From the Superintendent's DESK
Debbie and I arrived in the United Kingdom (UK) on Friday morning in preparation for a service that would include several ordinations and the installation of a new district superintendent. We met with the new appointees and their families Saturday evening over a meal, and enjoyed having a time of fellowship with them.
The service took place on Sunday, November 7, at our Bexley church in London with many in attendance. Though branch church congregations had been encouraged to remain at their locations and watch online, the sanctuary and two overflow rooms were full.
Following a piano prelude, a pre-recorded children’s program was presented. It featured the elementary Sunday school students from our churches throughout Western Europe. Joining each other online from their separate locations, they coordinated an orchestra number, several choir songs including “Happy Welcome,” and a skit titled “Wake Up, the Harvest Is Ready.” Both the program and the efforts of the children were inspiring.
The service continued with music specials provided by the Midland youth orchestra, the Bexley choir and brass orchestra, and a men’s octet, which sang “We’ve Come this Far by Faith.”
The ordination portion of the service began with an exhortation from Titus 1:5 on the Biblical model for ordaining and appointing leaders within the church. It brought out that only those who are called by God and meet the criteria set forth in His Word are eligible. It was also noted that appointments are made prayerfully, through the discerning of God’s will, rather than democratically with a vote.
Following this, the Board of Trustees was introduced and two new members were presented with their families and then prayed over. Both had been ordained in 2019—Toyin Emitola as the Manchester pastor, and Lazarus Simbanegavi as the Birmingham pastor.
Next, three new ministers were presented with their families: Delight Nyoni and Emmanuel Odejimi, who will serve at Birmingham, and Victor Idowu, who will serve at Manchester. They came forward and were ordained with the laying on of hands and prayer by the platform ministers and board members.
For the installation, Isaac Adigun, the current UK and Western Europe District Superintendent, presented Mark Mfandarahwa with his wife, Marble, and their daughters, Naomi and Ruth. He said Brother Mark had served faithfully in four locations and was now answering the call to serve as district superintendent.
The testimonies of Brother and Sister Mfandarahwa were featured in the October 2014 issue of the Apostolic Faith magazine. This excerpt tells of Brother Mark’s conversion:
My problem was pride. Anytime I committed sin, I reasoned it away, saying, “As far as I am concerned, it is not sin.” But the Word of God was preached to me, showing that the problem of sin is from the heart. Then it was so clear to me that my struggle with sin could only be solved by God. I admitted that I was a sinner, and that brought much conviction to my soul. Praying alone in the rented cottage, I surrendered to God and asked Him to save my soul. He wonderfully did so, and gave me the confirmation that my name was written in the Book of Life! (The full testimonies of Brother and Sister Mfandarahwa can be read here).
The board members and platform ministers gathered around Brother Mark, laid hands on him, and prayed for God’s blessing upon him and his family, and for the Gospel to prosper under his leadership. Brother Mark then said a few words, thanking God for the leaders who went before him and the expansion of the work. He encouraged all to build on the foundation that had been laid.
Resuming a regular service schedule, a vocal soloist sang “How Beautiful Are the Feet of Them.” Then the sermon was taken from Joshua 3:1-4, which tells of the instructions given to the children of Israel as they prepared to enter the Promised Land under the new leadership of Joshua. The message was followed by an invitation song and prayer, and there was a good response at the altar.
Debbie and I are now looking forward to a series of meetings beginning Friday in Lagos, Nigeria, and culminating with the Sunday morning service at Anthony Village where Brother Isaac is to be installed as the district superintendent of the Western and Central Africa region of our work.