In his report to the members of the Executive Committee of the East-Central Africa Division (ECD) of Seventh-day Adventists, Executive Secretary Alain Coralie stated that the territory now has more than four million members. His report included the fact that at the beginning of third quarter 2015, membership was 3,116,320. ECD membership now stands at 4,097,347. This means it has increased its membership by nearly a million (981,027) in the last three years. The growth rate is 31.5%, an average increase of over 10% every year.
ECD members and leaders have wholeheartedly embraced a “Mission Priority” theme. This has resulted in the great success of Total Member Involvement (TMI) initiatives. TMI is designed for every member to be involved in the work of winning souls as a lifestyle.
While this number of members is an unprecedented accomplishment in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Coralie counterbalanced the good news with the fact that the church also lost nearly 150,000 members over the same three year period. Simply put, for every 100 members who joined the church, about 15 decided to leave. ECD president Blascious Ruguri responded to this report by saying that Church growth is something to rejoice in, but the loss of members is heart breaking.
Coralie urged church leaders and members to let the love of Christ propel them to spare no effort in reclaiming former members. He also challenged delegates to share strategies for nurturing and retaining new persons who join God’s remnant church. “Nature and discipleship should not be an afterthought,” he appealed.
Coralie concluded his report by introducing Adventist Church Management System (ACMS). He hailed it as a sound membership management that will enable unions to report membership with the highest level of accuracy and reliability. “By faith, we will push forward with a renewed commitment to our vision.”