Church of Uganda has received a new Archbishop, Rt Rev Dr Stephen Kazimba Mugalu who was enthroned on Sunday replacing the Most Rev Stanley Ntangali who has been in office since 2012. Kazimba was enthroned the 9th Archbishop of the Church of Uganda at a very colorful ceremony which was heavily attended by both local and international guests at St Paul’s Cathedral, Namirembe in Kampala.
President Yoweri Museveni is among the guests that attended this special service together with other top government officials including Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga, Members of Parliament, Cabinet Ministers, among others. Other distinguished gusts included Buganda Queen Nabagereka Sylvia Nagginda, Katikiro of Buganda Charles Peter Mayiga, 11 Archbishops and 30 Bishops from across the world, 39 active Bishops from Church of Uganda and the retired ones.
The outgoing Archbishop, Stanley Ntagali said the he prays for the new Archbishop that God may guide him as he handed the Provincial Staff over to him, which is a symbol of his spiritual authority.
“I am very happy to retire today. Which by God’s grace happens to be my 65th birthday. It is my joy to congratulate Rt Rev Stephen Kaziimba, I pray that God guides you in your leadership as Archbishop of Church of Uganda,” said Ntagali.
Ntagali also handed over several other documents to the new Archbishop including the Church of Uganda constitution, the Canons, Vision 2020 and his handover report before signing off his abdication. Rev Kaziimba was then presented to the congregation and renewed his vows and all the 39 active Bishops of the Church of Uganda pledged their canonical obedience to the new Archbishop. He was then guided to his Provincial Chair by the Dean of the Church of the Province of Uganda Jackson Nzerebende.
The sermon during the enthronement service was delivered by the Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, Ren Foley Beach who appreciated the Church of Uganda for its faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“You have been a bright light in the world. You said no to disobeying the word of God, you said know to immorality, many wish their leaders would be like you…thank you for your boldness and your example,” said Rev Foley.
He asked Rev Kaziimba to heed to his call and follow Jesus Christ in his leadership.
“As leaders we have to go to the people, care for them, love and help them. Share your very self with them. We are called to be servants, do justice. My brother Steven this is what we are called to do…sacrificial, steadfast love. Your challenge is to remain committed to God’s promise and be steadfast,” he added.
After his confirmation in 1979, Dr Kaziimba’s calling started with teaching the Sunday School children before he served as a catechist in Madudu Church of Uganda from 1981 to 1983.
How he rose to the top
In August 2019, Kaziimba was elected Archbishop by the House of Bishops and he was serving as the Bishop of Mityana Diocese at the time of his appointment. Among the fellow contenders he beat to the office include the Bishop Sheldon Mwesigwa and Samuel George Bogere Egesa, the Bishops of Ankole and Bukedi Dioceses respectively.
Kaziimba was trained as a Lay-Leader at Bakerville Theological College Ngongwe in 1985 before being posted to St Peter’s Church Lugazi. He trained at Uganda Martyrs Seminary between 1988 and 1990 and in December 1990 he wax ordained by Bishop Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo.
Between 1990 and 1994, he served as Assistant Vicar at St Apollo Kivebulaya Church of Uganda. He completed his Diploma in Theology in 1996 at Bishop Tucker Theological College before he was posted to Parish Priest from 1997 to 2000 to Katente Parish.
In 2000, Dr Kaziimba was transferred to Mukono as Vicar and alter appointed Acting Provost of Mukono Cathedral by Bishop Micheal Ssenyimba. He was confirmed as the Provost of St. Philip and Andrew’s Cathedral and he became the fourth Bishop of Mityana Diocese on October 26, 2008, succeeding Bishop Dr Dunstan Bukenya.
List of previous Archbishops
The previous Archbishops of the Church of Uganda include; Stanley Ntagali (2012-2020), Henery Luke Orombi (2004-2012), the late Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo (1995-2004), Yona Okoth (1983-1995), Silvanus Wanyi (1977-1983), Janani Luwum (1974-1977), Erica Sabiti (1966-1974), and Leslie Brown, a British Missionary (1961-1966).