Rev. Mark Parris, a clergy member of the North Alabama Conference, and a director of the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church, has been selected from among GBCS directors to go to The Democratic Republic of Congo in this month to represent the Board in The Democratic Republic of Congo’s Methodist Centennial. Rev. Parris is one of two international board members selected, plus a GBCS staff member, Rev. Clayton Childers, to attend the Centennial.
“I look forward to this opportunity of a lifetime to celebrate with our brothers and sisters in the Democratic Republic of Congo this remarkable milestone of God’s move in their lives and land. Dr. Leonard Kabwito, a Bible teacher, seminary professor, and assistant to his bishop has been an active part of GBCS, and helped in the selection process. He usually has a French interpreter to help him in the board dialog, and always has a pertinent and constructive comment to share with us.”
Parris left the U.S. on July 8 from Washington, DC and arrive in the Democratic Republic of Congo the July 9. After preaching and participating in worship in several villages and attending the Katanga Annual Conference, he will arrive back in the states July 17 to be back in his local church, Northport First UMC, July 18.
In the 50 years since Congo gained its independence from Belgium, The United Methodist Church in this country has grown from some 60,000 to more than 500,000 members.