Contagious is the best word to express the feeling that the Heads of Methodist Churches across Africa felt when the ratification of the proposal for the formation of Africa Methodist Council was approved. This ratification took place at the Heads of Churches Summit in Kumasi Ghana, October 2015.
The venue was enthusiastically alive with the spirit of unity that pervaded the entire atmosphere. The Facilitators of the meeting were the Archbishop Michael Kehinde Stephen, Archbishop of Ibadan, Methodist Church Nigeria and an officer of the World Methodist Council who led the Heads of the various strands of Methodist Churches and other invited institutions through the historical background of the initiative from the conception to the point of the ratification of the document.
The African Methodist Council is a Pan African association of Methodist, Wesleyan, and related Uniting and United Churches. The Council is set to encourage Methodist unity in witness, facilitating mission in Africa, and fostering ecumenical and inter-religious activities which will enhance Methodism within Africa and promote the unity of the Methodist families in Africa in order to showcase the African Identity through the Wesleyan movement.
The summit agreed that officers should be spread across the sub-regions and appointments were made. The summit put in place an interim committee that will drive the Council until a constitution/Bye Laws are in place/drafted and in turn organize the first General Assembly where officers will be duly elected.
All countries are reminded of the need to put in place National Councils that will provide the much needed network and cooperation that is required to sustain the Council at the continental level. Therefore, in line with this understanding we must move with dispatch to establish the National Councils.
The Secretariat is aware that countries like Ghana have functioning National Councils consisting of the various Methodist Families in the country. Where this is not the case, we expect Heads of Churches of the various Methodist families in each country to reach out to each other and make much needed interaction.
The participants at the Heads of Churches Summit had a rare privilege of paying a courtesy visit to the Ashanti King – Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, who received the delegates of the Summit in his splendid palace with his royal blessings and his advice which surprisingly was a summary of the aspirations of the council. The King was glad that it was in the Kingdom under his charge that such a great movement will be officially born.
The Africa Methodist Council is born and we all need to brace up to give maximum support to make all its dreams and aspirations a reality.
The Very Rev Opeyemi Awe, Interim General Secretary, AMC, WCC
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