ACNA archbishop to be chairman of GAFCON, Jos, Nigeria bishop to be general secretary
Archbishops Foley Beach and Ben Kwashi are the new leaders of the GAFCON movement.
On 22 June 2018 the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh announced that Archbishop Beach, the primate of the Anglican Church in North America, would succeed him as chairman of the GAFCON’s primates council in April 2019. A search committee commissioned by the primates at their Entebbe meeting recommended Archbishop Kwashi of Jos, Nigeria to serve as GAFCON’s general secretary in succession to Archbishop Peter Jensen.
Archbishop Kwashi will be assisted by regional deputy secretaries. The Rt. Rev. Bill Atwood of the ACNA will coordinate GAFCON’s work in North and South America, the Most Rev. Glenn Davies, Archbishop of Sydney, will look after the Antipodes and Asia, the Rt. Rev. Andy Lines will coordinate Europe/UK, the Most Rev. Laurent Mbanda, Archbishop of Rwanda, will look after East Africa, and the Rt. Rev. Henry Okeke, Bishop of Mbamili, Nigeria will look after West Africa.
Archbishop Kwashi told Anglican Ink he would begin work in July and serve as a coadjutor to Archbishop Jensen until December 31st, when he would take over the reins. As he familiarized himself with the office questions of the office location and needs would be addressed, he said.
The new leaders of GAFCON dramatically change the political calculus of the Anglican Communion. The two significant blocks are now led by Nigerians belonging to rival camps: Archbishops Kwashi and Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the General Secretary of the Anglican Consultative Council. And an American conservative, Beach, is matched against Justin Welby. While Welby is first among equals as Archbishop of Canterbury, he represents a far smaller section of the Anglican world than Beach. Approximatlely 50 million Anglicans belong to provinces affiliated with GAFCON, twenty million are members of non-GAFCON provinces — however both factions can claim members in their rivals camps.