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UEM Infrastructure Now More in the South

Volker Martin Dally, General Secretary of the UEM. Photo by: Lara Diederich Fotodesign

"What we have successfully overcome is the dominance of the German UEM members":

The outgoing General Secretary of the United Evangelical Mission (UEM), Pastor Volker Martin Dally, takes stock of his eight-year term of office before retiring. In an English-language YouTube video, the EKKW* pastor describes the most important developments during his time in the communion of churches in Africa, Asia and Germany.

He does not see himself in a position to evaluate the past eight years: "Actually, our members in the three regions should do that." In his view, however, the overcoming of German dominance within the communion and the strengthening of the balance between all three regions is the most important development. In the Asia region, for example, the UEM already has a newly built regional office in Pematangsiantar; in Dar es Salaam, the new Africa regional office is currently under construction.

"The commitment from the South is very strong because the UEM member churches in Africa and Asia have become more self-sufficient. And not only that. Today, the global South is helping the German member churches to fulfil their missionary mandate. The churches in the South are willing to send their missionaries to Germany to support the churches here in their endeavours to proclaim the Gospel in an increasingly secular Germany. We are not afraid of this development because we know that the importance of Christianity has always shifted across continents in the past. And the global South is strong enough to take on this role. That is why we are certain that God's mission will continue wherever we are called to do so," says the 63-year-old.

On March 1st, Volker Martin Dally will be officially retired in a church service and his successor, Dr Andar Parlindungan, will be introduced as General Secretary. The 48-year-old theologian from Indonesia's largest Protestant church, HKBP*, has been working for the UEM since 2014 as head of the department for programmes and a member of the board. He was appointed as the next General Secretary last September.


*EKKW = Evangelische Kirche von Kurhessen-Waldeck (Evangelical Church of Electoral Hesse and Waldeck)

*HKBP = Huria Kristen Batak Protestan (Christian-Protestant Church of the Batak)


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