10 December 2019 | The South-East Tanzania Conference has called a special constituency meeting for 30 December to consider expelling the Temeke Seventh-day Adventist Church from affiliation with the denomination. Adventist Today has been told that the local church has taken a stand against the Women’s Ministries Department established in 1990 by vote of the General Conference Session and refused to allow Dr. Ella Simmons, a GC vice president, to preach when she was in the country on a visit.

Temeke Church is one of several Adventist congregations located in Dar es Salaam, the largest city in the country. It has about 400 members. When a local church is removed from a local conference the members are not necessarily disfellowshipped, but may have their memberships placed temporarily in the conference church.

Adventist Today has a copy of the official notice sent to all of the churches in the conference calling the special constituency meeting and asking for delegates to be appointed. It was signed by Pastor Wilfred K. Mafwimbo, executive secretary of the conference.

Temeke Church is one of the longest-established Adventist congregations in the city, perhaps second only in tenure to the Magomeni Seventh-day Adventist Church. The South-East Tanzania Conference has 156 local churches and a membership of more than 45,000 in a metropolitan area with a population of about 8 million. It operates two medical clinics that serve the community.

Although the Women’s Ministries Department is a lay activities program and not involved with women clergy, it has been opposed in a number of places in Africa. It is unclear if this simply due to a misunderstanding or to opposition to any involvement by women in ministry or leadership in local churches.

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