On Friday May 8, 2009 the Anglican Consultative Council broke into enthusiastic applause with the announcement that the Rt Revd James Tengatenga was elected as the new chair of the Anglican Consultative Council. Four candidates had been nominated with Mrs Elizabeth Paver of the Church of England placing second. Bishop James has a wide variety of experience in the communion and most recently served as a member of the Design Group for the Lambeth Conference in 2008. A detailed biography follows.
Bishop James Tengatenga was born in Kwekwe, Zimbabwe on 7th April, 1958. He did all his pre-college education in Zimbabwe. In 1979 he began theological training and priestly formation at Zomba Theological College after which, in 1982, he continued theological training at The Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest at Austin, Texas in the USA.
In 1984 he married Jocelyn at St. David’s Episcopal Church, Austin Texas.
They have three biological children, Susan (21), Cecil (19) and Alinafe (14) and six inherited from deceased sisters, Eunice, Misozi, Edith, Caroline, Prince and Henry.
On graduating with a M.Div. degree in 1985 he returned to Malawi and was ordained deacon at St. Thomas Church in the Diocese of Lake Malawi by Bishop Peter Nyanja. In addition to parish ministry, he was also the diocesan youth worker and diocesan training chaplain.
In 1989 he went to Birmingham England to train as a youth/community worker. After 8 years of parish ministry he joined the faculty at Zomba Theological College. And, after four years there, he joined the faculty of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Malawi.
In 1998 he was consecrated bishop of Southern Malawi.
He has a Ph.D (Church and State Relations) from the University of Malawi, D.D (honoris causa) from Episcopal Theolgoical Seminary of the South and a D.D. (honoris causa) from the General Theological Seminary in New York.
The bishop has been involved in HIV ministry in the country as a member of the Malawi National AIDS Commission which coordinates the national response to HIV and AIDS. He is currently a member of the executive committee of the Malawi Partnership Forum which is the forum for the government and all partners in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
He has been involved in many ecumenical activities in the country and has chaired the Malawi Council of Churches. On the African scene he has also been a member of the central committee of the Pan-African Civic Educators’ Network.
And, the bishop has been involved in many mediation talks among political parties in the country and during the 2004 elections he chaired the church leaders committee that facilitated the multi-party talks that led to the Mgwirizano Coalition.
Within the worldwide Anglican Communion Bishop Tengatenga is a member of the Anglican Consultative Council and of the Joint Standing Committee of the ACC and the Primates Meeting of the Anglican Communion.
He represents the ACC on the Board of St. George’s College, Jerusalem and is a member of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations.
Bishop Tengatenga is a member of the International Board of SOMA (Sharing of Ministries Abroad).
Biography from: The Anglican Diocese of Southern Malawi