Eveline de Klerk Swakopmund-A pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Hosiana Congregation, in Walvis Bay resigned on Monday evening during a church meeting, amidst allegations over the missing N$400,000 from church coffers. Bishop Ernst //Gamxamub mediated the meeting held with members of the congregation to table an audit report that was done following allegations by several church members about financial mismanagement, which have driven a wedge between congregants. Pastor Immanuel Mberiri, who had been leading the congregation since 2013, on Monday evening took to the podium shortly after //Gamxamub requested the church members in attendance to grant Mberiri a chance to address them. Mberiri then told the congregation that he had decided to voluntarily resign from his position as pastor to diffuse the situation. “I wasn’t forced to do so as I claimed before, but do so out of my own free will, for the common good of the church,” he said from the podium. However, tensions and emotions almost boiled over between church members when some of them continuously disrupted the tabling of the audit report. Eventually after several deliberations it was decided that Mberiri would be allowed to finish his five-year term at the church, which is expected to end in May this year. Meanwhile, church member and former mayor of Walvis Bay, Mandume Muatunga, yesterday told New Era there is nothing wrong with Mberiri staying on and finishing his term at the church, despite many church members being unhappy about it. “As a concerned member I distance myself from all the allegations and those members who divulged information to the newspaper,” he said. He reiterated that the church fully supports pastor Mberiri and stands firmly behind him. “Everybody makes mistakes. Why should he not be granted the opportunity to complete his term at the church?” he said. Others however told New Era that there is no point in the pastor staying on, as the trust between him and the congregation has been broken. “However, we expect that our pastor will use the time left of his term to rectify and restore the peace between him and the congregation, so that we part ways as orderly as it is supposed to be,” a church member said.
2018-01-25 09:14:49 7 months ago