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2013: Notable passings in Methodism

In 2013, church members marked the passing of a number of United Methodist and Methodist leaders who made significant contributions in their Christian walk. Read More

A composite of photos shows children in the Punia Territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo working in the local mining industry. The church is helping children who are being forced to work at a young age, many of whom are orphans. Photos courtesy of the Rev. Bundibani Mikembe, Punia District superintendent.

Congo United Methodists fight recruiting children for mining

Children, including many orphans, in the Punia Territory have little choice but to work in the mining industry. Read More

United Methodist clergywomen from the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area gather for a leadership development workshop in Harare. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UMNS.

United Methodist clergywomen urged to overcome odds

Bishop Eben K. Nhiwatiwa tells workshop participants it is time for church and society to recognize clergywomen’s leadership role. Read More

Nombhedesho Maquba (standing, left) volunteers with a soup kitchen ministry operated by young adults of The United Methodist Church of South Africa in Durban. Photo by Nandipha Mkwalo, UMNS.

Young United Methodists start soup kitchen in South Africa

The United Methodist Church’s Young Adult Organization launches community service project to help those in need and spread the word of God. Read More

Zimbabwe Area Bishop Eben K. Nhiwatiwa (second from right) toured the new Munyarari Mission health clinic in Mutare, Zimbabwe, during the early stages of construction. Bel Air United Methodist Church in Bel Air, Maryland, funded the new facility as part of a Chabadza partnership with the Zimbabwe East Conference. Photo by Eveline Chikwanah, UMNS.

Maryland church helps fund new Zimbabwe health clinic

Work has begun on a modern health facility at Munyarari Mission, which will include a maternity wing, outpatient rooms and staff housing. Read More

Jonas Assogba (center) grins as he tries to answer a question during a church version of the newlywed game at Nazareth United Methodist Church in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. The game marked the completion of a three-and-a-half month course on marriage.

Missionary: To boost church, boost marriages

A missionary has started a course to help married couples strengthen their relationships. Graduation featured a church version of The Newlywed Game. Read More

Africa University students celebrate their graduation from the United Methodist-related school in Mutare, Zimbabwe. This year’s graduating class had students from 21 African countries. Photo by the Africa University Department of Information and Public Affairs.

616 Africa University students graduate

Africa University graduates 616 students, and Boeing executive endows scholarship for women. Read More

Ernest Tokpah recalls the toll Ebola took on his family during 2015 and 2016 in Ganta, Liberia.

Church institutions continue to aid post-Ebola Liberia

In the two years since Liberia was declared Ebola-free, United Methodist schools and hospitals have helped the country recover. Read More

Student Susannah Gaye of Bassa High School plants a tree Buchanan City, Grand Bassa County, Liberia, as part of a United Methodist effort to combat climate change. Photo by E Julu Swen, UMNS.

United Methodist Church in Liberia targets planting 250,000 trees

A Peace with Justice celebration challenged Liberians to plant trees to combat the effects deforestation and climate change have had on the coastal nation. Read More

Remembering the West Africa Ebola epidemic four years ago, United Methodist communicators in Africa and their colleagues in the United States are working together to send messages to church members in the affected regions to educate the community about how to avoid contact with the disease. Photo by Pierre Omadjela, UMNS.

Text messages educate about Ebola in Congo

Combating a new Ebola outbreak, Central Conference communicators work with United Methodist colleagues to send daily words of help and hope. Read More

The Zimbabwe Council of Churches organized a march to foster peaceful elections. Photo by Tapiwa Dzuda, UMNS.

Zimbabwe churches march for peace

Encouraging understanding and awareness of the church’s role during elections, United Methodists join others in advocacy and prayer. Read More

United Methodists in the town of Beni welcome people fleeing violence in the so-called ‘triangle of death’ between the localities of Mbau-Kamango and Eringeti in the territory of Beni. Nineteen were killed in the latest violence. Photo by Emile Ulangi, UMNS.

United Methodist killed during massacre in Beni

A United Methodist was among 19 killed in the latest violence in the Beni territory. Read More

Bishop Bruce R. Ough (left) greets Bishop Scott Jones prior to the May 22 oral hearing before the United Methodist Judicial Council in Evanston, Ill. The two argued different positions before the court. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

Court ruling spurs competing interpretations

Focus now turns to how the special General Conference will determine which pieces of legislation are “in harmony” with its stated purpose. Read More

A men’s soccer team is an outreach ministry of Granary United Methodist Church in Harare, Zimbabwe. Photo courtesy of Granary United Methodist Church Communications.

