New elected Archbishop of Anglican Church, Dr Laurent Mbanda, has pledged to work hard, sustain the achievements as well as accelerating the development of the church in all domains.

He made a vow on Friday during a hand over ceremony at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kibagabaga.

The outgoing Bishop of Shyira Diocese has been elected as the next Archbishop and Primate of the Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda in January this year replacing Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje, 65, who retires in June.

Rwaje has served since January 2011 while Mbanda, a former vice president of Compassion International, was enthroned as Bishop of Shyira in November 2010.

As soon as all documents had been handed over to his power, Mbanda thanked Rwaje on building unity in the church, improving Christians’ welfare and many more.

Mbanda said that Rwaje has led the church in humility and courage.

“The retired Rwaje has certainly served the church. He showed love and teamwork in his duties. It’s time he retired and we shall build on the achievements to build the future of the church we want,”Mbanda said.

He added: “We appreciate the progress in the church. If the retired Archbishop walked step by step, I promise to run fast so that we keep progressing to serve the church and its followers.”

He added that through prayers and partnering with other church leaders the development will be faster.

“Since 2011 together with other leaders, the church has grown in education, social affairs, health, infrastructures (building churches, schools and hospitals) among others. We thank God for all. We shall be supporting the church in all means of advice,”Rwaje said.

Archbishop-elect Mbanda will be enthroned on June 10.

Who is Mbanda?

Mbanda previously served as the Vice President for Africa Regional Compassion International between 2004-2010, and Vice President for Programme Development at Compassion International from 1997-2004.

He holds Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Educational studies from Trinity International University in the U.S which he obtained in 1990 and Master of Arts (M.A.) in Christian Education from Denver Seminary also in the U.S, which he acquired in 1986.

He also attended Kenya Highlands Bible College.

In 2005, Bishop Mbanda moved back to Rwanda from the US to “devote his life to the recovery and reconstruction of the country”.

Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje handing over church management documents to new elected Archbishop of Anglican Church, Dr Laurent Mbanda
Different church leaders witnessed the ceremony.
Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje, 65, retires in June.
New elected Archbishop of Anglican Church, Dr Laurent Mbanda and Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje holding their hands.
New elected Archbishop of Anglican Church, Dr Laurent Mbanda and Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje signing the documents.
The participants pose a group photo.

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