By Relindise Malle Dih
A delegation from Soppo Field Council of Churches led by the Soppo Field Pastor Rev. Dr. Timothy Liombe have made the first official visit to Muyuka Association Council of Churches. This was on Saturday the 27th of March 2021 at Bethel Baptist Church Yoke. The team of five comprised of Rev. Dr and Mrs. Liombe Timothy, Rev. Namock Frederick the Field Minister’s Chair, Pastor Ngong Gabriel the Field Prayer Pastor, Minister Berthal Achimbi the Minister in charge of the Women’s Department in the Field and CBC Radio’s Representative Relindise Malle. The entourage was first received by a team of Pastors and Appointed Deacons led by the Association Pastor, Ebai Doughlas and later at the entrance of the host church by a crowd of about 200 Christians, joyfully singing and waving their palms while welcoming the Field Representatives.
In a Welcome Speech and Report presented by Pastor Ebai Doughlas, he warmly welcomed the team and revealed that having assumed office on the 26th of July 2017 when the Anglophone Crisis started and amidst the prevalence of this Socio-Political Crisis which hit the Association seriously, 11 Churches and 5 Prayer Groups are still operational, though some churches are in need of permanent Pastors. He celebrated the grace of God granted them to keep standing and rejoiced over the relative calm in the Association this year. Also, the recovery of the Association which could pay in more than a million francs as 27% in the year 2020 and the fact that churches like Trinity Banga, Jordan Owe, Mt. Olives, Kotto Paradise Baptist Churches which couldn’t pay in 27% for the past 4years, this year, have started paying. The Association Boss also highlighted that having lost the functionality of some of it’s Educational Institutions such as the Cameroon Baptist Academy Yoke-Muyuka, Baptist Comprehensive High School Ikata, due to the crisis, the Association is gradually recovering with about four new Schools operational in the nursery, primary and secondary domains. The election of the new Executive on February 16th 2021 to pilot the activities of the Association was another achievement mentioned by Pastor Ebai. In His Response, the Field Head highly applauded these progress and particularly appreciated some Pastors who remained steadfast at the heart of the crisis.
Some pertinent challenges plaguing the Association which were raised by the Association Pastor were addressed by Rev. Dr. Liombe Timothy. Challenges like a Pastor officially leaving a church and still having control over the church was handled. Rev. Liombe emphasized that when a Pastor officially hands over the Keys of His office back to the church, he has no rights over the church again. Churches like Paradise Baptist Church Kotto Nachtigal were encouraged to have a permanent Pastor and meet the Association to help handle any financial challenge they have with their previous Pastor. Also, the Field Pastor frowned at the action of Mother churches who call Pastors for their Prayer Groups without informing the Association; this he said, was unacceptable. The Field Boss also addressed a complain from the Association desk, revealing the activity of some churches and prayer groups in Penda Mboko area who have been organizing meetings and activities not known to the Association and a plea made by these churches to become a missionary area. To this, Rev. Liombe first of all appreciated the initiative of the Churches’ desire to be a missionary area but he cautioned them especially those leading such an unconstitutional movement which disrespects their immediate hierarchy. After digging deep into the issue and examining the matter, the entire body unanimously agreed that the movement should stop. All Educational Institutions in the Association were encouraged to report to the Association office which will report to the field and the Field to the Convention. Prayer Groups which considered themselves independent were also asked to operate under a Mother Church as prescribed by the CBC Church Handbook.
The Newly elected Leaders of the Association were officially presented to the general body, prayed for and dedicated to God for Service by the Field Pastor. Some participants at the end of the visit appreciated the open and frank talks with particular appreciation of the wisdom displayed by the Field Pastor. The meeting ended with a Word of Encouragement for the Women by Minister Achimbi, another Word of Encouragement from Rev. Namock for the Christians/Pastors to remain Committed even in crisis and a prayer session coordinated by Pastor Ngong Gabriel. Refreshments and farewell wishes wrapped up the visit.