Soccer leads Zimbabwe United Methodists toward evangelism goal

Playing a game they love, Mubvuwi We men have fun, promote healthy lifestyles. Read More

Members of the Commission on a Way Forward converse with each other as they complete their final commission meeting on May 23 at the Upper Room chapel in Nashville, Tenn. Many commission members credit the book “The Anatomy of Peace” with helping them work together. Photo by Maidstone Mulenga, Council of Bishops.

Can a book help the church stay together?

A number of delegations to special General Conference are reading “The Anatomy of Peace” to prepare for their work. Here's why. Read More

Men of Bishop Baughman United Methodist Church, supported by the church’s women and other men’s groups, walk across western Freetown, Sierra Leone, sharing messages of peace and reconciliation with the aid of a microphone and speaker. After bitterly fought elections left Sierra Leone divided along tribal and regional lines, the men wanted to evangelize in new ways to help bring the country together. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

United Methodist Men take unity message to the streets

After bitterly fought elections that left Sierra Leone divided, church members are evangelizing in new ways to bring the country together. Read More

United Methodist bishops pose for a group photo in May 2017 on the steps of First United Methodist Church in Dallas. Photo by Maidstone Mulenga, Council of Bishops.

Church court asked to set scope of petitions

The United Methodist Church's top court, the Judicial Council, will hear arguments related to what legislation can be submitted to the special General Conference in 2019. Read More

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton (center), who leads the New York Conference, speaks during a meeting of the Commission on General Conference in Des Moines, Iowa. Seated to the left and right are Duncan McMillan, the commission chair, and Moses Kumar, General Conference treasurer. Photo by Art McClanahan, Iowa Conference.

Paying for the special General Conference

The Commission on General Conference approved registration fees for visitors to GC2019. A big concern is helping delegates do their work. Read More

Screen shot from a livestream Q&A held by Bishop Scott Jones with members of the Texas Conference. From left, Leah Taylor, member of the Commission on a Way Forward, Bishop Scott Jones, and the Rev. Jessica LaGrone, also a commission member. Photo courtesy of the Texas Conference.

Bishops’ action leads to questions

Some bishops expect three plans will be submitted as legislation to the special General Conference. Other bishops emphasize only one plan has their recommendation. Read More

The Rev. Gary Graves of the Kentucky Conference, and his wife Jennifer, are recognized following his election as the incoming Secretary of the General Conference  at the United Methodist 2016 General Conference in Portland, Ore.

Error forces revote on failed constitutional amendment

United Methodist conferences must revote on an amendment to the church’s constitution because the wrong version was sent to conference secretaries. Read More

Bishop José Quipungo of the East Angola Area (left) and Sue Laurie of Love Prevails, an unofficial group that advocates for equality of LGBTQ individuals, share Holy Communion during the United Methodist Council of Bishops meeting in Chicago. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Bishops’ proposal garners range of responses

Bishops themselves are choosing to emphasize different parts of their motion for a Way Forward. Advocacy groups are also making their thoughts known. Read More

From left, Bishop David Yemba takes communion from Bishops Ciriaco Q. Francisco and Sandra Steiner Ball on May 3 during the meeting of the Council of Bishops in Chicago. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Church ratifies 3 constitutional amendments

Two other possible amendments — both promoting women’s equality and inclusion in the church — fell short of the required votes. Read More

United Methodist missionaries Francine Mpanga Mufuk (left) and the Rev. Jean Claude Masuka Maleka lead a Bible study at Nazareth United Methodist Church in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. The married couple are both from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Missionaries help growth in west Africa

A married couple shows how United Methodists wed evangelism and development in missionary work. They rely on support from a diverse church. Read More

Viviane Daho broadcasts from The United Methodist Church's Voice of Hope radio station in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Church’s voice of hope endures amid violence

The United Methodist radio station in Côte d’Ivoire has braved gun battles to share the gospel. Others want to emulate its passion for evangelism. Read More

Dana Lyles of Western North Carolina Conference and the Rev. Brad Brady of the South Georgia Conference were among the Connectional Table members talking in small groups during the April meeting in Chicago. The 64-member church leadership body discussed how to carry out the church’s disciple-making mission in this time of uncertainty. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Planning for post-General Conference church

The Connectional Table, a church leadership body, is looking at ways to support the church’s mission in uncertain times and beyond. Read More

Bishop Sandra L. Steiner Ball speaks during the April 2018 meeting of the Connectional Table. The meeting addressed the Way Forward Commission's work and the worldwide nature of the church. Photo by Heather Hahn, United Methodist News Service.

Bishop urges new mindset for way forward

Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball said United Methodists will need a new approach to General Conference if they are to move through their impasse around homosexuality. Read More

East Congo Area Bishop Gabriel Yemba Unda visits the Mamma Lynn Center in January in Kindu, the capital of the Maniema province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The center, a project of The California-Pacific, Memphis and Tennessee conferences in cooperation with The United Methodist Church in the Congo, will give rape survivors a chance to heal and overcome the stigma that makes them outcasts. Photo by Judith Osongo Yanga, UMNS.

