Kigeme diocese of the Provincial Anglican Church in Rwanda (PEAR) has a new Bishop.
Rev. Assiel Musabyimana 48, was elected today by the Church’s Episcopal council.
“I am thankful to God”, Musabyimana told KTPress shortly after winning the tight competition against pastor Augustine Ntawuhigimana.
With the new responsibilities, Musabyimana’s aim is to “improve spiritual and economic aspects of the Christians I was entrusted,” he said.
The Bishop-elect will be consecrated on January 14th, 2018 at St. John Cathedral Church in Nyamagabe district, Southern Province, according to a statement signed by Most Rev. Dr. Onesphore Rwaje, the Archbishop and Primate of PEAR.
“The election was divine. We were guided by the Holy Spirit and in a retreat where we sought the guidance of God to cast a secret ballot.
We expect him (Bishop-elect) to be a leader a pastor of pastors and a man of vision,” Archbishop of the Anglican church of Rwanda told KT Press.
The new Bishop will oversee Kigeme Diocese that has over 79,777 Christians zoned in 58 parishes.
Before his new assignment, Musabyimana was serving as senior pastor of Abera Bose parish in Gasaka, Nyamagabe town.
He replaces Monsignor (Msgr) Augustin Mvunabandi who has been serving the church since 2000. Ten of the eleven provincial bishops participated in the secret ballot election.
The Synod of the diocese submits two names to the Episcopal council, and the council chooses one.
Born in Kaduha sector in Nyamagabe district, Musabyimana is married and a father of three – two daughters, and one son and has been ministering as a pastor for the last 18 years. He was ordained as Pastor in 1998 and studied Theology and Development from Uganda.
Musabyimana completed primary school from Nyamagabe district and later enrolled for Teacher Training option at GS St. Esprit in Nyanza district.
After completing his secondary education, he taught at Musenyi Primary School – Kaduha for three years.
He later on registered for Theology Program at Faculty of Theology in Huye, then continued in Uganda to acquire Bachelor’s Degree in Theology.
The outgoing bishop Mvunabandi is remembered for several achievements in promoting health, education and community development among residents of Kigeme.
“Mvunabandi will be remembered for promoting community cleaning exercises (Umuganda) every end of month,” Marc Nshimiyimukiza, the Kigeme cell leader in charge of development told KTPress.
“He (Mvunabandi) is visibly old but you cannot believe that he is always among the first people to come for umuganda and do his part as a leader leading by example.”
In Kigeme cell, the bishop sponsored construction and rehabilitation of Kigeme cell offices (Rwf 2 million) which was used for the furnishing and painting of the office block, building three houses and providing goats to poor families, but also introducing free education through collaboration with Compassion Rwanda.
Mvunabandi said that he has big plans for his retirement and will always remember Kigeme Christians.
“I have never stayed close to my family. So I will spend most of my retirement time with them. This will also be time to read, pray and write special autobiography,” Mvunabandi said.
“I will always remember Kigeme Christians for their ability to listen to advice. This helped me to do my job. They are truthful people and their ideas have resulted into development of a place which was considered cursed in the past regimes.”
“I am very grateful for the good work of my predecessor,” said Bishop Musabyimana.