Highlights of the AEA Plaza Grand Opening

The Association of Evangelical in Africa (AEA) celebrated the grand opening of the new AEA Plaza on the 11th of April 2019, with a ribbon cutting ceremony held in Nairobi, Kenya.

Over 300 invited guests drawn from global and regional Christian organizations, Heads of Churches and senior clergy in Kenya, ambassadors and senior representatives of the diplomatic corps, building professionals and business leaders attended the grand opening.

One of the highlights of the opening ceremony was a presentation from the Children’s Ministry of CITAM Woodley that exhibited AEA’s mission of a transformative Africa, addressing needs of both the young and old. 

The presentation was steeped in symbolism of AEA taking pride in its 52 year history, but also projecting its vision for the future embedded in Vision 2066 – The Africa that God wants.

“Today is a very auspicious and special day in the life and history of AEA,” said Dr. Goodwill Shana, President of the AEA. “A few years ago this day to many would have been a hope and a dream, today it is a reality.

“While this is a great moment in history, this moment is the culmination and offspring of the movement and momentum of many previous contributions over the 52 years of AEA’s existence.”


In his keynote address, Dr. Shana also underlined that the new AEA Plaza building is “a testimony and symbol of how the evangelical church is not just a pulpit church, but a progressive institutional and infrastructural church.

The Board Chair of AEA, Rev. Dr. Mario Li Hing (Mauritius), in his remarks during the celebration said that his prayer for AEA is “to continue being faithful to its vision and be more visible, to serve more efficiently the Church and the nations in Africa by enhancing the involvement of our National Evangelical Alliances, our Commissions and Projects,thus contribute to making Africa the ‘Africa God wants’ and participate significantly to the growth and testimony of the Global Church.”

The AEA General Secretary, Rev. Aiah Foday Khabenje, expressed profound appreciation to the Government and people of Kenya for the kind hospitality for hosting AEA Headquarters, since its inception in 1966. Looking back, General Secretary noted that AEA has flourished as a movement and grown roots in Kenya to have three AEA projects established in the country as they serve the rest of Africa and beyond namely: the Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology, now a fully-fledged and chartered university—Africa International University, the Christian Learning Material Centre and the Association for Christian Theological Education in Africa.
 
The key stakeholders for the AEA remain the National Evangelical Fellowships in 40 countries representing Churches and individual evangelical Christians across the continent. The National Alliances have supported the vision and joined in the celebration through both social media live feeds and physical presence at the celebration, with the Alliances in Kenya, Cameroun, Rwanda, Liberia and Angola, represented by their national General Secretaries or Presidents.

The Evangelical Alliance of Kenya led by the President Bishop Mark Kariuki and General Secretary, Rev. Connie Kivuti were instrumental as official co-hosts with AEA in the planning and funding of the Grand opening ceremony and side meetings held by the Senior Leadership Team of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) together with several regional Alliance and WEA network leaders on the margins of Opening Celebration of the AEA Plaza.
“Africa your time has come.” That was the prophetic proclamation made by Bishop Efraim Tendero, Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) at the grand opening. He made this remark looking at Africa’s past hurts of colonization and forcible exploitation of its mineral and human resources.
 
Bishop Tendero also noted the confidence to pursue such a project was an act of faith, “the daunting task of putting up this great edifice is a manifestation of your faith, manifestation of your stewardship- in being faithful to the resources given to the ministry, action- of operationalizing their faith and finally manifestation of partnership of the past and the future leaders who have contributed to the building.

He added, “Symbolically, Evangelicals in Africa are standing tall around the world, because throughout the World Evangelical Alliance, AEA is the only regional alliance with a headquarters such as this and this is the manifestation of goodness and guidance of God.”

A Prayer by AEA President, Bishop Dr. Goodwill Shana
May the Lord establish the work of our hands, yes the work of our own hands establish them.” Psalm 90: 17.
 
May the Lord build His Church in Africa. 
May the true gospel stand as an edifice against the onslaught of false doctrine and deviant theology.
 
May the church stand tall in unity and love 
Let God arise and his enemies be scattered 
Let AEA arise and its alliances be strengthened 
Let Africa arise and its people be saved. 
 
Blessing and glory and honour to the Most High God.