United Methodists condemn sexual violence in DRC

In southern Maniema province, 5,000 cases of sexual violence were recorded in 2017 and most of the victims are girls ages 14 to 17, according to a report. Read More

Prosper Tunda greets supporters after being elected governor of the Maniema province on March 28. Tunda, a member of Bethlehem United Methodist Church in Tokolote, is the first United Methodist governor since the Congo became independent in 1960. Photo by Chadrack Londe Tambwe, UMNS.

United Methodist elected governor in DRC

Prosper Tunda, whose family hosted the first Methodist missionaries in East Congo in 1922, has been elected governor of the Maniema province. Read More

Lay adult members Emma Tousant of the Evangelical United Brethren and J.P. Zepeda of the Methodist Church shake hands as part of the uniting ceremony that marked the formation of The United Methodist Church in 1968. This moment of celebration was years in the making. Photo courtesy of Archives and History.

Amid tumult of 1968, a church came together

The United Methodist Church’s birth took years of work and a commitment to end racial segregation. Historians say 50 years later, the union offers lessons for today. Read More

Children celebrate Mardi Gras at the United Methodist Koumassi School in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Promoting unity across denominational and religious lines is a core mission in the country’s United Methodist schools where civil strife is a recent national memory. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Teaching Muslims and Christians for peace

In a nation where civil war is a recent nightmare, United Methodist schools bring students together from various religious backgrounds with the goal of preparing future leaders. Read More

Members of the Commission on a Way Forward participate in a letting-go prayer at the end of their four-day meeting at El Segundo United Methodist Church in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 22. Photo by Maidstone Mulenga, Council of Bishops.

Way Forward prepares final report to bishops

The Council of Bishops will use that report in drafting proposals to submit to the special General Conference. At present, two options are the main focus. Read More

The  Rev. Ndapi Saffa, pastor at Rogers Memorial United Methodist Church in Bo, southern Sierra Leone,  stands by a broken window at his home after a wave of violent post-election attacks on the community. Saffa, his wife and two children were under siege until a rescue team arrived to ward off the attackers. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Pastor caught up in political violence

A United Methodist pastor and his family were “under siege for five hours” in community attack as Sierra Leone’s two leading political parties continue to clash. Read More

Muzinga Bahati, chairperson of United Methodist Women for the Nyunzu district, donates soap, lotion and blankets to pygmies in the Tanganyika province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo by Betty Kazadi Musau, UMNS.

Church promotes peace, unity in DRC

United Methodist Women initiates dialogue between indigenous pygmies, Bantus in Tanganyika Conference and holds vocational training to empower both groups. Read More

Delegates read the bishops' statement about sexuality and the church on May 18, 2016, at the United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Maile Bradfield, UMNS.

Delegates’ early thoughts on Way Forward

Bishops have focused on two possibilities for how the church ministers with LGBTQ individuals, with a traditionalist plan waiting in the wings. Delegates share views on proposals so far. Read More

Born blind with cataracts on both eyes, 8-year-old Morlai Bangura, who lives in the remote village of Barmoi in northern Sierra Leone, can now see. Thanks to successful eye operations at the Sierra Leone Conference’s Lowell and Ruth Gess United Methodist Eye Hospital, Morlai has started attending school in eastern Freetown. Photo courtesy of Dr. Moges Teshome, Lowell and Ruth Gess United Methodist Eye Hospital.

United Methodist hospital changes blind boy’s life

Thanks to Sierra Leone Conference’s Lowell and Ruth Gess Eye Hospital, 8-year-old receives successful cataract surgery and now has the opportunity to attend school. Read More

Women in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo, display their wares at an event to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, 2018. The United Methodist Church in the DRC said investing in women, especially those in rural areas, will be a priority in 2018. Photo by Philippe Kituka Lolonga, UMNS.

Celebrating International Women’s Day

Church encourages investment in women at special International Women's Day events, including exhibitions featuring the wares of rural women. Read More

Evelyn Lot directs the Women Fellowship Choir during worship at Abuja Area 1 United Methodist Church in Abjua, Nigeria, March 4, 2018. The church is facing the threat of a federal government penalty for failing to meet construction deadlines due to a lack of funds to complete the structure. Photo by E Julu Swen, UMNS.

