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Pastor Of Police Boss 

By Leocadia Bongben

A pastor of the Yaounde Philadelphia Ekounou Parish of the Presbyterian Orthodox Church, EPCO, where Emmanuel Edou, Delegate General for National Security, worships, has been grilled by the police over a conflict in the church.

(L to R) Pastors Bitongo & Nga

Investigators at the Nkoldongo Police Station grilled Pastor Dominique Epo Andjongo for several hours on May 4, following a complaint by rebellious Philadelphia Ekounou Parish elders, who had earlier been suspended by the church. One of these elders is Emmanuel Edou. Police grilled Pastor Epo following instructions from the DO of Yaounde IV, to whom the elders lodged their complaint.

As reported in The Post No 01142, the conflict was triggered by the refusal by the leadership of the Yaounde EPCO SARDES Presbytery to allow the Philadelphia Ekounou Parish to construct a secretariat near their present church building. The Presbytery said the land belonged to them and not the Parish. The pastor of the Parish and some elders rebelled in anger, and refused to take instructions from the leadership of the church. In reaction, the church leadership suspended the pastor and the elders.

New yaounde philadelphia parish church

Police told Pastor Dominique Epo Andjongo, who is also Secretary General of the Yaounde SARDES Presbytery, that he was being interrogated on suspicion of obstruction of service which is punishable by law. The complaining elders had accused Pastor Epo of orchestrating the suspension of their pastor, Rev Ngah, who supported the construction of the secretariat on the disputed land. The pastor was also accused of being an opposition politician who was trying to use the church platform to recruit members into his party, The Post was told.

After the interrogation, The Post learnt, the DO of Yaounde IV advised the quarrelling church members to sit around a table and iron out their differences. But they have apparently not heeded that advice. Many elders of the church have already resigned and joined other presbyteries of the EPCO. Even Pastor Jean Benoit Bitongo, who as Presbytery Executive Secretary signed the communiqué suspending the pastor of the Ekounou Parish and some elders, surprisingly resigned on May 4.

He told The Post that he was scared because he was being presented as the person who suspended the Delegate General for National Security as an elder of the Ekounou Presbytery.
One of the suspended elders, Theophile Mbo, accused the leadership of the Yaounde EPCO SARDES Presbytery of no longer using the Bible and the church’s regulations as the bases for its decisions.

François Mbassi, a loyalist elder, disagrees. He accused the dissident elders of resisting change. He said the elders of Yaounde Philadelphia Parish want to continue dominating the church as they have done in the past. A loyalist pastor, Rev Jean Amogou, reproached the rebellious elders for taking the matter to the administration of Yaounde IV. He, however, called on the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation to investigate the issue and restore order in the church.

Moderator’s Communiqué Declared Null And Void

Meanwhile, during the service on Sunday, May 9, attended by Elder Emmanuel Edou amongst others, Elder Mbo Theophilme read a communiqué issued on May 5 signed by the Moderator of EPCO General Assembly, Pasteur Martin Paul Andong Salla. The communiqué whose subject was “Affair Yaoundé Sardes Presbytery against Yaoundé Philadelphia Parish” indicated the temple of Yaoundé Philadelphia other parishes under the Yaounde Sardes presbytery should stop all activities while awaiting the decision of the General Assembly to hold on June 1, 2010.

Elder Theophile Mbo indicated that the communiqué was null and void because the parish is no longer under the Yaounde Sardes Presbytery. Service was therefore celebrated in a special way with the induction of two pastors, Jean Benoit Bitongo and Dominique Ngah .

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