United Methodist Church showed throughout the 2012 United Methodist General Conference in Tampa, Fla. Your support of The Africa University Fund helps defray the overhead costs at Africa University.
The official parts – the colorful garb and inspirational singing of the university’s renowned choir and the celebration of the university’s 20th anniversary — were impressive and warmly greeted by the nearly 1,000 delegates from around the world.
But more important, and woven deeply into the fabric of the conference, were the contributions of Africa University graduates. Some were delegates and alternate delegates to the assembly that met from April 24 to May 5 in the Tampa Convention Center. AU graduates served as chairpersons of delegations, officers of legislative committees, presenters of reports to the conference, translators and staff persons.
The Rev. Dr. Laishi Bwalya of Zambia, who earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in theology at AU, was elected to chair the influential Legislative Committee on Discipleship. He also headed the Zambia Provisional Conference’s delegation to the conference. Another AU graduate, the Rev. Levson Ion Mhone, who received a bachelor of divinity degree in 1997, headed the Malawi Missionary Conference delegation.
The Rev. Guy Mande Muyombo, awarded a bachelor of divinity degree in 2006 and a master’s of peace and governance in 2008, represented the more than 4,000 students who have graduated over the past 20 years as he offered his testimony to the conference.
“Thank you for living out a powerful and transforming gospel in a ministry called Africa University,” said Muyombo, who is president of the recently opened Kamina Methodist University in the Republic of the Congo. He was a delegate from the North Katanga Conference.
“The prayers and gifts of the people who call themselves United Methodist, given to build and support Africa University, have changed my life and that of thousands of African young people,” Muyombo said to applause from the delegates.
“I am but one piece of the dream,” he declared.
Bishop Marcus Matthews, vice chair of the university’s board of directors, said, “Africa University is one of the most significant things our denomination has done in the past 20 years.” He added, “The university is what unites us as United Methodists, preparing leaders for Africa and the world.”
The university, Matthews continued, offers the denomination a model of diverse peoples coming together. “Africa University has shown how a diverse community can break down walls between people and countries. The university models what it means to be in community. The church can learn from the university’s experience,” he said.
— Stephen Drachler, communications consultant with the AU Development Office
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