Nigerian church faces hefty fines for building delays

A lack of money has led to missed deadlines and fines imposed by the federal government, further challenging the completion of Abuja Area 1 United Methodist Church. Read More

A new health center in Joyah, Sierra Leone, will provide prenatal care, routine deliveries, immediate postnatal and neonatal care, vaccinations and other services. The center was built with support from The United Methodist Church in Norway. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Attending to health needs in remote Sierra Leone

Community empowerment program, supported by United Methodists in Norway, provides nearly $40,000 for rural center, which includes a maternal and child health post. Read More

Judi Kenaston makes a presentation during a meeting of the United Methodist Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Kenaston, a Connectional Table member from the West Virginia Conference, has been leading that group’s discussion about what a possible new U.S. church structure might look like. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Building support for U.S. structure

Church leaders discuss what they see as a growing need for a decision-making body that deals exclusively with U.S. issues, but there is no formal proposal. Read More

Bishop Mande Muyombo (right) prays at Canaan United Methodist Church in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, where members of the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters worshipped during their meeting. One issue before the group is where to place five new bishops in Africa. Mande, who serves in Democratic Republic of Congo and is the denomination’s most recently elected bishop, is joined by (from left) Bishops Harald Rückert, Gregory Palmer and Patrick Streiff. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Looking at where to put new African bishops

Denominational leaders outlined the criteria they are using in determining where to recommend new episcopal areas in Africa. Read More

Parishioners pray during worship at Canaan United Methodist Church in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Church leaders have been working to determine which parts of The United Methodist Church’s policy book must apply throughout the multinational denomination and what parts can be adapted for use in Africa, Europe and Asia. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Progress in making a global Discipline

Denominational leaders are working to determine what in the Book of Discipline really should apply throughout the multinational denomination. Read More

Dr. Kaly Kayamba Tombe sits on a motorbike delivered by the North Katanga Conference. The United Methodist Board of Global Ministries’ Global Health unit provided funding for the bikes, as well as computers, mobile phones and modems, to improve patient care and data collection in Kamina, Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo by the Rev. Betty Kazadi Musau, UMNS

Church gives doctors in DRC technology tools

With a donation from Global Ministries’ Global Health unit, the North Katanga Conference delivers computers, mobile phones, modems and motorbikes to doctors. Read More

Bishop Christian Alsted (far left), Bishop John Yambasu (center back) and Bishop Rosemarie Wenner (far right) join trainees at the dedication of the new United Methodist Women’s Training Center in Bo, southern Sierra Leone. Photo by Phileas Jusus, UMNS.

New training center for women opens in Sierra Leone

The United Methodist Church in Germany provided funds to build the new United Methodist Women’s Training Center for disadvantaged women and girls. Read More

Yah Dorliea, a United Methodist University nursing student, listens intently during a ceremony consecrating the new nursing school in Ganta, Liberia. The school is part of the Winifred J. Harley College of Health Sciences. Photo by E Julu Swen, UMNS.

United Methodist University opens new nursing school campus

The school is the first College of Health Sciences department to relocate to Ganta, a move funded by Global Ministries’ Global Health unit. Read More

Orphans are being sheltered in a church orphanage in Kindu or with host families after rebel violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo displaced residents there. Seated (center, in blue shirt) is East Congo Area Bishop Gabriel Yemba Unda, along with his wife, Marie Claire Unda (to his right), who has been gathering the orphans for Bible study and meals twice a week.

United Methodists help displaced in DRC

United Methodists distribute aid to people displaced by violence in the East Congo Episcopal Area. Read More

A victim is carried to a mass grave in the village of Katibu in Lau, Nigeria. A recent attack by herdsmen in Taraba State left more than 50 people dead, including 38 United Methodists, according to the Rev. Irmiya Bako, district superintendent of the Yugorobi district. Photo by the Rev. Ande I. Emmanuel, UMNS.

United Methodists among dead in Nigeria attack

The attack, which left more than 55 dead, occurred as clashes over land intensified between mostly Muslim herdsmen and Christian farmers. Read More

For four straight years, a record number of U.S. conferences have contributed to general church funds. Church: Steven Kyle Adair, clouds: Kathleen Barry, UMCom; coins: Kevin Schneider, courtesy of Pixabay; illustration: Laurens Glass, UMNS.

For 4th year, church sees record giving

This year also marks the first time the denomination’s finance agency is also reporting apportionments from outside the U.S. Read More

A new water tank helps combat cholera by providing clean water at the Jerusalem United Methodist Church in the community of Kandundu, Zambia. Photo by John Chikuta, UMNS.

Zambia church helps with cholera prevention

A United Methodist church in Zambia has drilled a borehole and added a water tank to help slow the spread of cholera. Read More

Wesley United Methodist Church in Pujehan, southern Sierra Leone, was officially unveiled on Dec. 11, 2017. The church is the first United Methodist building to be constructed in the Pujehun District. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Denomination’s membership tops 12.5 million

United Methodist growth worldwide comes even as the U.S. continues to see its membership and worship attendance slide. Read More

Map courtesy of Wikimedia Creative Commons with type adaptation by United Methodist News Service.

