As the 2018 Gafcon Jerusalem conference came to a close on Friday, the Primates’ Council announced the election of Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi, Province of Jos (Nigeria), as the next General Secretary, and Archbishop Foley Beach, primate of the Anglican Church in North America, as the next Chairman of the movement. The announcement was received with roaring applause from the nearly 2,000 delegates in attendance.
Kwashi will replace current General Secretary, Archbishop Peter Jensen of Australia, who has served Gafcon in the role since its inception 10 years ago. After the announcement, Jensen was recognized by the conference in an emotional moment including a presentation culminating with a standing ovation.
This leadership transition will be graduated over the next several months as Kwashi’s and Jensen’s terms overlap in a period of planning. Kwashi will fully take over in January 2019.
In April 2019, at the beginning of the next Primates’ Council meeting, Beach will officially take over as Chairman of Gafcon. Beach succeeds Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Primate of all Nigeria, who will retire in 2019.
The Primates’ Council, led by the Chair, sets the agenda and priorities for the movement. The General Secretary leads the movement by carrying forward the will of the Primates on a day-to-day basis.
In an interview about their elections, both Beach and Kwashi expressed their excitement for the future of Gafcon and their new roles.
“Both of us really need your prayers, but it’s very exciting. We’re going forth from this place to proclaim the Gospel and that’s what it’s all about – proclaiming Christ faithfully to the nations – and we’re really going to seek to do that in a new, fresh way,” Beach said.
Kwashi added that “The conference is gathering momentum, not because of its numbers but because of the Spirit of the Lord and the consistency of putting the Bible at the center.”
You can view their interview at https://vimeo.com/276548823.