Archbishop Kwashi emerges as GAFCON General Secretary
Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi, Province of Jos, Nigeria, has been announced as the next General Secretary as the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON)
Archbishop Foley Beach, the Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, was also announced as the next Chairman of GAFCON.
The announcement was made at the end of the 2018 GAFCON meeting in Jerusalem, according to a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.
Kwashi would replace the current General Secretary, Archbishop Peter Jensen of Australia, who had served GAFCON in that capacity since its inception 10 years ago.
“This leadership transition would be graduated over the next several months as Kwashi’s and Jensen’s terms overlap in a period of planning.
“Kwashi will fully take over in Jan. 2019, while Beach will officially take over as Chairman of GAFCON in April 2019, at the next Primates’ Council meeting.
“Beach succeeds Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Primate of Nigeria, who will retire in 2019.”
According to the statement, The Primates’ Council, led by the Chairperson sets the agenda and priorities for the movement.
The General Secretary leads the movement by carrying forward the will of the Primates on a day-to-day basis.
The statement said that both Beach and Kwashi expressed their excitement for the future of Gafcon and their new roles.
“Both of us really need your prayers, but it’s very exciting.
“We’re going forth from this place to proclaim the Gospel and that’s what it’s all about proclaiming Christ faithfully to the nations and we’re really going to seek to do that in a new, fresh way,” Beach said.
Kwashi said, “The conference is gathering momentum, not because of its numbers but because of the Spirit of the Lord and the consistency of putting the Bible at the centre.”
GAFCON is a renewal conference for Anglicans, who seek to uphold conservative biblical conviction within the Anglican Communion.
For others, it is a movement that seeks to supplant official Anglican structures.
With its slogan: “We are founded on the Bible, bound together by the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration of 2008, and led by a Primates Council, which represents the majority of the world’s Anglicans.”
Anglican Primates from many African countries as well as bishops and clerics from Australia, Canada and the US who boycotted the last gathering of the worldwide Anglican Communion at the 2008 Lambeth Conference.
Jerusalem was said to be a special place in the hearts of the GAFCON movement as it was the location of its first conference in 2008.
NAN reports that the 2018 event includes Bible studies, group work and plenary sessions.
The list of speakers includes, a number of Anglican Primates such as Archbishop Laurent Mbanda from Rwanda, Archbishop Stanley Ntagali from Uganda and Archbishop Nicholas Okoh from Nigeria.
And Bishop Héctor Zavala from the Anglican Church of South America’s Diocese of Chile.
The 2018 conference was attended by 1,950 representatives from 50 countries, made a passionate call this week to go to the ends of the earth to proclaim Jesus Christ to all nations.
The statement disclosed that the next conference would take place in Canterbury in July, 2020.
NAN recalls that in 2008, over 1,100 delegates from the laity, bishops and other clergy attended and in 2013, the number grew to over 1,500.(NAN)