By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK The New African Methodist Episcopal Church in the Republic of Namibia is the name of a newly registered religious institution with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, it was announced in a press release. The origin of this particular church was formed after a section of the congregation of the AME Church in the South broke away from it some two years ago. “We are now duly incorporated under the laws and regulations of the Government of the Republic of Namibia as a properly constituted church,” states the release by Francis Kooper. It goes on to say that the new church traces its heritage back to 1946 when the congregation’s forefathers took a stance against the German-based Reinisch Mission Society. “As a temporary measure later, we joined the American-based AME church initially for five years. Today the vision that our parents had, has remained unfulfilled understandably because of past political independence and lost focus on our Christian calling and mission. Everyone tried to get what he or she could get out of the country’s independence, but in the process became bogged down in power struggles and resistance to change at the pleasure of the American dominance in our former church,” Kooper charged in the release. According to Kooper, the New AME’s vision is to be a healthy, biblical community of people, multiplying disciples and leaders to continuously gain the hearts of our pastors and the lay people. “We celebrate a growing unity of purpose and a greater hunger for God in the New AME Church in the Republic of Namibia, of which the formation was a radical surprise to most people who supported the break-away and the establishment of the church. Since the church was chartered on 11 December, 2005 in Windhoek, many persons were trying by all means to derail the process, but without any success,” he said. In Namibia, church members raised very pertinent and important concerns, ranging from autonomy to self-development. “As a result, the newly established church will seek to maintain the heritage of original Methodism with its warm-hearted biblical message and lifestyle. A personal relationship with Jesus Christ and an obedient walk with Him will characterize the New AME Church. It is the church’s desire to put its mission as the top priority and will connect the two with accountability to God and to its people,” the statement promised. It further stated that the New AME Church will seek to worship God in spirit and in truth. “From church to church, in multiple services of our congregations, varieties of worship styles may be found. The heart of worship will be to glorify God and receive biblical instruction. The new church has already planted itself in more than 10 stations, and its Christian witness will be spread across the country in the near future,” he said. As part of its declared policy as a Christian denomination, the new church will seek to belong to various evangelical interdenominational and ecumenical associations. “In the short period of the church’s existence, we have observed healthy partnerships evolving among our pastors, congregational shepherds and the entire Church Governing Council, not to mention the warm brotherly and sisterly belonging of all our people. But the journey has just begun,” Kooper said. The new AME Church in the Republic of Namibia also inter alia undertakes to: make it a purpose-driven church, a spiritual home and to be proactive in complementing government-initiated policy-based programmes.
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