ELCT Press Release

Date: May 7, 2010
Press release No. 001/05/2010

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Mjema to lead Pare Diocese
by Rev. Ambele Mwaipopo

Pastor Charles Mjema (47) became the Bishop-elect of Pare Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) following an overwhelming win at the Diocesan Assembly held 2 to 4 May this year at Same in Kilimanjaro Region.


Bishop-elect Rev. Charles Mjema (left) and Rev. Timoth Jonas Msangi
soon after their election on 4 May 2010

He takes over from Bishop Stefano Msangi who retired over a year ago but the position remained vacant after the candidate Rev. Dr. Leonard Mtaita who was elected in absentia did not receive the call.


Bishop Dr. Steven Munga of ELCT North Eastern Diocese (with microphone),
The advisor to Pare Diocese since April 2009. He spearheaded the reconciliation process.

The meeting was held in a peaceful atmosphere despite the tension that existed in the Diocese for a number of years. Members of the Pare Diocese assembly also voted in Rev. Timothy Msangi (39) to become the Assistant to the Bishop replacing Rev. Eliraha Mmwiri.

Rev. Mjema who hails from Gonja area is among the youngest bishops in the ELCT. Before his election he was the Principal of Usangi Training and Leadership College in Mwanga District from 2007 to May 2010. He was born on 10 April, 1963 at Bambo, Gonja in Mwanga District.

He became an ordained pastor on 26 January 1997 at Bombo Parish having completed Bachelor of Divinity Degree at Makumira University College (MUCo) of Tumaini University 1991 to 1995. From 1997 to 1999 he went for further studies in Norway where he was awarded Masters in Religious Studies Degree by Oslo University.

He is undergoing a Post Graduate Diploma Course in Education at the Open University of Tanzania from 2008 to 2010.


It was all smiles when the ELCT Presiding Bishop Dr. Alex Gehaza Malasusa shook
hands with former Premier Cleopa Msuya when the Pare Diocese organized a
reconciliation service at Shighatini Parish on 11 October 2009. Looking on is
Bishop Dr. Samson Mushemba (retired) and Rev. Eliraha Mmwiri.

Rev. Mjema worked for 15 years as pastor at parishes including Ngarito Parish and the Assistant District Pastor of “Kusini Magharibi” District in Same District.

Rev. Mjema became Shighatini Parish Pastor; Chaplain of Shighatini Secondary School and Lecturer of Usangi Bible School from 1999 to 2000. From 2000 to 2002 he served as pastor of Ndungu in Same and from 2002 to 2004 he served Maore Parish in the same District. From 2005 to July 2007 he became the Academic Dean at Usangi Training and Leadership College.

From August 2007 to May 2010 he has been a member of Executive Council, Chairman of the Theology Committee and secretary to the Education Improvement committee in his diocese.

He had completed his primary education in 1980 and studied secondary school at Lyamungo in Kilimanjaro Region 1981 to 1984 and went for his “A” Levels at Mzumbe High School in Morogoro Region from 1985 to 1986.

Rev Msangi attended Karambacha Primary School in Mwanga District 1988 - 1991 took his “O” Levels at the ELCT Lutheran Junior Seminary in Morogoro and continued with “A“ Levels in the same school from 1992 to 1993.

He enrolled at Makumira from 1997 for Bachelor of Divinity Degree. After his graduation in 2002 he was ordained as pastor and he rejoined the college 2006 -2008 for Masters in Theology Degree.

He has been parish pastor from 2002 to May 2010 at Mcheni and Mmbaga parishes in Mwanga District. ###

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Elizabeth Lobulu
Communication Coordinator,
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania
Box 3033, ARUSHA, Tanzania.
Phone: +255-27-250-8856/7
FAX: +255-27-254-8858
E-mail: Elizabeth Lobulu <ELobulu@elct.or.tz>

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For more information contact:

Elizabeth Lobulu
Communication Desk Officer, ELCT
E-mail: ELobulu@elct.or.tz