Anglican Church of Tanzania mourns the passing of Bishop Mhogolo

By ACNS staff
Posted Mar 28, 2014
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Photo: Richard Schori

[Anglican Communion News Service] The Anglican Church of Tanzania is mourning the loss of Bishop Godfrey Mdimi Mhogolo of the Diocese of Central Tanganyika. Mhogolo served his diocese since his consecration in 1989 with distinction and dedication. He died following a severe infection in his lungs in hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Mhogolo was an able theologian with a remarkable intellect. He studied theology at St. Philip’s Kongwa and in Australia, but he will be best remembered for his energy and drive. He gave purpose and direction to his diocese and inspired those around him to do great things. The Diocese of Central Tanganyika was very large and his predecessor – the late Bishop Yohana Madinda – had begun the task of enabling the emergence of new dioceses. Mhogolo took this further as a sign of success as the number of churches and Anglican Christians grew in the Dodoma region.

Theological education was a priority for Mhogolo, who considered the formation of new leaders as something vital for the church. The development of the Diocese of Central Tanganyika depended on good leadership and during his time the Bible School at Msalato developed into a Theological College of substance and significance in Tanzania with a reputation for excellence throughout the Anglican Communion. He also relied on great leadership to run the health facilitates and schools in his diocese and supported all who worked in serving the Lord. He was active in enabling local congregations in the rapidly developing city of Dodoma and throughout the rural areas of the diocese.

With his Wife Irene, the bishop championed the full equality of women, encouraging their empowerment through the Women’s Union. He was the first Tanzanian bishop to ordain women and championed their development in the church. He was a fiery opponent of Female Genital Mutilation and encouraged programs aimed at ending the practice.

During the 1990s, Mhogolo was recruited by Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey to participate in the design Group for the 1998 Lambeth Conference. He was already known in many places and he had a deep knowledge of the Anglican Communion. He developed many friendships and partnerships with Anglican churches across the world.

(The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Tanzania have historic ties through companion diocese relationships, missionary work, and relief and development projects. In particular, a partnership between the dioceses of New York and Central Tanganyika, known as the Carpenter’s Kids Program, links parishes in a mutual relationship of prayer, communication, and support on behalf of the more than 2.5 million AIDS orphans in Tanzania. The Diocese of Atlanta also shares a companion relationship with the Diocese of Central Tanganyika.)

The bishop’s significance in Tanzania was marked by the president visiting him in hospital. He was a voice of peace and toleration in the great tradition of Tanzanian leaders.

Archbishop Jacob Chimeledya said: “Bishop Mhogolo was a key figure in the history of the ACT. He lived what he believed and was always honest, ready to speak the truth and challenge us all. He was also a man with a sense of joy who could lift us all with his sense of humor. We will miss him deeply.’

Canon Dickson Chilongani, the provincial secretary for the ACT, said, “We ask all in the Anglican Communion to remember his wife Irene and his children Nyemo, Lisa and Wendo and their families in your prayers as well as all his friends in Tanzania.’

The date of the funeral will be arranged over the coming days.


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Comments (16)

  1. Bishop Mhogolo will be sorely missed. I feel so privileged to have known him and his wife Irene. Shared happy meals at Nala and worked with him on projects in DCT. Jessie

  2. Talmage G. Bandy says:

    It is with deep sorrow that we have learned of +Mdimi’s death. It was a great privilege to know him. May God’s steadfast love comfort Irene and the children.

  3. The Rev. Gwin Hanahan+ says:

    Bishop Mdimi planted churches, schools, clinics, and people; and, at the last, he planted trees, all to the glory of God.
    from An African Prayer Book, Selections by Desmond Tutu:
    “Father, thank you for your revelation about death and illness and sorrow.
    Thank you for speaking so plainly to us; for calling us all friends and hovering over us; for extending your arms out to us.
    Your extended arms fill us with joy, expressing love…
    We fear nothing when with you, safe to stretch out and help others….
    Father, help us to do with our bodies what we proclaim, that our faith be known to you and to others, and be effective in all the world.
    Masai, Tanzania”

  4. The Rev. Can. Naftali Kilaha says:

    Bishop Mhogolo was the strong leader, unshakable stand, emphasis on education for the church Ministers as well as for women. yes, indeed, he was the remarkable leader and we will greatly miss him.

  5. Rev. Gwin Hanahan comments ! excellent, what you express is what people feel now at Dodoma who will carry this Bag for another journey like this of Mdimi Mhogolo thank you

  6. The Rev. Gwin Hanahan+ says:

    Asante sana, Christopher Chibaite. God’s Peace.

  7. Rev. George Otieno says:

    The reading from different people who have known our beloved Bishop Mhogolo are the living testimonies that he truly lived what he believed and made himself a voice to the voiceless, father to the fatherless and comforter to the comfortless. We Anglicans in Dodoma call on your collective prayers for him to have eternal and peaceful rest and for his family and the DCT as whole to imagine new hope and joys in Christ Jesus as they continue serving God without Mdimi. Amen

  8. It is a loss but we’ll meet him one day. Let us pray for the family and ourselves. Bishop Mohogolo has done his part, let us play our part now and forever and ever Amen
    RIP Plsm 39.

  9. Rev. Charles Mwihambi of DCT - Dodoma says:

    Bishop Mdimi will always be remembered for his Christian spirit of forgiveness, we will miss him indeed. May the Lord grant us with such an honest and vibrant leader.

  10. Vicki Demmer & Marion Collom says:

    Our love and prayers to Irene and family. Praying for you all at this time for comfort and strength. We will always remember Bishop Mdimi’s sense of humour, his honesty and love and well being of all people and his encouragement for each of us to listen to each other. Remembering you all and our dear brothers and sisters in the DCT particularly on Saturday.

  11. The Rvd. Jonas Mdumulla, York, UK says:

    Having known Godfrey Mdimi Mhogolo for many years as a friend and a colleague, it is with great sadness that we mark his passing with a great sense of thanksgiving to God and pray that he will now be rewarded with the greatest prize of all -the crown of the heavenly glory. Prayers to Irene and the family, and all in DCT, especially today [Saturday] as he is being laid to rest.

  12. Baraka Semwenda says:

    Rest in peace our Father.

  13. Ernest Kulumula says:

    Baba Askofu Mhogolo alikuwa kiongozi thabiti. Hakika ameacha ramani nzuri isiyofutika katika Dayosisi yake. Utukufu kwa MUNGU. Apumzike kwa amani.

  14. Bishop Mdimi Mhogolo was one of my favorite people. I knew him a little bit because of the amazing Carpenter’s Kids program. May he rest in peace, and may his wonderful work continue.

  15. We had the joy and pleasure of meeting Bishop Mdimi when on a visit to Tanzania in 1995, we were visiting Hombolo Leprosy Centre where I had worked in 1965/66 and met him at the cathedral service. His sense of humour and fun together with his dedication to his work where clear to all – his obvious Christian love shone out from him – we were shocked to hear of his recent death and sad for Tanzania that they had lost such a wonderful man and leader. Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family and all those who he has left behind.

    He was “A Gentleman of Africa”.

    Terry Reeves

  16. Rev.Kennedy Ofundi says:

    I have received with shock of the sad news of the Bishop of Central Tanganyika Mdimi Mhogolo.Ifirst met Bishop Mdimi in the year 2011 in Dar during the bishops in dialogue consultative conference.He was a man with a clear mind and open Heart.By the I had accompanied the bishop of Mombasa to that conference as the communication officer.May Hi soul rest in eternal peace!We will miss him-Rev Kennedy ofundi

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