Baptist World Alliance
Eron Henry, Associate Director of Communications
Neville Callam, General Secretary
Phone: +1 703 790 8980
Fax: +1 703 893 5160      

November 21, 2011

For Immediate Release

Africa elects new leadership

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Lagos (BWA)--A new slate of leadership was elected by the All Africa Baptist Fellowship (AABF) during its 7th Assembly in Lagos, Nigeria, from November 16-20.


Isaac Durosinjesu Ayanrinola, director of the Missionary Organization Department of the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC), was elected AABF general secretary to succeed Harrison Olan'g, vice chancellor of Mount Meru University in Tanzania. Olan'g had served as acting general secretary since 2007, following the death of AABF General Secretary Frank Adams of Ghana in December 2006.


Ayanrinola has served the NBC in various capacities since 2003, and was previously a minister of mission and evangelism and an associate pastor at two Baptist churches in the state of Kentucky in the United States.


He holds bachelor's degrees from the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary in Ogbomoso and the American Baptist College in Nashville, Tennessee, in the US; and Master of Divinity and Doctor of Missiology degrees from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky.


In his response following his election, Ayanrinola said his objectives for the AABF are the fostering of unity, the mobilizing of resources, networking for effective communication, and connecting "rich opportunity with rich resource;" and that the overall aim is uniting African Baptists "to fulfill the Great Commission."


Michael Okwakol, senior pastor of Agape Baptist Church in Kampala, Uganda, founder and president of African Church Empowerment Ministries, and immediate past chairman of the Eastern sub region of the AABF, was elected AABF president. He succeeds Paul Msiza, a vice president of the Baptist World Alliance, chair of the Local Arrangements Committee for the 2015 Baptist World Congress to be held in Durban, South Africa, and former general secretary of the Baptist Convention of South Africa.


Okwakol shared three imperatives that the AABF should follow. Like Ayanrinola, he made a plea for unity. "God is concerned that we be one," he told the gathering of African Baptist leaders and delegates. He said also that the AABF, its leaders and members should be engaged in service. "We are servants," he said. The goal should be to "work for all people. There are no chiefs out there." The new AABF president made a call for African Baptists to be an example to others in their communities and countries. "When we do, they will do what we say," he declared.


Two vice presidents were elected, Enoch B. Dusingizimana, president and general secretary of the Community of Christian Churches in Africa, based in Rwanda, and Angelo Scheepers, general secretary of the Baptist Union of Southern Africa and immediate past chair for the Southern Africa sub region of the AABF. Moses Adebayo, treasurer of the NBC, was elected to that position for the AABF.


Msiza expressed gratitude to the NBC for offering to provide housing and an office for the AABF general secretary at full cost for the next four years.


Ayanrinola is to be presented to the Executive Committee of the BWA to be confirmed as BWA regional secretary for Africa.