PC Ntanfoang Christians Protest Pastor’s Transfer

PC Ntafoang constructed in 1914

PC Ntafoang constructed in 1914

PC Ntanfoang Christians Protest Pastor’s Transfer

Some Christians of the PC Ntanfoang Bali on the evening of Monday June 1, 2015 took to the main square in Bali to express their discontent following the transfer of the parish pastor and Bali presbytery Secretary, the Rev. Titatang Kingsley.

Joined by Christians from other congregations, they occupied the PC Ntanfoang church premises extending to the Main Square at Ntanfoang. They accused the congregational chairman Fodje George and presbytery chairman, Taphrey Patrick for instigating his transfer through several petitions written to the church hierarchy. It took the intervention of law enforcement officers to prevent them been physically abused.

The Christians dispersed late in the evening vowing that the will be no church service on Sunday and promising hell to his detractors.

Most Christian spoken to said the Rev. Titatang in less than a year at the helm of the church in Bali has brought numerous changes like a new facelift to the church, complete the Centenary hall that had been abandoned, attracted more Christians to church from mere 400 every Sunday to over 700 today, created a Sunday newsletter, put in place a scheme to assist widows and orphans in the congregation, improve on church revenue, attracted foreign aid to help fund projects in church amongst several others.

Rev. Titatang who is presently out of the country is amongst several pastors that have been transferred, appointed or send on study leave by the new church administration.

Weighing in on the debate, the Synod Clerk and chief of staff of the church the Rev. Fochang Babila took to social media. Reflecting in two articles on his facebook page on the themes “May The Blood Of The Martyrs Continue To Be The Seed Of The Gospel” and “Be On Your guard Against Men” he recounted the difficult exploits of the early Basel Missionaries who defied all challenges to spread the Good news to an untamed and unforgiving Africa.  He recalled Adolf Vielhauer the first Basel Missionary to the Grassfield and Bali in particular, while quoting the gospel of Mathew where Christ “saw the crowds, his heart was filled with pity for them, they were worried and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. So he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is large but the labourers are few. Pray to the owner of the harvest to send more workers to gather the harvest’” he ends by asking whether this means anything to those that want comfort zones?

In his second reflection he made it clear that Jesus told his disciples that the evangelistic mission was not “bread and butter” mission and they were going “…out like sheep among wolves” an indication of some difficulties the new team is already facing in their new assignment. Despite the euphoria that greeted their elections into office, Rev Fochang writes that “calls and SMS of insults started raining in” soon after their first staffing decision. “Innocent and well intentioned changes that were intended for the welfare of the entire church were interpreted by some as ‘settling of scores and giving heed o petitions’”

Reacting to the news of the protest march in Bali over the church Sunday news letter “The Christian Voice” published on Sunday June 7,  the Rev. Titatang Kingsley called on the Christians not to “dare close the doors of the church house” and for all to remain prayerful and calm as he will always remain a Balian.

Meanwhile despite threats of a boycott, the Christians came to church last Sunday, if not in their usual number to worship in a service presided at by retired pastor Pelfork Richard.

The Rev. Titatang officially took over as presbytery secretary for Bali on Sunday October 5, 2014. The Bali Presbytery was given birth in the 46th  Synod of 2013, which took place in Kumba, the administrative handing over from Mezam took place on Friday July 11, 2014. Bali became the 28th presbytery of the PCC and is made up of 7 parishes, that is Ntanfoang the seat of the presbytery, Njenka, Ntaiton, Gungong, Bawock, Sang and CPC with a total of 53 congregations.

By Abongwa Fozo

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