With great pomp and colour the Association of Evangelicals in Mali (AGEMPEM) celebrated their 50th anniversary on the 28th of September, 2013. The opening ceremony was chaired by the Minister of Territorial Administration, Religious Affairs and Worship, Tierno Amadou Oumar Diallo Hass.Co-Chairs were Dr. Youssouf Dembele, General Secretary of AGEMPEM and Daniel Koïta Thera.
In attendance were thousands of delegates drawn from various countries in Africa. AEA General Secretary Rev. Aiah Foday-Khabanje was also in attendance. He said he was honoured to be given the opportunity to attend such a prestigious gathering and to preach during the Jubilee celebrations.
The Jubilee was marked by thanksgiving and several activities.From the outset, Professor Daniel Coulibaly presented the history of AGEMPEM.
The mission of the church, he defined, was primarily a show of God's love, but 1970 was the kick-off of a new mission: to demonstrate the unity of the body of the Lord, to promote unity in the Nation, to represent the church and pray for the growth ofchurches.
Examples of this were the prayers held with the Catholic Church for peace in Mali and the hosting of many displaced families after the fighting in the north.
He went on to say, “We are challenged. We must promote unity in the Church.We have a duty to pray with other denominations for peace in Mali".
President of AGEMPEM, Rev. Dr. Youssouf Dembele, said that this anniversary gave AGEMPEM the opportunity to give thanks to God and to honour the fore fathers of the organization; Rev. S. Dembele and Rev. Lamine Keita Kader Coulibaly who cleared the way for God’s mission in Mali.
Rev. Dembele held that the country needed forgiveness, reconciliation and peace.He looked back with much regret on how the 53-year history of offenses had scarred justice in Mali and caused injury.The consequence of which, he noted, was the deterioration of relations in the society.In conclusion he said: "Forgiveness is essential and the church wants to be an instrument to promote forgiveness, reconciliation and peace.Aware of the fact that God is the giver of peace, the Church prays that God will grant peace to Mali."