Ethiopian church elects Yonas Yigezu as president

Rev. Yonas Yigezu, right, pledges to lead the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus with unity and love. On left, outgoing EECMY president, Rev. Dr Wakseyoum Idosa. Photo: EECMY/Tsion Alemayehu
Rev. Yonas Yigezu, right, pledges to lead the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus with unity and love. On left, outgoing EECMY president, Rev. Dr Wakseyoum Idosa. Photo: EECMY/Tsion Alemayehu

LWF General Secretary invites EECMY to continue strong engagement in the Lutheran Communion

(LWI) - The Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) has elected Rev. Yonas Yigezu as the next president of the church.

Yigezu, 55, was elected at the EECMY 20th General Assembly, held 22-28 January at the Mekane Yesus Seminary in the capital Addis Ababa.

“God is calling me into a challenge but for enormous blessings ahead. I am a team builder and prayer warrior. I see my success in this,” Yigezu said following his election to a four-year term.

Yigezu was ordained in 2006 and is currently EECMY director for Mission and Theology. He holds master’s degrees in church management and development policy management from Westhill College and Manchester University, England, and in divinity from the Union Theological Seminary, United States. He is currently pursuing his doctoral studies at the Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States.

Yigezu and his wife Ayantu Dufera have four children.

“God is calling me into a challenge but for enormous blessings ahead.”
EECMY president-elect Rev. Yonas Yigezu

He will succeed Rev. Dr Wakseyoum Idosa, who has led The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) member church since 2009. The church’s highest-governing body also elected Rev. Dr Kiros Lakew as vice-president and Mr Bacha Gina as treasurer.

“I am very happy that the unity of the church has been maintained and growth has been recorded in the areas of evangelism and development and social services of the church during the last eight years,” Idosa said.

“The engagement of the EECMY in mission work nationally and internationally, and participation in regional and global ecumenical bodies have increased. It is my hope and prayer that the new leadership continues to work hard and sustain the growth,” added the outgoing EECMY leader, who is a member of the LWF Council and president of the Lutheran Communion in Eastern and Central Africa.

In a congratulatory letter to the president-elect LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge thanked the Ethiopian church for its contribution to the life of the Lutheran communion and expressed his hope that “this active participation and strong engagement” will be continued also through the new leader.

The EECMY became a national church in 1959 and joined the LWF in 1963. By the end of 2016, it had 8.3 million members in more than 8,500 congregations throughout the country.

 

By EECMY public relations officer Tsion Alemayehu and LWF Communications

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