By Amin Kef Sesay
Sierra Leoneans in and out of the country are mourning the gruesome death of one of the country’s most illustrious religious personalities, Dr. John K. Yambasu, who dedicated the greater part of his life in ministering the word of God to humanity.
The late Bishop was reported dead on Sunday morning, 16th August 2020, in a gruesome road accident outside the capital city of Freetown, to be precise closer to Orogu Bridge, Jui.
Dr. John K. Yambasu, who up to his death, was the United Methodist Church Resident Bishop in Sierra Leone. He was also the President of the Council of Churches in Sierra Leone (CCSL) which immediately after he was pronounced dead disseminated the message far and wide and expressed heartfelt condolences to his wife, Mrs. Millicent Yambasu, the children, the rest of the family and the Clergy, officers and members of the United Methodist Church in Sierra Leone. They also prayed that the Lord grant them consolation and peace further stating that may the soul of Bishop Yambasu rest in perfect peace with his Lord and Savior that he served so well.
Bishop Yambasu was said to be on his way to Mile 91 to attend the funeral service of one of his pastors – the Late Reverend Edward Kamara who was to be buried on that same day.
It is not clear whether anyone else was involved in the gruesome road accident or what may have caused the vehicle to leave the road and crashed on the side of a hill.
“He was on his way to attend a funeral service for Rev. Edward Kamara in Yonibana in the north of the country,” according to Phileas Jusu, the Director of Communications for the Sierra Leone Annual Conference.
“Our hearts are broken, and we’re devastated by this sudden departure of Bishop Yambasu. This is a great blow to the people called United Methodists! It is our hope and prayers that God will comfort the family in particular and The United Methodist family at large! May his soul rest in perfect peace,” said Bishop Samuel Quire of the Liberia Episcopal Area.
Bishop Yambasu was instrumental in bringing together a diverse group of representatives from United Methodist advocacy groups with contrasting views and bishops from around the world to collaborate on a proposed agreement for the separation of The United Methodist Church.
The agreement, the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation, was achieved on December 17, 2019, and announced early this year and will be considered at the next General Conference of the church set for 2021.
Bishop Yambasu was also President of the Africa College of Bishops of The United Methodist Church.
Born in Southern Sierra Leone, Bishop Yambasu studied at United Methodist mission schools. He was ordained a deacon in 1987 and an elder in 1990. He served churches in Moyamba and Freetown until he began to focus on Christian Education and Youth Ministry.
A graduate of Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Bishop Yambasu taught in many schools, including the denomination’s Harford School for Girls in Moyamba. He also was the Sierra Leone Conference’s Director for Christian Education and Youth Ministries and founded the Child Rescue Centre in Sierra Leone, serving as its Executive Director until he became a Regional Missionary in 2000.
He was elected a Bishop of The United Methodist Church in 2008 and installed in 2009.
Bishop Yambasu is survived by his wife, Millicent, and their five children – Rebecca, Adima, John, Emmanuel and Elizabeth.
Details of funeral arrangements will be announced later.