The General Synod of the Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS) on February 14, 2000 elected Bishop Joseph Marona as the third Archbishop of the ECS.
He succeeds Archbishop Benjamina Wani Yugusuk who retired on February 28, 1998. Archbishop Marona will be enthroned in Juba, the headquarters of ECS, on 30 April 2000.
The General Synod, which comprised of 121 electors from all the 24 Dioceses of the ECS, elected Joseph Marona in its first round of voting by 72 votes. The election was conducted at Limuru Conference and training centre in Kenya.
The official election result for the first round published by the electoral committee was as followers: Bishop Joseph Marona (72), Bishop Michael Lugor (25), Bishop Bullen Dolli (19) and Bishop Benjamin Mangar (5).
No candidate gained two third (81) votes required to become Archbishop outright. But the electors were spared the second round of voting as other candidates dropped leaving Bishop Marona to be unanimously declared Archbishop.
Bishop Marona, 59, was the Chairman of New Sudan Council of Churches from 1997 to 1999. He was priested in 1982 and consecrated in 1984 as a suffragan Bishop of Maridi, Diocese of Yambio. From 1989 until his election as Archbishop, he was bishop of Maridi Diocese. He became the Dean of the province of ECS when Bishop Daniel Zindo died in October 1998.
Dr. Eluzai Munda, Bishop of Mundri Diocese, succeeded Marona at the Deanship. Bishop Munda, 65, was ordained into priesthood in 1963 and became bishop in 1984. He has been awarded honorary doctorate in Divinity in 1995 by Virginia Theological Seminary, USA in recognition of his courage and leadership in the midst of continuous strife in the Sudan.
The General Synod also elected Provincial officers. The very Rev Ezekiel Kondo, 43, was overwhelmingly elected the Provincial secretary. He was the first Christian from the political North Sudan to be elected into this post. Rev Kondo was until his election the provost of All Saints Cathedral, Khartoum. He defeated Jonathan Mayen by 118 votes.
Dr. Abraham Matiok was elected the Provincial Treasurer. He holds doctorate degree in Economics, and was not opposed for the post.
The Archbishop will appoint Provincial Chancellor and Registrar to oversee legal and constitutional matters of the ECS.
Article by Ken Fanan Korayi