BY BISHOP JOAB LOHARA
It has been a delight to see the work of God firsthand in the Free Methodist Church in Uganda. Thousands of people gathered at the football grounds in Kanungu, the home to mountain gorillas, on Aug. 6 for the inaugural of the Provisional General Conference of Uganda.
I had the opportunity of ministering the Word of God at this grand celebration and leading the consecration of Bishop-elect Hamlet Kabushenga Mbabazi who was elected to the episcopal office earlier in the week under the oversight of the Rwanda General Conference. I was assisted at the consecration by Bishops Samuel Kayinamura of Rwanda, Lubunga W’Ehusha of Democratic Republic of Congo and Hawkins Mugaya of Kenya.
The Free Methodist mission in Uganda began around 1995, but the work gained momentum in 2012 under the dynamic leadership of Dr. Hamlet, once an Anglican minister who fell in love with the Free Methodist Church. Today the Provisional General Conference of Uganda has 37 churches of about 4,000 members with a mission focus to multiply churches and double the membership by 2025 under the Decade of Harvest.
Humble but charismatic Hamlet comes with a wealth of experience in government affairs of Uganda and church administration. He served as a curate and a vicar, and he later served in the departments of education, administration and community development. He also served as a member of Parliament for his home community from 2001-2006 when he established the Uganda Parliamentary chaplaincy and inspired the development of Christian thought among legislators like the anti-pornography bill, which passed as a private members’ bill.
He has a master’s degree in theology from a Church of England College in London and a Doctor of Ministry degree in global mission from Fuller Theological Seminary in the United States.
Bishop Hamlet and Mama Kallen have been married for 33 years and have four lovely children: Gerald, Hilda, Grace and Esther.
Hamlet’s vision for holistic transformation aims at imbibing church plant methods, education, anthropology and entrepreneurship for the people of the region.
Joab Lohara is a bishop of the Free Methodist Church in India and the president of the Free Methodist World Conference.