Churches in Congo pray for peace, condemn attack on protestors

Local church leaders urge United Methodists to continue prayers for a peaceful election process as fears of violence keep many away from worship services. Read More

The Council of Bishops and the Commission on the Status and Role of Women want people with allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct to know they will be heard. Photo illustration by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

Bishops, agency respond to #MeToo movement

United Methodist leaders acknowledge that the church is not immune to sexual misconduct, and they pledge to take such allegations seriously. Read More

George Manneh Weah salutes during the playing of Liberia’s national anthem at his inauguration as the country’s 24th president at Samuel Doe stadium in Monrovia. Weah, a United Methodist and former soccer star, was elected by more than 61 percent of the vote. Photo by E Julu Swen, UMNS.

United Methodist sworn in as new president of Liberia

During induction ceremony, President George Manneh Weah vows to end government corruption. Read More

The Commission on a Way Forward convened Oct. 30-Nov. 1 at the United Methodist Publishing House in Nashville, Tenn. The commission is still working on possibilities for the denomination’s future. Photo by the Rev. Maidstone Mulenga

Way Forward fleshing out 3 possible futures

No one possibility for LGBTQ inclusion predominates, commission members said. But they did offer some more details. Read More

Two long-divided United Methodist groups in Burundi are joining to try to unite the church’s witness. A composite of map images from Google shows the location of the east African nation, below Rwanda. Map images courtesy of Google Maps.

Agencies help fund Burundi church reunification

Both the denomination’s finance and mission agencies are helping to defray costs of a special meeting for reconciliation — a rare move since they cut funding in 2012 to East Africa. Read More

Anotida Kadiramwando writes her name on the computer at Murewa Day Care Centre in Zimbabwe. A program, sponsored by The United Methodist Church in collaboration with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education in Zimbabwe, aims to have computer laboratories at all United Methodist-run schools in Zimbabwe by 2025. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UMNS.

Church in Zimbabwe introduces kids to computers

New program aims to have computer laboratories at all church-run schools by 2025. Read More

Bats began roosting in trees on the grounds of Ganta United Methodist Hospital in Liberia in November. Patrick Mantor, a hospital administrator, said the bats left “without any human action” and never entered the hospital, despite earlier reports. Photo by Julu Swen, UMNS.

Going a little batty at Ganta Hospital

But there were no bats in the belfrey or any area inside Ganta United Methodist Hospital in Liberia. Read More

The Rev. Kombi Ramazani Simon, of the Kivu Conference in the Democratic Republic of Congo, was among the United Methodists expressing regret over President Trump’s reported derogatory remarks about African countries and Haiti. Photo by Philippe Kituka Lolonga, UMNS.

United Methodists join in Trump rebuke

President’s reported characterization of African countries prompts strong response from bishops, others. Read More

Women and children gather water at a watering point in the Irambo District of Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. A cholera epidemic was declared in the South Kivu Province in August and continues today. Photo by Philippe Kituka Lolonga, UMNS

Congo churches react to cholera epidemic

United Methodists in the South Kivu Province help with prevention efforts, including distributing water purification tablets. Read More

Anny Butunga Mwindulwa distributes a mosquito net to new mother Aziza Rachel outside the Irambo Clinic maternity ward in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo by Philippe Kituka Lononga, UMNS.

Church, Congolese government partner on maternal health

A new maternity facility will keep expectant mothers from having to walk up to 25 kilometers to the nearest hospital. Read More

George Manneh Weah speaks during his inauguration as the country’s 24th president at Samuel Doe stadium in Monrovia.  Weah, a United Methodist and former soccer star, was elected by more than 61 percent of the vote. Photo by E Julu Swen, UMNS.

Bishop: Support United Methodist president-elect in Liberia

George Manneh Weah, a former soccer star and a United Methodist, will be sworn in Jan. 22 as Liberia’s new president. Read More

Students, teachers and other adults reach out their hands in prayer toward a new toilet facility during a dedication at LACOSHA Community Institute in the Pipeline Community, in Paynesville, Liberia. The dedication was part of activities marking World Toilet Day by the United Methodist Church in Liberia. Photo by Julu Swen, UMNS.

Church in Liberia donating school toilets

The United Methodist Church in Liberia is helping to keep students healthy by donating toilets to schools. Read More

United Methodists this year marked the passing of scholars, bishops and other churchgoers who put their faith into action. Photo by Silvia and Frank, courtesy of Pixabay.

