World Council of Churches Office of Communication
Press Release
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14 December 1998

WCC Eighth Assembly - Press Release No. 53

The following were elected Presidents of the World Council of Churches at its Eighth Assembly, meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Dr Agnes ABUOM, Kenya,"Anglican Church of Kenya", PhD in education from the University of Uppsala, former staff of WCC Youth Department, Moderator of the Working Group on Economy and Sustainable Society of WCC (Unit III), Unit III Commissioner, Resource person for Nordic ecumenical work on development and peace in Africa; co-ordinated the Anglican Church of Kenya development work for more than10 years; consultant on development and peace work of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), All-Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) and the Nairobi Peace Initiative.

Mr Moon Kyu KANG, Korea, "Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea", Elder of Presbyterian Church of the Republic of Korea (PROK); graduated from the Kyung Buk University; secretary of the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF) for Asia and Pacific; former member of the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA), WCC; former General Secretary, National YMCA Korea; President NGO Association of Korea; current National President of Korean New Village Movement.

His Eminence Metropolitan CHRYSOSTOMOS of Ephesus, Turkey, "Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople", graduated from Halki University; postgraduate studies in Strasbourg and Rome; Professor of Dogmatics and Systematic Theology and leading ecumenist; began participating in the WCC's work in the early Fifties; served in the Joint Working Group (JWG), the Central Committee, the Executive Committee and has been Vice-Moderator of the Central Committee from Vancouver to Canberra; senior member of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, playing a key role in pan-Orthodox gatherings and consultation processes.

Bishop Eberhardt RENZ, Germany, "Evangelical Church in Germany", studied theology in Tubingen, Wien, Zurich and India (Gurukul, Madras); Scholarship Secretary of the Lutheran World Service; taught at the Cameroon Theological College of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon 1968-1971; regional pastor for Mission, Ecumenical Relations and Church Development in Wurttemberg Church; former Africa Secretary of the Basel Mission, Basel; responsible for Mission, Ecumenical Relation and Church Development of Central Church Administration; Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wurttemberg; member of the Central Committee WCC 1994; President of the Commission for Ecumenical Affairs for the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany.

Bishop Federico J. PAGURA, Argentina, "Evangelical Methodist Church of Argentina", graduated from the Union Theological Seminary of Buenos Aires, postgraduate studies in the USA; Bishop "Emeritus" of the Evangelical Methodist Church (Argentina); Co-President of the Ecumenical Movement for human rights in Argentina; former President of the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI) and of the Council of Methodist Bishops in Latin America and the Caribbean; former member of the WCC Commission on World Mission and Evangelism; member of the Board of the Life and Peace Institute, Uppsala, Sweden; Dr "Honoris causa" from the University of Toronto, Canada and de Pauw University, Indiana, USA; poet, writer and composer of songs.

His Holiness Ignatius ZAKKA IWAS, Syria, "Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East", spiritual head of the Syrian Orthodox Church (Oriental), with jurisdiction in Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, India and most recent diaspora (Europe, USA); recognised as a spiritual man of dialogue both in his country and his region; promotes dialogue between Eastern and Oriental Orthodox and is involved in the life of the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC); served on the Central Committee of the WCC.

Rev. Kathryn BANNISTER, USA, "United Methodist Church", BA Spanish/Latin American Area Studies, graduated from the American University and the Iliff School of Theology; former staff of the Pax World Service; currently Senior Pastor/Parish Director Rush County, United Methodist Parish; United Methodist delegate to Canberra and Harare; member of the Central Committee from Canberra to Harare; member of the Eighth Assembly Planning Committee and chairperson of the Pre-Assembly Youth Event; former member of the United Methodist General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns; member of Board of Directors, WCC US Office; member of Executive Committee of the Consultation on Church Union (COCU).

Bishop Jabez BRYCE, Tonga, "Anglican Church in Aotearoa/New Zealand and Polynesia", trained in St. John's College, Auckland; postgraduate studies at St. Andrew's Seminary, Manila, Philippines; ordained priest, May 1962; served in Fiji, Tonga and Manila; Diocesan Secretary and lecturer at Diocese of Polynesia in St. John; Bishop of Polynesia; former Chairman of the Pacific Conference of Churches; member of the Pacific Ecumenical Regional Group; Chairman of Anglican Advisory Ecumenical Anglican Commission; Acting Primate of Anglican Church in Aotearoa/New Zealand and Polynesia; Co-Presiding Bishop of same church.

Contact: John Newbury, WCC Press & Information Officer
Press and Information Office, Harare
Tel: +
E-Mail: WCC media

The World Council of Churches is a fellowship of churches, now 339, in more than 100 countries in all continents from virtually all Christian traditions. The Roman Catholic Church is not a member church but works cooperatively with the WCC. The highest governing body is the Assembly, which meets approximately every seven years. The WCC was formally inaugurated in 1948 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Its staff is headed by general secretary Konrad Raiser from the Evangelical Church in Germany.