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Please Remember Africa University in Your Will Issue: 02 Vol: 19

March - April 2014

Africa University Development Office | P O Box 340007 | Nashville, TN 37203 | Tel. (615) 340-7438 | Fax. (615) 340-7290 | Email:

Strong Leadership on Stewardship Benefits the AUF Local churches invested 91.7% of their asking in the Africa University Fund (AUF) last year, the highest level of any of the general church funds. Among the 25 annual conferences which invested at 100% or higher, three—Wisconsin (131%), Tennessee (121%), and Iowa (106%)—led by giving well beyond their asking. Ambitious goal-setting and a very special effort for Africa University resulted in the South Carolina Conference’s first 100% showing for the AUF. Under the leadership of Bishop Jonathan Holston, the conference set a goal of 92% for apportionment giving in 2013. Local congregations responded sacrificially, increasing their giving by almost 3%, from 87% in 2012 to 89.7% in 2013. But Rev. John Culp, the pastor of Virgina Wingard UMC in Columbia, S.C. noted that the conference would

still be about $5000 short of its asking for the AUF. He approached others in the conference to help. A member of Washington Street UMC in Columbia made a gift to cover the shortfall. “We are excited by the mission of AU and we have always been a part of its ministry,” said Rev. Bill Childs, the pastor of Washington Street UMC. “We are extremely proud to have played a role in the conference reaching 100% for the first time for AU.” The Central Texas Conference returned its investment in the AUF to the 100% level in 2013. As Bishop Mike Lowry notes, Central Texas congregations are committed to the role of Africa University in the life of our global church and to participating with the university in equipping more African graduates who are helping to eradicate hunger, poverty, disease, conflict, and hopelessness.

West Michigan Conference and AU Celebrate Dedication of the Ubuntu Retreat Center

LEFT: Government and local leaders joined the University family for the celebration. Mr. Ed Edwardson (left), and Rev. Dr. Laurie Haller (right), the campaign co-chairs, persevered in spite of severe economic and other challenges in West Michican.

A 38-person delegation, led by Michigan Area Bishop Deborah Kiesey and representing the six districts and 400+ churches of the West Michigan Conference, participated in the formal dedication of the Ubuntu Retreat Center on March 19. The journey began with the former Grand Rapids district superintendent and GBHEM director, Rev. Dr. Laurie Haller who, with her district led a major campaign that generated $1 million. West Michigan’s generosity led to

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an anonymous matching gift of $500,000, to build and equip the 46-bed facility. Mr. Ed Edwardson, who co-chaired the campaign, said it “was the greatest faith journey of (his) life.” Every district in the West Michigan Conference contributed and helped AU to realize the dream of a gathering place for discussion, debate, joint work on development, peace and community building, and spiritual growth within the campus.

Board elects AU’s Fourth Vice Chancellor

On March 19, AU’s Chancellor and Board Chairman, Bishop David K. Yemba, announced the unanimous elelction of Dr. Munashe Furusa as the new Vice Chancellor of Africa University. Dr. Furusa, a Zimbabwean who is currently serving as Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at California State University, Dominguez Hills, will begin his tenure at AU on July 1, 2014.

CALLING ALL AU GRADUATES AND FRIENDS. The ELMA Foundation is challenging Africa University to raise more funds in Africa and from Africans. ELMA will match donations from qualified African donors, dollar for dollar, up to a maximum of $500,000. We have until June 30, 2014 to reach this goal. If you were born in Africa or work for a company, foundation or other entity that derives the majority of its income from Africa, your gift counts for this challenge. Spread the word. Encourage your friends and family to give to the effort. Every penny counts. Every penny goes to AU!

Don’t Miss This Unique Opportunity! Give online using a major credit card or mail your check to: Africa University Development Office, P O Box 340007, Nashville, TN, 372030007. Visit: for more information. GIVE NOW!

Build a Better University...and They Will Come “If a man can write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mousetrap than his neighbor, though he builds his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door”. Thus wrote the American essayist, poet and philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, more than a century ago. The same concept applies to institutions of higher learning. In twenty-one short years, a first-class, first-rate university has sprung forth on the African continent: Africa University. As word spreads about this unique institution, eager young men and women beat a path to its doors pleading for an opportunity to be educated. Africa University’s student population has grown by more than 2,900% in twenty-

one short years. There is an urgent need for direct and endowed scholarships. The cost to educate one student annually is $5,565.00 for Zimbabwean students and $5,765.00 for international students. An endowment gift of $130,000.00 will educate one student annually in perpetuity. Consider providing an annual scholarship for a student either through the direct scholarship program or the endowed scholarship program. Not sure that you can do it? Speak with our Director of Planned Giving, Elaine Jenkins, who will gladly show you the many ways to support the mission of Africa University. Write or call: Africa University Development Office, P. O. Box 340007, Nashville, TN, 37203-0007, 615/340-7428 (Telephone), 615/340-7290

(Fax),; or visit the planned giving website at www.africau.

Alumnus Delivers Powerful Bible Study Experience at National BMCR Moved by the Holy Spirit, NBMCR members put aside normal business for about 20 minutes as they sang and prayed, at the close of Bible study on March 29.

and assistant professor of New Testament Studies at St. Paul School of Theology, challenged the members of BMCR to renewal. Dr. Kamudzanda shared his personal story of growing up in Zimbabwe and of his mother’s very active faith. In highlighting the

rich traditions of the Black Methodism, he urged that NBMCR’s “new day” be rooted in belief in God’s power to do a new thing; and in an authentic witness that feeds the hunger for the Gospel. “His teaching on our theme and scripture was a powerful spiritual experience,” said Mrs. Angella Current-Felder, an AU board member and treasurer of NBMCR. In his report to the gathering, Mr. James Salley, AU’s chief advancement officer, lifted up the fact that nearly 26 years ago, (May 1988), the General conference met in St. Louis and voted to establish a first class university on the continent of Africa. The leadership of Israel Kamudzandu and other graduates, he noted, is the fruit of the church’s investment in Africa University.

General Board of Higher Education and Ministry The United Methodist Church P O Box 340007 Nashville, Tennessee 37203-0007

Most participants had never heard of Dr. Israel Kamudzandu when they began Bible study at the 2014 Special Meeting of National Black Methodists for Church Renewal (NBMCR). Now, it is doubtful that they will ever forget what they experienced as he led a study of Isaiah 43:18-19. In keeping with the outreach and engagement goals of its 2014-17 strategic plan, NBMCR invited Africans to participate in St. Louis meeting, March 28-29. Several persons from the African continent attended, including two AU graduates—Dr. Kamudzandu and Rev. Mande Muyombo, an assistant general secretary with the General Board of Global Ministries. Dr. Kamudzandu, a 1996 graduate of Africa University’s Faculty of Theology

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Acacia: March-April 2014  
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