2017: Remembering notable church members

In the past year, United Methodists marked the passing of a champion of deacons, a Mississippian born of conviction and a bishop who survived an attempt on his life. ' } Read More

Grace Musuka, a United Methodist regional missionary in Zimbabwe, holds a lemongrass plant during a five-day organic farming training at Fambidzanai Permaculture Training Center in Harare. The objective of the workshop, hosted by the United Methodist Women of Zimbabwe, is to increase the use of chemical-free farming techniques in crop and animal production. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UMNS.

Zimbabwean women train in organic farming

With global demand for organic food on the rise, United Methodists are training Zimbabwean farmers to go without synthetic substances in crop and animal production. Read More

Crowds in Harare, Zimbabwe, carried signs and chanted “Mugabe must go” after the military there placed President Robert Mugabe under house arrest.

Prayers for peace lifting Zimbabwe

United Methodists see hope in a new president in African country that has suffered years of tyranny. Read More

Abel Gbeadquoi sits on his Personal Energy Transportation vehicle, a gift from the United Methodist Women in Liberia. Photo by Julu Swen, UMNS.

Mobilizing the physically challenged in Liberia

Hand-cranked transportation devices are invaluable in areas where the terrain is too uneven for traditional wheelchairs. Liberia’s UMW distributed $54K worth of them. Read More

The Rev. Daisy Gbloh (center, standing), supported by the Rev. Winston Ashcroft and the Rev. Alex Josiah, baptizes a woman at the Female Correctional Center in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Baptism for imprisoned Sierra Leone women

The seven women also were confirmed as United Methodists at the Freetown Female Correctional Center. Read More

John Flomo, 66, has lived at the Ganta Leprosy and TB Rehab Center since he was 15 years old. The center is part of the United Methodist Ganta Mission Station in Ganta, Liberia. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Liberian leper colony a lifetime commitment to care

Fears of leprosy cause many families to shun those with the disease. A United Methodist rehab center shows them compassion and love. Read More

Phebe Duff (left) listens to a question from the Rev. Steve Court, General Council on Finance and Administration board member, about a new compensation structure for general agency staff. Duff, GCFA’s global director of human resources, presented the proposed pay ranges during the board’s meeting Nov. 15 at the United Methodist Publishing House. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS

Agency employees to see changes in pay scales

The General Council on Finance and Administration board unanimously approved new pay ranges for agency staff, despite objections of agency top executives. Read More

Classes were being held as usual on Nov. 15 at The United Methodist Church's Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe. The military took control of the capitol city of Harare and arrested President Robert Mugabe and his wife.

AU campus, students safe amid Zimbabwe unrest

Classes were held as usual at Africa University on Nov. 15 while United Methodists prayed for their country as the military took control in Zimbabwe. Read More

At Juba Camp in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Bishop John Yambasu (fourth from left, front row) leads a symbolic handing over of 200 bags of rice to the Office of National Security, the government agency in charge of coordinating welfare matters for survivors of deadly mudslide Aug. 14. Because survivors are not allowed to cook in their temporary plastic-cover homes, the ONS hires people to prepare food for them three times a day. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Mudslide survivors worried over future

Camps for survivors of August mudslides, flooding in Sierra Leone will close Nov. 15. Read More

Bishops pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance during worship Nov. 8 at the Council of Bishops meeting at Lake Junaluska, N.C. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Bishops: Be respectful in difficult times

As the church’s debate about its future intensifies, bishops say they are hearing of increased animosity leading in some cases to disrupted worship. Read More

Bishops pray with their episcopal colleagues who serve on the Commission on a Way Forward during a meeting of the Council of Bishops at Lake Junaluska, N.C., on Nov. 8, 2017. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Bishops consider 3 models for church future

The bishops are looking at three possibilities of LGBTQ inclusion sketched by the Commission on Way Forward. Read More

Children sing during a celebration marking the gift of solar power, funded by the United Methodist Church in Norway, to the Bishop Judith Craig Children Village in Liberia.

Norway Church lights Liberia children’s village

Bishop Judith Craig Children’s Village, a church-supported home for orphans, now has $35,000 worth of solar-powered electricity. Read More

Bishop Samuel J. Quire Jr., raises his hands during regular devotion at the United Methodist Church in Liberia’s central office on Oct. 27. The bishop is calling on all Liberians to shun violence as they prepare for a run-off presidential election.

