Uganda is a beautiful country of 38 million people-people who have a great need for the peace and hope that only comes through Jesus Christ. The story of The Wesleyan Church of Uganda is one of vision, perseverance, and partnership that is expanding God's kingdom through leadership development.
In 2009, when the Ugandan church joined the Wesleyan movement, there were no ordained Ugandan pastors. Zambian Wesleyan leaders, North American pastors, and veteran missionary Fred Cromer began making repeated short-term trips to Uganda to provide pastoral training. In 2013 National Superintendent Bishop Lucas Hamirie was the first Ugandan to be ordained. His graduation was a tangible example of a leadership vision becoming reality.
Significant growth and multiplication within The Wesleyan Church of Uganda created an urgent need for more comprehensive pastoral training. Responding to that need, Fred and his wife, Carol, moved from Swaziland to Uganda in 2015 to start a pastor training institute.
In 2016, nine pastors completed their academic training, with eight of them immediately ready for ordination. Wesleyan Bible Institute (WBI) opened that September under Fred’s leadership.
Three of the recent nine Ugandan graduates were hired to serve as WBI faculty. Fred’s recognition and development of their leadership abilities equipped them for immediate service. They had been prepared to identify and equip the next class of leaders. It was a year of celebration; momentum was growing.
With the assistance of Global Partners and Fred, The Wesleyan Church of Uganda seeks to make leadership development a core church strength. Its goal, attainable with God’s help, is to train 100 new ministerial leaders over the next four years. WBI will continue training at its main campus, but also plans to open classes in church locations around the country. WBI wants to offer training closer to the students, making their education more easily accessible while allowing them to remain in their local area and ministry settings.
There are seventy Wesleyan churches in Uganda, six in Rwanda, and four in Kenya under The Uganda Wesleyan Church. WBI and the largest church within The Wesleyan Church of Uganda are located in the town of Busia, which is east of the capital city of Kampala and a few miles from Lake Victoria. Many of the Wesleyan churches are located in rural areas, but there is a strategic plan focusing on more church planting in urban centers. Additional places of ministry include several schools, one with over 300 students, and an orphanage run by the national church.
It is significant that three of the faculty at the new Wesleyan Bible Institute of Uganda are Ugandans.
Wesleyan Bible Institute exists through the support of Global Partners. Dr. Dennis Jackson, executive director of Global Partners, said, “This model of training and the ‘training of trainers’ is exactly what the Amplified Leaders initiative is all about. These multiplying leaders are creating a movement that is poised to impact the region like never before.”