From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ABCUSA: Kobia is WCC General Secretary-Elect

From "SCHRAMM, Richard" <>
Date Fri, 29 Aug 2003 10:08:48 -0400

American Baptist News Service (Valley Forge, Pa. 8/29/03)--The Rev. Dr. Sam
Kobia, currently special representative for Africa for the World Council of
Churches (WCC), has been elected the new general secretary of the WCC.

Kobia, who was elected this week during meetings of the WCC Central
Committee, assumes his new responsibilities in January.  He will succeed the
Rev. Dr. Konrad Raiser.  

An ordained minister in the Methodist Church in Kenya, Kobia has served as
general secretary of the National Council of Churches of Kenya.  In that
capacity he helped reorganize the Zimbabwe Christian Council after
independence, chaired peace talks for Sudan in 1991 and chaired Kenya's
National Election Monitoring Unit in 1992.  He has served the WCC as
executive secretary for Urban Rural Mission and later as executive director
of the Justice, Peace and Creation. 

Kobia is the author of books dealing with social and theological issues in
Kenya and on the future of Africa. 

Responding to his election, Kobia said, "To gain the capacity to inspire the
world we need inner strength. Our strength lies also in our unity. As we
reiterate that the WCC is first and foremost a fellowship of churches whose
primary purpose is to call one another to visible unity in one faith and one
eucharistic fellowship, and 'to advance that unity so that the world may
believe,' we must work together and be seen to be working together."  

He concluded with an African saying: "If you want to walk fast, walk alone.
But if you want to go far, walk together with others." 

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is a fellowship of 342 church
bodies--including American Baptist Churches USA--in more than 100 countries
from virtually all Christian traditions.  The Roman Catholic Church is not a
member church but works cooperatively with the WCC. The highest governing
body is the assembly, which meets approximately every seven years. 

The American Baptist Churches USA was a founding member of the WCC in 1948.


American Baptist News Service: Office of Communication, American Baptist
Churches USA, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851; (800)ABC-3USA x2077
/ (610)768-2077; fax: (610)768-2320;;

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