First Orthodox church in northern Congo opened

On Sunday, February 5 His Grace Bp. Panteleimon of Congo-Brazzaville and Gabon celebrated the consecration of the newly-built Church of St. John the Baptist-St. Nicholas in Impfondo, a town in the north eastern Republic of the Congo with a population of around 20,000. The church is the first in northern Congo, reports Romfea.

The parish was founded by His Grace on November 21, 2013 to serve the general liturgical and spiritual life of Orthodox faithful in Impfondo, including the Bantu tribe and Pygmy race, and as a springboard for the further development of Orthodoxy in the region.

The consecration was immediately followed by the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, during which Deacon Timothy Ndzebe was ordained to the priesthood. Bp. Panteleimon addressed the new rector with paternal advice and exhortations, highlighting the importance and tremendous responsibility of serving at the sacred altar, and of serving all the people in a spirit of humility, love, and understanding. He also conveyed the affection of His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria, by whose blessing the consecration and ordination were celebrated.

Bp. Panteleimon also expressed gratitude on behalf of the local parish to the Thessaloniki Missionary Association of St. Kosmas of Aitolos which funded the erection of the parish.

There are currently eight parishes in the Diocese of Congo-Brazzaville and Gabon, counting the new parish of St. John the Baptist-St. Nicholas.