ELCRN Members Defend Leadership

A GROUP of concerned members from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN) held a press conference on Thursday in Windhoek to defend their leadership.

The group, consisting of ELCRN members from across the country, denounced all claims of division and defended the church after allegations were raised recently by 14 pastors whose marriage officer licences were cancelled for allegedly solemnising marriages of convenience and for taking up other jobs elsewhere while working for the church.

In retaliation, the pastors alongside members of the church, called on the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN) to dismiss the church’s acting general secretary, Wilfred Diergaardt, and its director of finance Leonard de Vries whose positions were allegedly given to them by the previous bishop Zephania Kameeta shortly before he retired.

In a joint statement, which was read by one of the members, Ananias Urib, the group said those who are talking about divisions within the church are prophets of doom, and that the suspended pastors should stop their claims of a witch-hunt since they can still retain their ordinary membership in the church.

“We call on ELCRN members to remain united and resist the urge to destroy unity,” said the statement. It added that anyone who undermines the authority and disrespects the leadership of the church must be dealt with resolutely.

“We condemn all acts of indiscipline among our members. We call on the architects to stop their current failed campaigns of feeding people with lies,” the statement further said.

The members also raised concerns about the alleged abuse and mismanagement of the church’s property and resources and asked that the church should not be kept in the dark about such matters.

“The selective manner in which information is shared causes misinformation and is used to sow seeds of unnecessary misunderstandings,” the statement also said.

Christian Tiboth, another ordinary member of ELCRN, called on the church leaders to stand up and save it from being destroyed by detractors. “The church belongs to the Lord and the leaders are entrusted to take great care of this church, which is why it is imperative for the bishop to vindicate himself from all negative rumors,” he said.

Source : The Namibian