Liberians asked to pray for peaceful election

Bishop Samuel J. Quire Jr., urges voter participation and a commitment to nonviolence in country with history of civil war. Read More

Bishop Bruce R. Ough likened bishops to explorers of old as they seek a way forward for the denomination to stay together despite deep divisions around homosexuality. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Bishops called to navigate ‘off the map’

Bishop Ough, Council of Bishops president, spoke as his colleagues were about to begin discussing a report by the Commission on a Way Forward. Read More

Students from United Methodist University in Sierra Leone pose together after a lecture in theology. There are 13 students pursuing theology degrees and 18 certificate students in chaplaincy at the new School of Theology. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

United Methodist University in Sierra Leone opens

School of Theology students, faculty have high praise for the new institution, but there are some logistical challenges as classes begin. Read More

More than 60 people from nearly a dozen African countries gathered for a meeting at the Maison de l’Espérance, the United Methodist owned-hotel in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The goal was to create mutual support for shared goals and work of the associations to expand access to quality Methodist education throughout the continent of Africa. Photo courtesy of the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

United Methodist education leaders in Africa meet in Côte d’Ivoire

Leaders from United Methodist educational institutions take action to ensure consistency, quality in higher and theological education. Read More

The Commission on a Way Forward met in Berlin on Sept. 18-20. Photo by Maidstone Mulenga, Council of Bishops.

Up to bishops to shape Way Forward ideas

In a conference call, Bishop Ken Carter stressed that the Commission on a Way Forward serves the bishops, as it seeks to find a way through the denomination’s impasse. Read More

Gontorwon Neahn is one of the contractors tending the Gbarnga Mission Station swamp rice field in Liberia. The harvest from the mission station will supply most of the farmers with seed rice in the Gbarnga area. Photo by Julu Swen, UMNS.

Liberian Mission Station growing rice to fight food insecurity

Food ministry heeds Bishop Samuel Quire’s call for the church to go 'back to the soil.' Read More

Martin Luther nails The 95 Theses or Disputation on the Power of Indulgences, a list of propositions for an academic disputation, on Oct. 31, 1517. What he intended to spark debate changed the world. Painting by Ferdinand Pauwels (1830-1904), public domain, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

6 ways the Reformation affects our world

United Methodists and other Christians are still living with the changes Martin Luther unleashed 500 years ago. Read More

Sponsored by the Norwegian Partnership in Development, a development program cooperation among United Methodist churches in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Zimbabwe, a weeklong training in Freetown aimed to create an awareness of Christian leadership skills, having value for others, ethics, running a corruption-free institution and more. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

African schools look to value-based training

A training at the United Methodist University in Freetown, Sierra Leone, focuses on an awareness of Christian leadership skills. Read More

John K. Yambasu speaks at the Africa College of Bishops retreat in Mutare, Zimbabwe, which was marked by in-depth conversations among serving and retired bishops. Photo by Eveline Chikwanah, UMNS.

African bishops recommend 7 central conferences

Africa’s bishops also discussed how to maintain church unity amid divisions around how the church should minister with LGBTQ individuals. Read More

Sara Hotchkiss, in red, speaks during the Commission on General Conference meeting Oct. 7 at Camp Sumatanga in Gallant, Ala. Earlier in the meeting, Hotchkiss helped explain plans for the special General Conference in 2019. Photo by Heather Hahn, UMNS.

Planning the special General Conference

As church heads into ‘uncharted waters,’ the Commission on General Conference offers an overview of what to expect in 2019. Read More

Edward L. Massaquoi broadcasts on ELUM, The United Methodist Church's radio station in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Liberian radio broadcasts hope

Community radio is one of the most important information outlets in Africa. Read More

Sierra Leone Bishop John K. Yambasu, president of the Africa College of Bishops, said theology must remain a core value at United Methodist-related Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe.

Africa U. asked to reconsider restructure

Enrollment in Faculty of Theology dropped to 40 and Zimbabwe’s immigration change is delaying return of some international students to campus. Read More

In September, the Council of Churches in Sierra Leone, led by United Methodist Bishop John Yambasu, distributed about $82,000 worth of food, bowls, blankets and other relief items to mudslide survivors at a new relocation camp in Juba, western Freetown. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

After mudslide: Need for environmental education

The Sierra Leone Council of Churches, led by United Methodist Bishop John Yambasu, hopes environmental education can help avert future disasters. Read More

The Commission on a Way Forward met Sept. 18-20 to discuss possible models for the denomination's future. This photo of the group's logo comes from an earlier meeting. Photo by Diane Degnan, United Methodist Communications.

Way Forward sketches ideas to present bishops

Some members express cautious optimism for church unity. Another member has written about why he sees a need for a church split. Read More

The Rev. Adam Hamilton, a clergy delegate from the Great Plains Conference, speaks on the floor of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Delegates were discussing what some perceive as a need to divide the denomination over issues of sexuality. Photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS

New group to church: Let’s stay together

The Uniting Methodists Movement seeks to give voice to those who think differences around homosexuality should not divide church. Read More

The Rev. Wilton Odongo, district superintendent of Nairobi, said the church was encouraging voters to maintain peace in Kenya following the nullification of the presidential election results by the country’s Supreme Court.

