Seeing a Way Forward: Bishop Yambasu

Bishop John Yambasu gives the sermon during morning worship May 19 at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. File photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS.
Bishop John Yambasu gives the sermon during morning worship at the 2016 General Conference. File photo by Paul Jeffrey, UMNS.
Bishop John Yambasu of the Sierra Leone Episcopal Area acknowledges the anxiety stemming from debates about the future of The United Methodist Church, but insists that God “will lead his church to where he wants his church to be.”

Yambasu spoke with UM News as part of “Seeing a Way Forward,” a video series featuring different perspectives of church leaders on the work of the Commission on a Way Forward.

Watch videos.


“It is God’s church.”
Bishop John Yambasu of the Sierra Leone Episcopal Area acknowledges the anxiety stemming from debates about the future of The United Methodist Church, but insists that God “will lead his church to where he wants his church to be.”

“Marriage should be between man and woman.”
Bishop John Yambasu of the Sierra Leone Episcopal Area outlines his support for the Traditional Plan, one of several proposals being considered by the 2019 Special General Conference over the denomination’s stance on homosexuality.

Bishop discusses One Church Plan implications for Africa
Bishop John Yambasu of the Sierra Leone Episcopal Area considers the One Church Plan to have several advantages for the African church, but also calls for more education on the concerns that support for the plan would constitute support for homosexuality. The One Church Plan is one of several proposals being considered by the 2019 Special General Conference over the denomination’s stance on homosexuality.

Sierra Leone bishop looks at all three plans for GC2019
Bishop John Yambasu of the Sierra Leone Episcopal Area says each of the proposals being considered by the 2019 Special General Conference over the denomination’s stance on homosexuality has its own implications for churches in Africa.

What a church split means for Africa
Bishop John Yambasu of the Sierra Leone Episcopal Area says he continues to pray the church doesn’t split over the debate on the denomination’s stance on homosexuality. But regardless, he says, the church will still continue its mission of spreading the gospel.

“Rethink our calling as a church."
Leading up to the called 2019 Special General Conference, Bishop John Yambasu of the Sierra Leone Episcopal Area questions spending so many church resources “legislating sex” when there continues to be hunger, poverty and disease in so much of the world.


This is the third in a series of video interviews by United Methodist News Service. View the interviews with Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey and Bishop Christian Alsted.

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Social Concerns
Abdul Conteh (left) and Foday Kamara work for an artisanal diamond miner in Kono, Sierra Leone. Moving large piles of dirt from one location to the next is backbreaking work that pays $2 a day. Artisanal miners are independent and not associated with the large mining companies in the area. Photo by Kathy L. Gilbert, UM News.

Diamond mining often robs children of education

In the diamond-rich Kono District in Sierra Leone, young people are often lured into mining rather than going to school. One United Methodist girl says her generation is changing that story.
General Church
John Yambasu Jr. (left) and other mourners carry the casket bearing the remains of Sierra Leone Bishop John K. Yambasu, who was laid to rest Sept. 6 after a service of Remembrance and Rites of Passage in Freetown. The bishop died in a car accident on Aug. 16. Photo by Phileas Jusu, UM News.

Driver arrested in crash that killed bishop

The driver of the SUV that crashed into and killed Sierra Leone Area Bishop John K. Yambasu has been charged with seven counts, including speeding.
General Church
Family and friends of Bishop John K. Yambasu, (from left front) Elizabeth Yambasu, Emmanuel Yambasu, widow Millicent Yambasu and Alfred Lansana, arrive at the burial site on the campus of United Methodist University in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Photo by E Julu Swen, UM News.

Bishop Yambasu remembered as bridge builder

The Sierra Leone Area bishop was remembered as a natural bridge builder who brought people together in the church and in the world.