OAIC Lifting Up membership’s Voices in Proclaiming the Gospel
The Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC) is a representative body that brings together African Independent and Instituted Churches (AICs), offers a platform for restoring hope and enables churches to minister effectively to the needs of their members and communities.
“As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to respond with conviction to the challenges, such as entrenched poverty, ill health and the breakdown of African cultural and social systems, that require groups to organize themselves in order to confront these obstacles,” OAIC stated in a brief keynote.
Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. “After majority of African states got political independence, our AICs members have continued to burgeon, most of them describing themselves as Pentecostal.
According to OAIC, there are more than 60 million of AIC members spread over tens of thousands of different denominations across Sub-Saharan Africa and the African Diaspora. The organization was formed more than three decades years ago.
“Our visions are rooted neck-deep in an African philosophy of life in which care, reciprocity, acceptance, openness and equality are core values,” OAIC reiterated.
Formed in 1978, where a number of AIC leaders from across the continent were invited by Pope Shenouda III of the Coptic Church for a meeting in Cairo. The Pope encouraged AIC leadership to fellowship and share their concerns of the church.
Further, it was where the Pope encouraged leaders to provide better theological and biblical education for its members, including the promotion of Sunday Schools.
The first AICs emerged during the colonial period as grassroots Christian movements. “Its leaders and prophets spread the gospel of Jesus Christ over wide areas of Africa, confronting spiritual, social and political evil in the community, and founding churches along the way.
Unfortunately, the majority of these leaders had little formal education and, more often than not, came from the statuses of the poorest and most ostracized and vulnerable in society.
Thus, the supreme governing organ of OAIC is said to be the General Assembly, which according to OAIC meets every five years. The General Assembly elects an Executive Committee with representation from the seven OAIC regions. The executive leadership of the organization is provided by the General Secretary.
The representative body has consistently worked with other Christian churches and organizations which includes the evangelical and ecumenical bodies. Through these various OAIC’s partnerships, the organisation seeks to share its member’s insights coupled by values and sharing knowledge from other Christian traditions.
However, OAIC’s connections are not limited to the African continent alone, but also include partnerships with several European and North American agencies. It is an active participant of the World Council of Churches, the Global Christian Forum and the World Conference of Religions for Peace (WCRP).