Bishop Mande Visits WVUMC


On November 18-19, the West Virginia Conference welcomed Bishop Mande Muyombo from the North Katanga Area in Africa, which includes North Katanga and Tanganyika Annual Conferences in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Tanzania Annual Conference. All three conferences are part of the Congo Central Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Bishop Mande was the guest of the Nine Rivers District for a welcome reception at Cross Lanes United Methodist Church on Saturday, November 18, where he was serenaded with Appalachian music, prayed for by those gathered, and received welcoming gifts from churches in the district.

On Sunday, November 19, Bishop Mande preached at Forrest Burdette United Methodist Church; his sermon was entitled, “Encourage One Another.” He also shared about the three main focuses of the North Katanga Area. First, the well-being of the pastors of the North Katanga Area, which includes sustainable salaries, adequate housing, transportation, and educational opportunities. Another focus is the well-being of the North Katanga Area communities: strengthening church initiatives in community health, education, peace-building, nutrition and agriculture, widow and orphan care, and trauma recovery. Finally, the third focus is the well-being of UMC congregations in the North Katanga Area. This means supporting construction efforts, as well as ministries for children, youth, and adults.

In addition to his duties as bishop, he is the President of the Connectional Table for the UM Church. The Connectional Table is the “Church Council” for the worldwide denomination. He works closely with Forrest Burdette’s (and WVUMC’s) own Judi Kenaston, who is the Chief Connectional Ministries Officer of the Connectional Table.

Scroll down to the image at the bottom of this article to see North Katanga Area by the numbers. Bishop Mande shared how many members, ordained clergy, local pastors, lay preachers, congregations, preaching posts, and districts were in each of the three conferences he oversees.

Our connectional giving through GCFA, Advance #04533A (a general fund that allows the North Katanga Conference to use the money in areas of the most need) goes to help support some of the projects Bishop Mande shared, including:

  • A bike for every pastor, and a motorcycle for every District Superintendent
  • Construction of new churches
  • Training and Bible distributions
  • Food security and relief work
  • Kamina Children’s Home
  • Health initiatives (4 UMC Hospitals, 20 Health Centers, public health seminars, and epidemic and disaster interventions)

    Local churches are invited to contribute to the Advance in support of the mission and ministry of our sister annual conference in any way they feel led.