Martin Gordon, DR Congo

Martin Gordon, DR Congo

Peacemaking, church planting and building up the body of Christ as part of my role as Bishop of Goma

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In Goma, there is a huge need for peacemaking and to build up the body of Christ.

Most of eastern DRC has seen significant conflict over the last 30 years, including the Congo Wars between 1996 and 2003 and the recent resurgence of armed rebel groups. Trauma is a reality of life for many and the country is desperate for peace. I am working with local people groups and denominations to help bring reconciliation and peace in the Anglican Diocese of Goma and beyond.

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I came to Goma in August 2020 at the invitation of the previous bishop, to work in theological education. Tragically, he died before I arrived, and upon my arrival I was asked by the archbishop to share leadership of the diocese as vicar general. My role, as an impartial outsider not tied to a particular people group or region, was to bring some peace to a diocese internally riven by conflict and to prepare the diocese for the election of their next bishop. As the time for elections neared over two years later, God gradually made it clear that the most effective way for me to continue to serve the diocese was to become their missionary bishop. I was appointed in December 2022.

Part of my role is to continue the work of reconciliation across denominations and people groups. Since the creation of the diocese in 2016 we have sensed a particular call to spearhead ecumenical work in peacemaking and we do this by training and equipping church leaders (men, women and young people) and bringing communities together for joint initiatives. God has given us the grace to be able to act as a uniting force as we enjoy a high level of trust from the other churches. Together, we are building a movement of peacemakers across denominations, and different communities are starting to work together more as we begin to see change.

The archdeacons and I have sought to discern what God is calling us to in terms of church planting and aim to plant 35 churches across the diocese by 2027. We encourage evangelism campaigns, train church leaders, help communities to buy land for church buildings and provide money for a roof once the building is up. We praise God we are well on the way to reaching this goal.

I also lead the Anglican Church of Congo’s theology commission, meeting with national theology teachers to dig into questions around how to improve theology teaching across the country.

My wife Anthea is a CMS mission associate working in international development. We married in 2008 during my ordination training, following which I served in churches in Bristol and London. Prior to this I had spent 10 years working in politics and development in the UK parliament and the campaigns team at Christian Aid.

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