The office of the Bishop of NWD is both pastoral and administrative according to our constitution and tradition.The Bishop heads a leadership team which includes:  Assistant to Bishop, General Secretary, Deputy General Secretary, Treasurer, Departmental Secretaries, District Pastors and others.

Bishop in the NWD:
Before 1961 the (then) Evangelical church in North Western Tanganyika was led by a Superintendent – a title started by Germany missionaries.  In March 1959 the Church General Assembly (Synod) decided to establish a tradition of episcopate called Apostolic Succession (Historical Episcopate).  It’s on record that African Christians in the church, since 1929, desired to have this system of ecclesiastical leadership.  The Church of Sweden (CoS) guided this African young Church along this new system.  Prof. Bengt Sundkler (CoS) was elected (1960) and consecrated and installed as the first Bishop on the 30th July 1961.  He was succeeded by Bishop Dr. Josiah Kibira on the 20th September 1964 (installation 18th Dec. 1964).  The third bishop of the NWD is Bishop Dr. Samson Mushemba who led the diocese between 1984 and 2000. The fourth Bishop of the NWD is Bishop Dr.Elisa Buberwa who succeeded Bishop Dr.S.Mushemba in 2000 and retired in October, 2015. The current leader of the NWD is Bishop Dr. Abednego Nkamuhabwa  Keshomshahara who was consecrated on 18th October, 2015.

Bishop's roles and responsibilities:
The diocesan Bishop has the following major roles and responsibilities:

  1. Leader and chief spoke’s person of the diocese.
  2. Chief pastor responsible for:
  • Faith and spiritual affairs (worship, prayers, etc)
  • The right interpretation of Scripture
  • Sound Christian doctrine
  • The right administration of sacraments
  • Pastoral care to pastors, deacons, evangelists and all Christians in the diocese.
  • Ordination of pastors, installation of deacons and deaconesses and dedication of churches.
  • Placement and transferring of pastors in consultation with Diocesan Executive Council.

Bishop’s Message:
As part of the Universal Church, the ELCT/NWD is sent into the world, but she is not of the world.  She has been entrusted with the salvific Gospel of Jesus Christ to preach and teach all people (Jn. 17: 14-17 and Mt. 28: 19 – 20).  The diocese is also sent to engage in diaconal work, development projects and provision of social services.  We advocate for human rights and get engaged in environment protection issues.  We do so in co-operation with a number of partners nationally and internationally.  Tanzania Government is one of our reliable partners.

Problems and challenges are encountered during our struggles to build a better society, but we face them together as a united front – Christians, the people (“umma”), leaders and partners. We are currently implementing a five years (2014 2018) Strategic Plan. The document is available for perusal by our partners and other stake-holders. Three years ago we established a university college – Josiah Kibira University College (JoKUCo) of Tumaini University Makumira (TUMA). The first batch of 374 students graduated in November, 2015, also please read about it and join us in the development of the young institution. Together we can make a difference. The Lord God is on our side.



The North Western Diocese is duty bound to participate in God’s mission. God’s mission is understood as how God works with different people, at different times and places, in different contexts. God’s mission is done holistically, inside and outside the church walls in the NWD.

The North Western Diocese is constituted by nine church districts namely;

§  Bukoba

§  Kati

§  Magharibi

§  Mashariki

§  Kaskazini A                                                                       

§  Kaskazini B

§  Kusini A

§  Kusini B and

§  Kusini C

§  Kigoma young mission area: In collaboration with the North Eastern diocese, the NWD is a care taker of Kigoma mission area.

 The diocese operates through nine administrative departments

·         Mission and Evangelism Department

·         Women and Childrens’ Department

·         Education and Youth Department

·         Building Department

·         Literature and Communication Department

·         Planning and Development Department

·         Finance Department

·         Health and Diaconia Department

·         Stewardship Department

 The Departments are supported by various desks in the coordination of activities. These include;

§  Human Rights Desk

§  Land Desk

§  Internal Audit Division

§  ELCT Investment House

§  Interfaith Desk and

§  SACCOS support Unit

§  Tourist Desk (On preparations)

The diocese reaches society through one University College, two secondary schools, two primary schools, three vocational training Centre, two hospitals, twelve dispensaries, one hotel, one Garage, one Women’s Centre, one training Institute of Agriculture, one teachers’ College, one Bible School, one Nurse and Midwife School, one Orphanage and one Centre for Street Children. Others include one home for people with Intellectual challenges, one diaconic school and one workshop for Medical Equipment.

Our vision is to holistically use God’s mission so as to transform our society. Such spiritual and socio-economic services are to be attained through evangelism, education, economic empowerment, cooperation, health and diaconia.

The General Secretary is a chief executive officer, in-charge of day to day administrative activities and a person responsible to establish and strengthen relations with other partners. He/She coordinates, organizes, directs and monitors various activities for the sake of sustainability and competitiveness in a normative context.

The governing organs of the NWD, as per constitution include

§  The General Assembly (Synod): Top decision-making board

Reformed every four years, but meets every two years

Chaired by the Bishop

§  The Executive Council

Implements decisions from the General Assembly

Is the board of Trustees for the NWD

§  The Standing Committee

Makes decision on emergency issues

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