Church of Uganda Archbishop Stanley Ntagali yesterday bid farewell to Christians and commended them for their unwavering support during his seven-year ministry.
Archbishop Ntagali also handed over administration to his successor, Dr Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu, during a press conference at the Provincial Secretariat, Namirembe, Kampala.
Before handing over a signed report, Archbishop Ntagali, who is left with three days to hand over the episcopal authority, joined in the march to welcome Archbishop-elect from Nakulabye junction through Balintuma Road to Namirembe Cathedral where a thanksgiving led by Namirembe Diocese Bishop Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira was held.
While handing over a report, the archbishop described the event as ‘a great moment’ for him to handover office peacefully.
“I am signing a handover report for the new Archbishop to update him about the status of the Church, its projects and finances. This shows we are handing over a united and vibrant Church,” Archbishop Ntagali said as he commended his wife Beatrice for supporting him during his leadership.
The Primate welcomed Dr Kaziimba to Namirembe, describing it as a hill of peace. He said he was ready to relinquish the position and officially hand over to Dr Kaziimba on Sunday.
He also described Dr Kaziimba as a humble person and urged Christians not to take advantage of his humility.
Archbishop Ntagali announced his intention to retire on August 22, 2018, during the 24th Provincial Assembly.
He is the 8th Archbishop of the Church of Uganda after he was elected on June 22, 2012, and was installed as archbishop on December 16, 2012.
A peep into Ntagali’s legacy
Archbishop Ntagali served with distinction for seven years where he consecrated 21 new bishops and launched three new dioceses.
It is under his leadership that Church House was completed and dedicated to the glory of God.
On June 14 2019, he received a completed 16-floor commercial office building on Plot 34, Kampala Road, from the contractor.
Archbishop Ntagali is known for his stance in the fight against homosexuality practices in the Anglican Communion.
During Martyrs’ Day celebrations in Namugongo, Archbishop Ntagali announced Uganda’s fourth time of boycotting the Lambeth Conference in protest against the invitations to the provinces which have set aside Biblical authority by endorsing homosexuality.
Anglicans welcome 9th archbishop
Meanwhile, it was a mixture of emotions at Namirembe Provincial Secretariat as Anglicans gathered to witness the official handover of office by outgoing Archbishop Stanley Ntagali to his successor, Dr Kaziimba Mugalu.
The Rev Kaziimba, who will be installed on March 1, becomes the ninth Archbishop of the Church of Uganda.
Merriment kicked off from Nakulabye junction as believers from various churches and dioceses gathered to receive Archbishop-elect Kaziimba before they marched to St Paul’s Cathedral, Namirembe, for a thanksgiving.
Along the way, they chanted songs of praise for the incoming archbishop.
Archbishop Ntagali in the company of his successor, their wives and other clergy then joined the congregation at around 10am, before marching from the Nakulabye Junction through Balintuma Road to Namirembe Hill in a colorful procession.
While delivering his homily, Namirembe Diocese Bishop Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira assured Dr Kaziimba of God’s blessings ahead of his new task.
“The Good Lord cannot lead you to where the Grace of God cannot sustain you,” he assured.
He likened Dr Kaziimba’s imminent ministry to Jesus’ experience in the wilderness and the temptations he went through to the path for salvation, as he cautioned on what lies ahead.
“As our brother carries on his ministry, he might encounter situations that border on the desert experience, but the Lord who has led him this far, will guide him,” he said.
“As we are elevated in positions of leadership, some (people) plan evil things against us and others possess you. They will come presenting a list of their needs but take care because many will come to pull you down,” Bishop Luwalira said.
Preaching on the same day Christians world over marked Ash Wednesday (beginning of Lent in Christian faith), Bishop Luwalira asked Dr Kaziimba to be a unifying factor to all the Christians.
“This is a great day in the Christian life because it is the same day 36 years ago at the beginning of Lent period that I got saved. I want to thank God for the new calling and the new change in life,” Bishop Kaziimba said amid applause.
He revealed to the congregation that his ministry will focus on the call to conversion of the head, the heart and the hand.
“I want to invite you to pray for us because without prayer, whatever we do either backfires, misfires or makes no fire. So our strength is in prayer,” Dr Kaziimba said.
Dr Kaziimba commended his predecessor for ensuring a smooth transition, saying Archbishop Ntagali has been his mentor and has taken him through what is expected of him.
“We do not need to hurt or backbite one another while in leadership because it is a calling where one serves for some time and they go. I call upon the Church to give me support in this ministry,” he appealed.
The two addressed a press conference after the thanksgiving where Ntagali handed over a report on the status of the Church and the projects the church has been running. President Museveni will be the chief guest at the big event where hundreds of believers from various denominations are expected to attend while Archbishop Foley Thomas Beach from the Anglican Church in North America is expected to be the guest preacher.
Some invited guests include Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, Archbishop Miguel Uchoa of Brazil, Archbishop Martin Nyaboho from Burundi, Archbishop Zacharie Masimango Katanda from DR Congo, and Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit (Kenya).
Others are Archbishop Henry Ndukuba (Nigeria), Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi (the Secretary GAFCON), Archbishop Laurent Mbanda (Rwanda), Archbishop Justin Badi Arama (South Sudan), and Archbishop Albert Chama from Central Africa.