Bishop Stephen Samuel Kaziimba, currently the Bishop of the Diocese of Mityana, will become the next Archbishop and Primate of Uganda when the current Archbishop, Stanley Ntagali, retires next year. The announcement was made today (Wednesday) by the Dean of the Church of Uganda, Bishop Edison Irigei, at a press conference following a meeting of the province’s House of Bishops. Archbishop Stanley will retire on 1 March 2020, and will hand over the pastoral staff to Archbishop-elect Stephen during an investiture service led by the provincial Dean at St Paul’s Cathedral in Namirembe.
The Archbishop-elect received more than two-thirds of the votes in a secret ballot presided over by the Provincial Chancellor.
“Since I have known Christ, I want Him to be known by word and life in the power of the Holy Spirit”, Archbishop-elect Stephen said.
The Archbishop-elect was born on 15 August 1962 at Gulama-Najja Kyaggwe; the first son of Besweri Kaddu and Jessica Nanyonjo. His name, Kaziimba, means a builder. He was named after his Grandfather Kaziimba who served as a Lay-Leader of Kinoni-Kasoga and Gulama-Nyenga parishes.
“Stephen grew up with his mother at Makindye who took the responsibility of his primary education in Gakuwebwa Munno Nursery and Lusaka Primary School”, the Diocese of Mityana says on its website. “Life was a real challenge that he almost failed to get fees for his primary. Kaziimba is grateful to his uncle, the late Emmanual Mukasa, who was responsible for his High school education at Seeta College Mwanyanjiri.”
He was baptised in April 1973 at St Luke’s Church in Kibuye out of admiration for his friends who were being baptised after a visit to their school by the local priest, Canon Y Baddokwaya. He was confirmed by Bishop Misaeri Kawuma in September 1979 and started teaching Sunday School children later that year. While in secondary school, he joined the Madudu church choir, later serving as catechist until 1983.
But it was on 1 January 1984 that Bishop Stephen made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ as his Saviour and Lord. “His thirst and vacuum for a father was quenched when he was introduced to God the Father and to a big family of God’s children”, the Diocese of Mityana said. “His hope was revived and since then, his zeal is to make Christ known by word and example. He always says ‘God has raised me from a Hut to a state house, From Nowhere to somewhere, From Nobody to Somebody, from Grass to grace, and from shame to fame for the Gospel’”.
Bishop Stephen and his wife, Margaret Naggayi Bulya, have four sons and have fostered many more children.
Bishop Kaziimba did his diploma and undergraduate degree in theology from Uganda Christian University, Mukono, and received his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan, in the US.
In addition to his responsibilities as a diocesan Bishop, Bishop Kaziimba also currently serves as the Chairman of the Provincial Board of Household and Community Transformation, as well as the Chair of the Board of Trustees for Ndejje University, Chair of the Committee for HIV and Public Health for the Interreligious Council of Uganda, and Chair of Words of Hope Uganda Radio Ministry.
He has a passion for empowering others and developing the whole church. His book on this subject, Empowering the Laity, was published in the US by Words of Hope in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 2015. He is a popular preacher at large conventions in Uganda and internationally.
He will succeed Archbishop Stanley, who announced his intention to retire by his 65th birthday on 1st March 2020 at the Provincial Assembly in August 2018.
Archbishop Stanley Ntagali has served for seven years as the eighth Archbishop of the Church of Uganda since December 2012. In that time he has consecrated 21 new Bishops and launched three new Dioceses. It is under his leadership that the new Church House complex was finished and dedicated to the glory of God.
In the Church of Uganda, an Archbishop must be elected from among the existing House of Bishops and the candidate must be at least 50 years old. Out of the 38 Bishops currently active in the Church of Uganda, 33 were eligible to become Archbishop.
Between now and 1 March 2020, Archbishop Stanley Ntagali will continue to serve as Archbishop of the Province and the Bishop of Kampala Diocese. He is currently on a farewell tour of each of the 37 dioceses.
Archbishop-elect Stephen will say farewell to his diocese and prepare to move to Kampala. His appointment will create a vacancy in Mityana as he will become Bishop of Kampala upon taking on the role of Archbishop.
“We thank God for His clear voice and direction among us for who shall be our next leader”, Bishop Edison Irigei, the Dean of the Church of Uganda, said. “We also ask all Christians to pray for this season of transition, especially for the Archbishop and Archbishop-elect who are bidding farewell in their dioceses, and for the Archbishop-elect to be prepared to receive the mantle of spiritual authority as Archbishop.”
Death of Mama Mary Luwum
The first Archbishop was British missionary Leslie Brown, who served as Archbishop of what was then the Church of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Boga-Zaire, from 1961-1966. The third Archbishop, Janani Luwum, served from 1974 until his assassination and martyrdom by Idi Amin in 1977. His wife, Mama Mary Luwum, died on 6 August 2019 at the International Hospital in Kampala, at the age of 93. She had been battling with cancer.
Mama Mary, who is survived by six children and many grandchildren, was buried next to her husband in Mucwini, Kitgum on 17 August after receiving a number of state honours. Her body lay in state in Uganda’s Parliament on Thursday 15 August, ahead of a funeral service on Friday 16 August in Kampala. Her body was then flown in a helicopter to Kitgum by the Uganda People’s Defence Force before being received at the city’s All Saints’ Cathedral, for an overnight vigil ahead of her burial.
“The loss of Mama Mary is a great loss for the nation,” the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, said.
Military officials help carry the coffin containing the body of Mama Mary Luwum to her final resting place, next to her late husband Archbishop Janani Luwum, who was martyred in 1977.
Photo: Church of Uganda
Ben Luwum, son of Archbishop and Mama Mary Luwum, expressed his gratitude for the support the family had received, saying: “I thank you all for standing with us through it all.”