Introducing Bishop John Pessima

Jeff Bleijerveld (left) praying for newly-elected Sierra Leone Bishop John Pessima (right) following his confirmation at Sierra Leone National Conference in December. Billy Simbo, now bishop emeritus, is in the middle.

On Sunday, January 16, John Momoh Pessima was consecrated as the new bishop of Sierra Leone Conference. The service was held at the AU Memorial church in Kissy, a neighborhood on the east end of Freetown. Rev. Pessima had been pastor of this church. Rev. Henry Allie, the first national superintendent of Sierra Leone Conference, also pastored this church when he was elected to that post in the 1980s.

The Council of Ordained Elders, which consists of all United Brethren ordained ministers in Sierra Leone Conference, recommended Rev. Pessima to become the new bishop. Their recommendation was referred to the National Conference meeting in December, where it was unanimously approved.

Bishop Pessima succeeds Billy Simbo, who now carries the title “bishop emeritus.” Rev. Simbo served three years in Sierra Leone under the umbrella of Global Ministries, during which time the conference began using the term “bishop” for its highest leader (the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Jamaica also use that title). Rev. Simbo has now returned to the United States.

Rev. Pessima is a graduate of The Evangelical College of Theology in Sierra Leone, where Rev. Simbo was once his professor. He just recently received his graduate degree in Religious Studies from the University of Sierra Leone.

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