The Rev. Daniel Onashuyaka Lunge, dean of the Faculty of Theology at Patrice Lumumba University, has been elected a United Methodist bishop by delegates at the Congo Central Conference.
Lunge, 59, was elected March 18 at the quadrennial meeting in Kamina. On the third ballot, he received 277 of 286 votes cast.
“Throughout my life, one thing I have been doing and am always ready to do is say — ‘Lord here I am, send me.’ I am a servant of the Lord,’” said Lunge.
He was the second bishop elected by the conference’s 292 delegates, and he was assigned to lead the Central Congo Episcopal Area.
Three Congolese bishops were retiring: Bishop Kainda Katembo, South Congo; Bishop Nkulu Ntanda Ntambo, North Katanga, and Bishop David Yemba, Central Congo.
Lunge, born in Emongo village in Sankuru province, initially became a teacher before studying theology. He served as pastor in Katoka, Kananga, and also served as treasurer for the Congo Central Annual Conference.
Lunge was appointed to different offices in the church including district superintendent of Kinshasa and assistant to the bishop in Kinshasa.
“Improving evangelism will be a priority for me as an episcopal leader. We need to revive the spiritual life of the church,” he said.
“We also need to renovate and build new sanctuaries and parsonages. In some areas, they are still using the old houses built by missionaries many decades ago,” said Lunge.
He expressed gratitude to the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries for sponsoring his studies for a doctorate in Yauonde, Cameroon, and practical theology thesis in Switzerland.
Lunge is married to Julianne Dembo, and they have seven children.
A consecration service for the three new bishops was held March 19 at Wakadilo Conference Centre, Kamina.
There are seven central conferences in The United Methodist Church — Africa, Central and Southern Europe, Congo, Germany, Northern Europe and Eurasia, Philippines and West Africa.
Northern Europe and Eurasia Central conference re-elected Bishop Christian Alsted last October, the Philippines Central Conference re-elected its three bishops in December and West Africa elected a new bishop for Liberia in December.
Germany elected Bishop Harald Rückert this week, There were no episcopal elections in the Africa Central Conference or Central and Southern Europe.
Chikwanah is a communicator of the Zimbabwe East Annual Conference.
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