DAR ES SALAAM: PRESIDENT Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan is expected to attend the installation service of the elected Head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania (ELCT), Dr Alex Gehaz Malasusa, tomorrow.
Speaking to journalists in Dar es Salaam on Friday, the Secretary General of the ELCT-Eastern and Coastal Diocese (ELCT-ECD), Mr Goodluck Nkini stated that the event would be attended by over 1,500 guests from both inside and outside the country.
“We will have the honour of hosting the President on this magnificent occasion, along with approximately 1,500 other visitors from within and outside the country,” he noted.
The event will take place at the ELCT Azania Front Cathedral in Dar es Salaam and will be led by outgoing Presiding Bishop Dr Bishop Frederick Shoo and other bishops from all 28 ELCT Dioceses.
In line with that, he mentioned that on Saturday, there would be a holy communion service held at ELCT-Mbezi Beach Parish.
The church will also provide an opportunity for various groups and foreign visitors who will not have the opportunity on Sunday to convey their greetings.
“We therefore extend an invitation to all believers and citizens to take part in these two religious’ events, and we also ask everyone to keep praying for the successful accomplishment of these events,” he stressed.
Dr Malasusa was elected as the new ELCT Head in August of last year by the Church General Assembly, taking over from Dr Bishop Frederick Shoo, who completed his mandatory terms.
Dr Malasusa, who is the ELCT Bishop for the Eastern and Coastal Diocese, was announced as the elected Head of the Church after receiving a total of 167 out of the 241 votes cast, equivalent to 69.3 per cent.
His opponent, Dr Abednego Keshomshahara, who is the ELCT Bishop for the North West Diocese, received 73 votes, equivalent to 30.3 per cent of the votes cast.
Bishop Malasusa is becoming the ELCT Head for the second time after serving in the same position from 2007 to 2015.
Speaking shortly after being announced as the ELCT Head, Dr Malasusa expressed his commitment to fully cooperate with the Church Assembly and its followers for the development of the religious institution.
“I am overwhelmed because I am very surprised by what God has done for me. You cannot understand His plans. I am grateful to Him for His grace in calling me to work with you again,” Dr Malasusa said.
“I believe that the Almighty God, who enabled Dr Shoo to do great things during his leadership, will also help me to deliver. I have learned a lot from Dr Shoo, and I believe that even my colleagues have learned from his leadership,” Dr Malasusa noted.
Dr Malasusa added that he believes Dr Shoo’s talents will continue to be a blessing for the Church.
He also expressed gratitude to all the bishops who voted for him, acknowledging that they all deserved the position but chose to vote for him for the work of God.
“Since you have sent me to work on your behalf, I kindly ask for your support so that I can deliver to the expectations of the Church,” Bishop Malasusa was quoted as saying.
“May the almighty God bless you all for the work you are doing. I promise to cooperate with you in fulfilling God’s work,” Bishop Malasusa said.
Bishop Malasusa, born on June 18, 1960, hails from Rungwe, Mbeya Region.
He became a pastor in 1992 and was consecrated as Bishop of the Eastern and Coastal Diocese based in Dar es Salaam on April 17, 2004. Bishop Malasusa also holds a Master’s Degree in Theology from the Catholic Theology College in Nairobi, Kenya.