2 global leaders will preach at First United Methodist Church of Bradenton


March is a busy and exciting time around First United Methodist Church of Bradenton.

During Lent, two important guest preachers will arrive.

Bishop Wilfred Dimingu from the Methodist Church of Zimbabwe will be at First UMC to preach at the 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services Saturday and lead a Bible study/question-and-answer time at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday immediately after church dinner.

The public is invited to worship Sunday and for dinner and conversation Wednesday.

Bishop Dimingu is a lifelong citizen of Zimbabwe who began his career as an accountant before being called into the ministry. Last year at age 39 he was recognized for his strong faith and devotion to Christ by being elected a bishop of the Methodist Church of Zimbabwe by fellow clergy. His background in accounting and theology gives Bishop Dimingu a unique and interesting perspective on the recent economic and social turmoil in his native Zimbabwe. Bishop Dimingu is a native English language speaker and will be at First UMC for two weeks.

Bishop Ivan Abrahams, former presiding bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (the first person of color ever to hold that high position in the largest Protestant church in southern Africa) and now the general secretary of the World Methodist Council, will arrive March 30.

The Methodist Church of Southern Africa is the largest Protestant church in Southern Africa encompassing the countries of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique. He is global leader to 100 million Methodists spread across 120 nations.

Last year, Bishop Abrahams was selected by the Mandela family to preach the sermon at the funeral of Nelson Mandela.

Among the mourners who heard Bishop Abrahams preach was President Barack Obama, United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon and 91 other heads of state.

Born in 1955 in apartheid South Africa, Bishop Abraham spent the first 39 years of his life fighting against apartheid and the last 20 working for reconciliation in South Africa and beyond.

Bishop Abrahams will preach at the 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services Sunday, March 30. The public is invited.

First United Methodist Church, Bradenton is at 603 11th St. W., across from the Manatee Courthouse.

Information: Call the Rev. Adam Zele at 941-747-4406.

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