Bishop John K. Yambasu, the Resident Bishop of the Sierra Leone, shown above preaching at the 2016 General Conference of The United Methodist Church.
Earlier today, we learned of the tragic death of Bishop John Yambasu, the Resident Bishop of the Sierra Leone Area of The United Methodist Church. Bishop Yambasu was a personal friend and just a great guy. His passing is not only a great loss to the people of Sierra Leone, but to the entire United Methodist Church as well as the church universal. I ask that we join as a conference in praying for his family, particularly his wife Millicent, and their five children, during this time.
The following is the official news release as posted on the Council of Bishop news website.
Bishop John K. Yambasu, the Resident Bishop of the Sierra Leone Area of The United Methodist Church, died in a road accident this morning (August 16, 2020) just outside Freetown in Sierra Leone.
He was on his way to attend a funeral service for Rev. Edward Kamara in Yonibana in the north of the country, according to Phileas Jusu, the director of communications for Sierra Leone Annual Conference.
“Our hearts are broken, and we're devastated by this sudden departure of Bishop Yambasu. This is a great blow to the people called United Methodists! It is our hope and prayers that God will comfort the family in particular and The United Methodist family at large! May his soul rest in perfect peace,” said Bishop Samuel Quire of the Liberia Episcopal Area.
Bishop Yambasu was instrumental in bringing together a diverse group of representatives from United Methodist advocacy groups with contrasting views and bishops from around the world to collaborate on a proposed agreement for the separation of The United Methodist Church.
The agreement, the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation, was achieved on December 17, 2019, and announced early this year and will be considered at the next General Conference of the church set for 2021.
Bishop Yambasu was also president of the Africa College of Bishops of The United Methodist Church.
Born in southern Sierra Leone, Bishop Yambasu studied at United Methodist mission schools. He was ordained a deacon in 1987 and an elder in 1990. He served churches in Moyamba and Freetown until he began to focus on Christian education and youth ministry.
A graduate of Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Bishop Yambasu taught in many schools, including the denomination's Harford School for Girls in Moyamba. He also was the Sierra Leone Conference's director for Christian education and youth ministries and founded the Child Rescue Centre in Sierra Leone, serving as its executive director until he became a regional missionary in 2000.
He was elected a bishop of The United Methodist Church in 2008 and installed in 2009.
Bishop Yambasu is survived by his wife, Millicent, and their five children — Rebecca, Adima, John, Emmanuel and Elizabeth.