Pentecostals at the 11th WCC Assembly in Karlsruhe, Germany 2022

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Before the end of the 11th Assembly of the WCC in Karlsruhe, Germany, it was evident that the Pentecostal presence this time was high in more ways than one. Most notable was the first President of the WCC of the African Instituted Church for Africa, Rev. Dr. Rufus Okikiola Ositelu, Primate of the Lord’s Church (Prayer Community) Worldwide in Nigeria, as well as a Church member of the Pentecostal World Fellowship who was added to the next central committee in the person of the Rev. Dr Henri Weideman, President of the Apostolic Faith Mission (South Africa).

A master list revealed 89 Pentecostals from six continents who were listed as delegates, advisers, delegate observers, staff, stewards, observers and participants. Whether arriving via GETI or pre-assembly events like youth gathering, Pentecostals have taken root in all facets of assembly, from morning and evening prayers, Bible studies, home groups that echo the ministries of the Pentecostal cells, the prayer tent or simply the return. to the networking zone to get more delicious Pentecostal Sweets” provided by the Council of Christian Churches in Germany.

From 1961, the first Pentecostal churches to join the WCC were indigenous churches in Latin America and established churches in Africa. Four Pentecostal delegates to Karlsruhe came from Latin American churches that joined the WCC in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as the Apostolic Faith Mission, which through Pastor David du Plessis was involved in the first time in the WCC in 1952. It was another apostolic faith Mission minister, Rev. Frank Chikane, who set a precedent by becoming chairman of the International Affairs Commission even before the apostolic faith mission was accepted in 2022.

Among those in recent history who contributed to this expanded Pentecostal presence was the Reverend Prince Guneratnam, who in recent days ended his earthly sojourn. While presiding over the Pentecostal World Fellowship, Reverend Guneratnam actively participated in central committee meetings and conveyed his greetings to the WCC 10th Assembly known as Busan. 13. It is equally significant that the then WCC general secretary, Bishop Olav Fykse Tveit, was one of the guest speakers at a series of world Pentecostal conferences beginning with Stockholm 2010, followed by Sao Paulo 2016 and Calgary 2019.

The Pentecostal World Fellowship delegation was led by the Reverend Dr. Billy Wilson, its current president, who brought his greetings to the assembly during a thematic plenary session in the morning. Dr Wilson has invited the WCC’s acting general secretary, Rev. Ioan Sauca, to attend next month’s World Pentecostal Conference hosted by the Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea. Reverend Dr Billy Wilson hosted an evening meal for the Pentecostal World Fellowship delegation on Saturday. Pentecostal World Fellowship Vice President Reverend David Wells was the ecumenical guest of the Policy Reference Committee and hosted the first Pentecostal denominational meeting which was attended by over 30 people. Reverend Guneratnam was the Chief Architect of the Pentecostal World Fellowship Christian Unity Commission approved at the 2019 Pentecostal World Conference in Calgary. A large bloc of Pentecostals in Karlsruhe came under the Christian Unity Commission which now handles bilateral agreements and a wide range of ecumenical commitments.

The Reverend Dr Jacqui Grey, a newcomer to the WCC, spoke with conviction during the thematic plenary session The Bond of Christian and Church UnityCommon testimony. WCC Veteran Rev. Teacher. Dr Cecil EmailRobeck has served on four Faith and Order panels of the WCC, having been the only Pentecostal to serve on this distinguished commission. There were many workshops involving Pentecostals, such as Social mobility in a marginalized Pentecostal Chilean community. The workshop titled Pentecostal Ecotheology from the Margins,” hosted by the Rev. Dr. Harold D. Hunter, featured the Rev. Benjamin Jacuk, the first Alaskan native of the Denain an Athabascan and sugpiaqNatives groups to speak at a WCC assembly; Reverend Canon Christopher Douglas-Huriwai of Maori, a descendant of the Eastern Tribal Region of New Zealand; and the Reverend Dr. Joel Tejedo, a llocano native to the northern Philippines. The evening prayer of September 7 was organized by the Rev. Thilo Kierner.

It remains impossible to keep track of all the contributions from Pentecostals who served as mentors at GETI2022, like Ms. Tatiana Gorbacheva, and from students, like Ms. Gyöngyi Mazsu, to the presenters of the pre-assembly youth gathering, like Pastor Nick Elorm Ahialey-Mawusi , also the advisory team of the Just Community of Women and Men with Mrs. Cecilia Castillo Nanjari. Pentecostals were eager to participate in the business sessions, hoping to contribute to discussions on the war in Ukraine, the fate of Palestine, and access to the new Commission on Climate Change and Global Sustainability.

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