Posted by: Titus Presler | December 8, 2011

Canadian Grant LeMarquand appointed to be area bishop for Horn of Africa

It has been very good to receive news today that the Rev. Dr. Grant LeMarquand has been appointed Area Bishop for the Horn of Africa within the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa.  The announcement was made by Bishop Mouneer Anis, who is the bishop of that diocese and also president bishop of the Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East.

Grant has long been professor of Biblical studies and mission on the faculty of Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Penn., which describes itself as an evangelical Anglican seminary.  We have worked together fruitfully over the years in the Seminary Consultation on Mission.  Grant is a mature missiologist with a passion for exploring the interface between God’s mission and scripture studies.

A Canadian, Grant has served as a missionary in Kenya, where he taught at what is now St. Paul’s University at Limuru.  He holds an M.A. from McGill University and a Th.D. from Wycliffe College, Toronto School of Theology.  He and his wife Wendy have two grown children, according to the official announcement, in which Bp. Mouneer also notes that Grant has visited the Diocese of Egypt five times in recent years to offer clergy retreats and the like. 

I have great respect for Grant and his commitments and have every confidence that he will serve the church faithfully and will offer much to the people of the diocese.  The diocese is vast, encompassing much of north Africa, all of Egypt, and the countries of the Horn of Africa, and it is the latter area that Grant will be overseeing.

It is significant that a Canadian of Caucasian descent has been appointed to this ministry, and it puts me in mind of other appointments of Westerners in Two-Thirds World dioceses, for instance USAmerican Todd MacGregor in Madagascar, another USAmerican some years ago to a diocese in Malawi, and a Briton also to Malawi (though that appointment was never fulfilled).  In the reverse movement from the 2/3 World to the West there have been Michael Nazir Ali from Pakistan to the Diocese of Rochester and Ugandan John Sentamu to the archepiscopal see of York in the Church of England, and Johncy Itty to the Diocese of Oregon and Prince Singh to the Diocese of Rochester in the Episcopal Church USA.

With the end of colonialism in the 1960s it was rightly believed both in the former colonies of Western powers and in the Western churches that church leadership in the Two-Thirds World should be thoroughly indigenized in view of the historic monopoly that Westerners had held on church leadership in those regions.  People from elsewhere were welcome to assume leadership positions in the West, but not vice versa given the colonial legacy.  The problem with that dispensation becoming a permanent fixture is that it undermines the global nature of the church and the interchange of cultural perspectives at every level that is vital to the authenticity of a world church.

Shifting to a more expansive perspective on church leadership signifies a maturing of the world church from a rigidly post-colonial mentality to a genuinely global discipleship.  On this interpretation, the appointment of Grant LeMarquand as a Westerner to the Horn of Africa invites not skepticism but affirmation.

My only regret is that Grant’s departure from Trinity will further thin the ranks of professional missiologists from the seminaries of the Episcopal Church.  As a result of transitions over the past several years, Richard Jones is no longer at Virginia Seminary, Ian Douglas is no longer at Episcopal Divinity School (EDS), John Kater is now part-time at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, I am no longer at General Seminary – and none of us has been replaced.  Christopher Duraisingh continues at EDS, as does John MacDonald at Trinity – I will be happy to be corrected, but I believe they may be the two missiologists left.  This major weakness in Episcopal seminary education today results from a combination of financial pressure and confused priorities.  Grant’s departure will be a major loss, but he will be in our prayers.

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Responses

  1. Grant is not only clever but also intelligent, Personally I met him in Uganda and I Know his will serve the People.
    Godwin from Uganda, Kigezi Diocese.


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