CRISIS IN 17TH EPISCOPAL DEEPENS : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread



AFRICAN Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC) Pastor-in-Charge Edith Mutale has clarified that there was no meeting called at the weekend to reconcile rival factions as claimed by some members.

She explained in Lusaka yesterday that the faction led by Paul Kawimbe ( Candidate for Episcopal Office) had no right to disrupt the church service on Sunday because she and her group were still in charge by way of a court injunction.

Rev Mutale said there was no way a reconciliatory service could have been convened when the matter was still in court and also refuted reports that there was an announcement in church that those that belonged to the Kawimbe group should leave the building.

There were disturbances at AMEC in Chilenje at the weekend when two groups clashed.

Rev Mutale said what was going on in her church was a spiritual warfare and urged members to continue praying for stregth


There was near puch-up at what should have been a joint reconciliatory service for African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC) members in Lusaka’s Chilenje township yesterday forcing police to move in to separate the rival faction.

This comes barely a week after Lusaka High Court ruled that two AMEC factions fighting over leadership should reconcile.

Confusion reigned at AMEC Chilenje Enenezer Church, venue of the reconciliatory service, as the two factions quarreled over usage of the new church building situated on plot 92, Lubemba road in Chilenje.

Church members drawn from AMEC Churches in Lusaka were taken aback to find the whole programme was hijacked by one faction led by Reverend Edith Mutale leaving members from another group abandoned outside the building.

Matters came to a head when Rev Mutale in her introductory prayer told church members to take up arms against the faction let by Reverend Paul Kawimbe which she claimed was there to disrupt the service.

This was followed by a public announcement from masters of ceremonies urging members who were not with Reverend Mutale’s group to leave the church building.

At the moment, a number of visiting church members trooped out as an argument ensued over who should use the building and conduct the service

Police had to be called in to restore order and calm only returned when Rev Kawimbe and his camp secured keys for the old AMEC building, a few meters away where they conducted a separate service.

In an interview later, Rev Kawimbe explained that after the judgment which was in their favor, the church felt that they should have a joint service with all the district congregations at Ebenezer Church in Chilenje.

Rev Kawimbe said that the church organized the joint service and invited the Rev Mutale faction to be part of it for the sake of reconciliation.

He said instead Rev Mutale and her group went there to cause trouble thereby defeating the whole purpose of reconciliation

Rev Kawimbe said it had to take a police officer to get keys from Rev Mutale’s group to open the old church for the rest of the congregants.

“It is not true that we went there to disrupt the service. We announced after the judgment that we should all reconcile and have a joint service at Ebenezer congregation, but the Edith Mutale group was hostile and did not allow us to use the building,” he said.

But Rev Mutale, who is Ebenezer pastor in charge, charged in a separate interview that Rev Kawimbe and his group had defied the court order which said that, apart from reconciling, each faction should use its own building for worship.

Rev Mutale claimed that the new building was for her members who used their own money.

Rev Mutale whose group has been opposed to having an American Bishop as overseer for the African regions wondered why AMEC leaders wanted to impose an American Bishop on a church that was not funded by America.

“As Ebenezer congregation members, we want someone who will be elected by members in Zambia and not on a foreigner and if they want to use the building they have to negotiate with the members of the church through their leaders, pastors and trustees because the church building was bought by their money,” she claimed

She said members of the church had the power to reject any pastor or leader whom they deemed not to be fit to lead them

Rev Mutale said her group was willing to work with the rest of the church but advised them to approach her group with humility if reconciliation was to be attained.

Rev Mutale challenged Government to probe corruption in the church, saying the church was the building block of the nation and because good governance was about accountability, church leaders should be probed.

Last week, High Court Judge Anthony Nyangulu ordered that all AMEC members should reconcile, in a case in which the Rev Mutale faction was expelled from church for challenging the appointment of a foreign Bishop from America.

The matter is however pending judicial review after the Rev Mutale applied for a stay of judgment claiming that it was vague and contradictory.

MY OPINION * What is going on in 17th is shameful and a sign of lack of leadership and absence of it. · The Bishop of the 17th must take up this matter and be in charge of reconciliation himself. · The people assigned to handle this matter on behalf of the Bishop have no capacity to deal with the faction · If this matter is unresolved before, during and after the General Conference, Bishop Williams must not be posted anywhere else but be re-assigned for the second time to the 17th until he sorts out this problem.( He should leave the District better than he found it) · There has been total negligence of duty and a serious lack of Godly wisdom in handling the problem in the 17th Episcopal Distict * I appeal to the Bishops council to intervene in this matter as soon as possible

-- Anonymous, May 11, 2004


To my friend who knows my address and passing word for me to say Hi to the police. Know that i have continued to wait upon the Lord and your defacing of my postings have taught me new lessons. The lessons i have picked up about you is that,you are not adequately and accurately informed about what goes on in overseas districts. It is for your benefit that this information is circulated so that you have an idea of the true happening on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

Your attitude is just like that of some leaders who have served here, that of incubating the truth and to think that anyone with a different opinion is anti leadership.No wonder problems facing Africa, 17th in particular have become quadrennial.

I thank God that he set me aside for a time such as this one to create awareness to the entire connection. My address to you is that are are not adding value to this matter but aiding continuity of these problems.

Your threats upon my life will not take you to heaven but to hell. They will not have nothing to do with me because the Bible says "No weapon fashioned against me shall prosper,and every tongue that raises against me in judgment i shall condemn.

Since the Bible tell me to love my enemies and to pray for those that are persecuting me,I pray that God saturates you with his anointing in Jesus'name that you learn it is is only the truth that shall set you free.Love you.

-- Anonymous, May 12, 2004

Rev. Mwandu, Please read the edited post. Forgive me for any pain, agony, suffering, and worry I have caused.

-- Anonymous, May 12, 2004

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