After a week of deliberations and prayer, the Church of Uganda House of bishops has elected Rt. Rev. Stanley Ntagali, Bishop of Masindi-Kitara Diocese as the new Archbishop.
Archbishop-elect Ntagali, 57, was ordained to the priesthood in 1981 and has since served in various positions in the establishment of the Anglican Church in Uganda, including Provincial Secretary who organised the installation of the current Archbishop.
He takes over from Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi who has been at the helm for the last nine years and chose to retire a year ahead of his tenure.
Speaking at the unveiling of Rt. Rev. Ntagali as the eighth Archbishop, Bishop Nichodemus Okille, the dean of Province, said: “The Archbishop-elect was overwhelmingly voted through secret ballot.”
The election by secret ballot, which was presided over by the Provincial Chancellor, saw Bishop Ntagali voted with more than a two-thirds majority, per the constitution of the Church of Uganda.
Bishop Ntagali was consecrated Bishop on December 19, 2004 and has served as the Bishop of Masindi-Kitara Diocese for eight years.
Archbishop Orombi said: “The eighth Archbishop is a new beginning and another chapter of the Anglican Church. I am encouraged and I am sure there are no more problems.”
Early this year, Archbishop Orombi, the seventh Archbishop who took over in 2003 announced his early retirement saying, a move to devote more time to fulfill his life calling of full time preaching.
Archbishop-elect Ntagali is expected to be consecrated on December 16 at St. Paul’s Cathedral Namirembe.
He said; “I am humbled because slightly over thirty minutes ago they [Bishops] said that I am going to be a team leader. I will be a team leader and you will be my team members. This is an answered prayer.”
The race for the head of the Anglican Church has been building up since Orombi formally announced that he would step down mid this year.
Ntagali was born and grew up in Kigezi 57 years ago. He later moved to Hoima at the age of 16 to Bunyoro-Kitara where he has lived since then.
Shortly after leaving formal education he began working as an untrained teacher in local schools, and then at 19 years old he became a youth worker in Wambabya parish in Bunyoro-Kitara Diocese. Just a few years later in 1977 he once again became an internal migrant – this time commissioned by Bishop Eustace Ruhindi to join a small group of people sent to do mission work in Karamoja.
Arriving in Karamoja was a considerable culture shock. The challenge of a new culture, shortage of food and living with people who wore very few clothes to name but a few! Over the next few years as he learned the language he was to reflect deeply on what discipleship and evangelism looked like in a community comprising many cattle rustlers.
Despite the many hardships he experienced a great joy in serving the Lord, and had a great assurance that God was with him. No small part of this blessing was the gift of ordination in 1981, marriage to Beatrice in 1978 and the three children who were born during this time.
After a period as vicar of St. Peter’s Cathedral he studied at St Paul’s, Limuru, Kenya emerging in 1993 with a Bachelor of Divinity. His growing confidence in the faith took him back to a busy few years as Archdeacon of Masindi.
In 1999 he spent a year gaining an MA in theology and development at the Oxford Centre for Mission, before returning to serve as Diocesan Secretary until 2003 when he was transferred to the role of Provincial Administrator for the CoU. The highlight of his time in Kampala was organising the enthronement of Archbishop Orombi.
Finally on the December 19, 2004 he was consecrated as the first bishop of Masindi-Kitara, ironically being the first bishop to be consecrated by Archbishop Orombi.