Kenyan church promotes peaceful voting

United Methodists hope to bridge divisions ahead of second presidential election. Read More

The General Council on Finance and Administration board has formed a new Reserves Task Force to examine just how much general church funds should save for a rainy day. Photo illustration by Hans Braxmeier, courtesy of Pixabay; adapted by UMNS.

Church reserve funds under a microscope

How much should church agencies save for a rainy day? A new task force is looking at that question. Read More

The United Methodist Orphanage in Jalingo, Nigeria, is a beacon of hope for more than 189 orphans. First begun as a partnership between the Nigeria Conference and four U.S. conferences, the home has cared for, educated and given love to Nigerian children with no parents. Photo by the Rev. Ande I. Emmanuel, UMNS.

United Methodist orphanage in Nigeria a beacon of hope

Founded in 1999, the home has cared for, educated and given love to Nigerian children with no parents. Read More

Bishop Gabriel Yemba Unda has been elected moderator of an ecumenical organization, Eglise du Christ au Congo, a Protestant ecumenical group of 95 denominations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo by Eveline Chikwanah, UMNS.

United Methodist bishop to lead Congo ecumenical organization

Bishop Gabriel Yemba Unda has been elected moderator of Eglise du Christ au Congo, a Protestant ecumenical group of 95 denominations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Read More

Workers recover a body from beneath a bridge in Kamayama, Sierra Leone, nearly two weeks after flooding and mudslides killed hundreds. United Methodist Bishop John Yambasu was at the site when the body was found and expressed hope that the tragedy would teach every Sierra Leonean a hard lesson and result in better programs to relocate people from at-risk areas. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Church commits to long-term help for mudslide, flood survivors

The United Methodist Church in Sierra Leone has committed to a long-term presence to help mudslide and flood survivors. Read More

Zimbabwe Area Bishop Eben K. Nhiwatiwa said the initial conversation towards implementing the 2016 General Conference decision to increase the number of bishops in Africa from 13 to 18, was “quite healthy and very deep.” The meeting was held in Harare, Zimbabwe, and included discussions of possible scenarios for new Episcopal areas and redrawing Central Conference boundaries. Photo by Eveline Chikwanah, UMNS.

Task force considers placement for new bishops

The task force charged with determining how to carry out a General Conference 2016 plan for five new United Methodist bishops in Africa began considering ways to proceed. Read More

The residence where Dr. Shane Sam Mathew lived at Ganta United Methodist Mission in Liberia lies in ruins after a fire that killed the visiting dentist and nursing instructor from India. Photo by Julu Swen, UMNS.

Indian dentist dies in fire at church mission station

The 25-year-old killed in a fire worked at Ganta United Methodist Hospital in Liberia and served as an instructor at the nursing college of United Methodist University. Read More

Alexander B. Cummings (left), a 2017 presidential candidate in Liberia, and Charles Brumskine, a Liberian politician and attorney, listen during the presidential debate in Paynesville City, Liberia. The Civil Society and Trade Union Institutions of Liberia, now headed by United Methodist Church leadership, says it will not endorse presidential candidates whose platforms do not consider Liberia’s labor force. Photo by Julu Swen, UMNS.

Coalition fights for labor issues in Liberia

The United Methodist leader of the Civil Society and Trade Union Institutions of Liberia says it will only endorse labor-friendly presidential candidates. Read More

The Rev. Henry Samuel of Vine Memorial Baptist Church, an affiliate member of the Council of Churches in Sierra Leone, prays with and consoles a group of women who lost 17 members of their family during the Aug. 14 flood and landslide in in Freetown. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Church providing emergency health services after mudslide

The United Methodist Church is providing emergency health services for survivors of the flood and mudslide that has killed nearly 500 people. Read More

Children and families clap in celebration as Bishop John K. Yambasu (far right in light blue shirt) pumps the first water from a new well during a dedication ceremony in Manjama in the Bo District of Sierra Leone. A Global Health agency initiative provided each community a four-seat toilet and a hand-dug well for United Methodist primary schools in Manjama and Fulawahun. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Safe water for 2 more Sierra Leone villages

Two Sierra Leone villages plagued by disease get water, sanitation help from the United Methodist Global Health Initiative. Read More

Death toll more than 200 in Congo landslide

The East Congo bishop has called on the entire community to help after a landslide in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo left more than 200 dead. Read More

A view of Sugar Loaf Mountain in Regent area of Freetown, Sierra Leone, shows the breadth of the area that was devastated by flooding on Aug. 14. Torrential rains led a mudslide that resulted in the death of nearly 400 people with figures expected to rise as recovery efforts continue. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UMNS.

Hundreds dead, missing in Sierra Leone mudslides, flooding

The numbers of dead and missing after torrential rains led to deadly mudslides is expected to rise as recovery efforts continue. Read More