The Rev. Mande Muyombo, an executive of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, has been elected a United Methodist bishop by delegates at the Congo Central Conference.
Muyombo, 44, was elected March 18 at the quadrennial meeting in Kamina. On the fourth ballot, he was the only candidate and received 278 votes. The other two candidates had withdrawn.
“I am committed to working towards the unity of The United Methodist Church because I am a product of the UMC connection,” said Muyombo.
At Global Ministries, he has been executive director for Global Mission Connections with responsibility for the mission agency’s regional offices.
Muyombo is the first graduate from Africa University to be elected bishop and is the youngest bishop in the Congo Central Conference. “I am ready for the new role as bishop. I have been involved in mission from everywhere to everywhere,” he said.
Muyombo was the fourth and final bishop elected by the 292 delegates at the Congo Central Conference, and he was assigned to lead the North Katanga Episcopal Area, which also includes Tanzania.
Three Congolese bishops were retiring: Bishop Kainda Katembo, South Congo; Bishop Nkulu Ntanda Ntambo, North Katanga, and Bishop David Yemba, Central Congo.
Muyombo was born in a poor family in Kambove village in Haut Katanga province. His father had two wives and 16 children.
“The UMC enabled me to go to school, and my ministerial training unfolded at Africa University and Saint Paul’s School of Theology in Kansas, U.S. After working as president of Kamina Methodist University, I was called to serve as executive secretary for Africa at General Board of Global Ministries and later promoted to assistant general secretary in the mission evangelism department,” Muyombo said.
He said he is grateful to Ntambo and to Thomas Kemper, top executive for Global Ministries, who shaped his ministerial experience.
Muyombo is married to Blandine Muzhinga, and they have three daughters and a son.
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 Bishop Samuel Quire Jr. 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.