The Free Methodist Church (FMC) in Malawi is taking active steps toward achieving general conference status. Under the leadership of Bishop Matt Whitehead, the three annual conferences in Malawi agreed to form a Provisional General Conference Study Committee. The Northern Conference is under the leadership of Superintendent Japhet Msyani, the Central Conference is under the leadership of Superintendent Ronald Chinkonde, and the Southern Conference is under the leadership of Superintendent Goodson Phiri.
The new study committee is comprised of a clergy member and a lay member from each annual conference. Bishop Whitehead is the chairperson of the study committee, and Superintendent Goodson Phiri is the vicechair.
The committee met for the first time in May 2023 in the region of the Southern Conference. This meeting provided an opportunity for training, planning and inviting the Lord to lead the FMC in Malawi. The gathering was considered a success, and committee members sensed the presence of the Holy Spirit was guiding and empowering.
During the coming year, the committee will travel to other regions and continue the work of calling the church forward. There is growing excitement and many preparations as the church anticipates being under the full leadership of Malawians. Leaders, both clergy and lay, are making great sacrifices and strides to work together for the Lord.
In August 2023, Bishop Matt Whitehead will travel back to Malawi to hold annual conferences and assist the study committee. The Rev. Hendrik and Kaylene Smidderks will join Bishop Whitehead for this trip to assist as needed. Please pray for the Free Methodist Churches and the leadership in Malawi as they take these formative steps to build a stronger presence for the kingdom of God. Pray for Bishop Whitehead and his team as they walk alongside the church in Malawi during these exciting times.