Nigerian Archbishop emerges Lutheran World Federation President

Rebecca Mu'azu, Gombe

Reverend Musa Panti Filibus, the Archbishop of the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria, LCCN, has been elected the President of the Lutheran World Federation, LWF.

He was elected at the Twelfth Assembly of the LWF meeting in Windhoek, Namibia, on Saturday, May 13, 2017.

Dr. Filibus is the 13th person and the second church leader from Africa to hold the office since the LWF was founded in 1947.

He was elected on the first ballot, with 274 votes, out of 303 votes.

Addressing the LWF Assembly delegates upon his nomination on May 12, Dr. Filibus said he would focus on nurturing communion relationships, missions, gender justice and addressing human tragedy, youths in the church, and inter-religious relationships for peace and justice, among others.

“Communion is a gift,” said Filibus, adding that “communion building must be nurtured. Building communion must also be done with a sense of ecumenical accountability.”

Rev. Filibus, who in his previous work participated in the development of the LWF Gender Justice Policy, said he was committed to its implementation, including addressing, “how to support member churches in understanding and addressing these questions.”

He was also instrumental to the process leading to the ordination of the first LCCN female pastor in 1996.

The New President of the LWF, said he would ensure that the Church upheld the commitment of the youth in the Church, while calling for the movement of the Global Young Reformers’ Network to be steped down to the local church levels.

The newly elected president of the Lutheran World Fedration an official of the organization from 2002 to 2010, where he served as Area Secretary for Africa in the Department for Mission and Development, DMD.

His role then was to guide member churches in Africa in various areas of their ministries.
In 2010, he was appointed the Director of Department of Mission and Development.

However, in 2013, he accepted the call to serve as bishop of LCCN, Mayo Belwa Diocese of Adamawa State and later on in 2016, he was elected to serve as archbishop of the church, which has its head in and, Adamawa State.

Archbishop Filibus is 57 years old and was ordained as a pastor in 1994.
He studied theology in Nigeria and in the United States, where he obtained a PhD in pastoral theology.

He and his wife, Rev. Ruth Filibus have three adult children.

Newly elected LWF President, Archbishop Musa Panti Filibus, will succeed Bishop Munib A. Younan of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, who was elected at the July 2010 Eleventh Assembly in Stuttgart, Germany.

The first LWF President from Africa was Bishop Josiah Kibira from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, who served from 1977 to 1984.

Nnenna.O