Along with the rest of the United Methodist family around the globe, we join in mourning the death of Bishop John K. Yambasu, the Resident Bishop of the Sierra Leone Area, who died in a car accident over the weekend outside Freetown in Sierra Leone. According to the press statement issued from the Council of Bishops, he was on his way to attend a funeral service.
“Bishop Yambasu’s untimely death is stunning news to The United Methodist Church. Bishop Yambasu’s undeniable love and passion for the church has been evident in his area and throughout The United Methodist Church,” said Council of Bishops President Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, who also noted that her heart aches for Bishop Yambasu’s family.
“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.
Through his ministry, Bishop Yambasu helped assemble the various United Methodist advocacy groups that proposed an agreement for the separation of the United Methodist Church. “Bishop Yambasu blessed The United Methodist Church with his faith and leadership,” said the Rev. Keith Boyette, president of the Wesleyan Covenant Association and one of the principal participants in the separation agreement. “He was the catalyst for gathering leaders of the various factions in the UM Church for the talks which produced the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation. He was an important voice throughout those discussions.”
Bishop Yambasu was president of the Africa College of Bishops of The United Methodist Church and the newly elected Chancellor of Africa University.
He was elected a bishop of The United Methodist Church in 2008 and installed in 2009. He would have turned 64 on August 24.
Bishop Yambasu is survived by his wife, Millicent, and their five children – Rebecca, Adima, John, Emmanuel and Elizabeth.