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The leadership of All Africa Baptist Fellowship held her 2023 Executive Committee/ General Council meeting between 20th to 24th February, 2023 at Kigali, Rwanda with the theme ‘’From Seir to Canaan’’ The meeting was chaired by the President Rev. Dr. Israel Akanji and ably supported by the General Secretary, Rev. Elias Apetogbo.
The colorful opening session took place on Tuesday, 21st February, 2023 at Kigali Convention Center with a full-house attendance and the AABF President shared the Word of God. In his sermon, he mentioned that before, Rwanda used to be seen as the place of death but today, it is the place of resurrection. In his word, ‘’I love the theme that the leaders of AABF have chosen, ‘’From Seir to Canaan’’ (Duet. 2:1-3, Psalm 126). when we were being welcomed we knew Rwanda as a place of death but now we have heard that Rwanda is a place of Resurrection. I believe it was the spirit of God that led our leaders to choose Rwanda as the venue of this meeting and the same spirit led to choose this topic because in Rwanda, we can practically see movement from Seir to Canaan. If someone does not believe that there can be a movement from Seir to Canaan or from Babylon to Zion then the person needs to come to Rwanda and see truly that it is possible. Jesus confronted the devil in the wilderness by the word of God, I want all of you to allow the Word of God to govern your life. When satan tells you that you cannot move forward, answer him back by the Word of God by saying ‘’It’s Written’ Halleujah. I have three verses that I use all the time, one of them is Romans 8:26, when I see the devil trying to discourage me from moving from Seir to Canaan I remember that the spirit helps us in our weakness, I am not alone, I have God with me. I pray for you that God will move you from Seir to Canaan in Jesus name’’.
In attendance were Baptist leaders across the Eastern Africa region, partners like Rev. Jeff Singeman from International Mission Board (IMB), Rev. Jerry Mccarthy (Global Networking) from Serve the City (STC), Representative of the government; Mrs. Kazayire Judith from Rwanda Governance Board. The occasion also witnessed ministrations in songs and choreography that glorify the Lord and it was broadcast live.
The Executive members had several meetings to chart the way forward for the Continental Baptist family and on Thursday, 23rd February, the General Council met in-person and online. The GC was an opportunity to receive reports from the General Secretary whose office has been instrumental to the unification and developmental Mandate of the AABF under the acronym- MINUTES. . The President; Dr. Akanji has this to say about the efforts of the General Secretary ‘’ The efforts of the General Secretary to have us stay united is for all of us. In Nigeria, we have the Bowen University that offers all courses and we also have the Baptist Theological Seminary that offers all courses to Doctorate level. Now, other conventions within the AABF are coming to learn how they can also start University Institutions in their conventions and countries. To this end, AABF family would keep getting better and bigger’’
The meeting also witnessed historic reports. The finance report presented by the Treasurer, Deacon Biodun Oloyede affirmed increment of payment of dues from 5 conventions in the previous report to 16 conventions/Unions. In the same vein, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that has more than 15 member Bodies, to the glory of God, they have started cooperating and some of them are now together under the umbrella of Federation of Baptist Churches in DRC and have sent membership request to AABF. Consequently, AABF now has additional five new member bodies from countries like Mauritius, Mali, DRC, Central African Republic.
The meeting validated the adoption of Goma, DRC to host the AABF 40th Anniversary scheduled to take place between 28th November, to 4th December, 2023. Rev. Elias added that delegates are going to have categories of registrations to ensure flexibility. He added that details surrounding registration fee, Visa and other logistics shall be communicated through the Convention Leaders and via the official AABF Websites and Social Media. All Baptist families within and outside Africa were therefore urged to participate fully in this special Celebration.
The GC also approved a resolution that henceforth, applicants to AABF membership shall be with a fee. This however exempted the 5 new member bodies. However, as full member bodies, they are expected to be fully committed to the payment of annual dues.
The General Council also witnessed the updates from the four regions of AABF namely; West, East, Central and Southern Africa and the feedbacks affirms that more work still needs to be done for these regions to experience robust stewardship. According to the AABF President, he admonished all and sundry within each region to cooperate with the leaders there and give maximum supports ‘’ The work at the regional level is much, go and support the sub-regions’’. Three of the four regional Chairpersons were in attendance. Namely; Rev. Dr. Dickson Madoghwe (West Africa), Bishop Joseph Maisha (East Africa)and Rev. Chris. Dikana (Southern Region).
The leaders of all the four major departments of AABF were also present; namely Bro Edison Yuniwo-Cameroon (Men), Mrs. Mwangi Jane Wanjiru- Kenya (Women), Bro. Jonas Kakenge Mbwenga-Namibia (Youth0 and Mrs. Denise Apetogbo –Togo (Children department). It is important to state that, The Men’s department shall be having regional Congress this year, 2023. See details below:
Central Region- June, Bangul-Central Africa Republic
Eastern Region-June, Nairobi, Kenya
Southern Region- November, Harare, Zimbabwe
Western Region- October, Accra-Ghana.
The leadership of Baptist Women Union of Africa now has a new President in the person of Mrs. Mwangi Jane Wanjiru from Kenya while the Secretary is Rev. Dr. Mrs. R.A Lateju from Nigeria. The Youth shall be having their Continental Conference this year in the month of August at Ghana. The Children Ministry has also been experiencing transformations with new partners like Hope for One, Prayer Covenant, Horizon, Pure Hope, Kulumi Ministry joining to support the ministry. The leader; Mrs. Denise will also be leading over 30 Children Ministry leaders from across the AABF Family to Nairobi, Kenya and a special gathering of Children Ministry leaders is slated for 31st march, 2023.
The meeting closed with special charge by Dr. Akanji urging member Bodies to support generously towards the procurement of an official car for the General Secretary and he also admonished Churches across Africa to emulate a Church in Kenya that vowed to give AABF $1000 annually for the expansion of the gospel. He also thanked the Southern Region for a great hosting most especially the Baptist family in Rwanda. The General Secretary, Rev. Elias Apetogbo also took time to appreciate the President for making out time to be in Rwanda and chairing the meeting despite his busy schedule.
All the executive members present were later taken round Kigali on a tour of significance was the visit to the Rwanda Genocide Memorial Site where over 250,000 people killed in 1994 were buried. Today, the country remains one of the most viable, peaceful and neat country in the world.
The 2024 Executive Committee and General Council Meeting is slated for Lagos, Nigeria two days before the commencement of the BWA Annual Gathering. The Local Organizing Committee were admonished to communicate registration information early to facilitate massive mobilization.

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Agogo Iyiola Daviid
AABF Office.

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About Babatunde Adekanmbi 326 Articles
Babatunde Adekanmbi is a digital creator with a demonstrated history of working in the civic and tech industry Babatunde Adekanmbi holds an Ordinary National Diploma in Mechatronics Engineering and Higher National Diploma in Electrical Electronics Engineering Yaba College of Technology Yaba Lagos . A certified Autocadd specialist , Google Digital Marketer with featured articles on various digital news platform .

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