New and Vital Congregations: Campbell UMC African ministry

December 08, 2022 | by Odette Lockwood-Stewart

New and Vital Congregations:  Campbell UMC African ministry

Campbell UMC youth on first Sierra Service Project trip.

 Editor's note: The California-Nevada Committee on New and Vital Congregations (CNVC) supports and resources the efforts of the annual conference for creating new faith communities and encouraging vitality in existing congregations and communities of faith and to provide the required linkages to the General Board of Discipleship. This is the first in a series of articles that will explore innovative ministry happening across the conference. Click here to learn more about the work of the committee.

West African immigrants – from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana and other countries, have found a spiritual home at Campbell United Methodist Church. And now, thanks to the support of the California-Nevada Conference’s New and Vital Congregations Program, Pastor Daniel Gbundema is appointed full time to grow this ministry.

Since 2004, Campbell United Methodist Church has been the birthplace, ministry partner, and home of the African Fellowship. Pastor Gbundema was ordained in the Sierra Leone Conference and came to the United States in 2000. He has given part time leadership to this ministry for several years. After participating in California-Nevada’s Church Planting Academy, he is appointed as the full-time pastoral lead of the African Ministry. Colleagues, coaches, the Cabinet, and the El Camino Real District provide networks and support for scaling up mission and ministry.

Fully part of the Campbell church staff and congregation, Pastor Gbundema and the African Ministry see their future as embodying the global good news of Jesus Christ. One to one evangelism reaches first, second and third generation immigrants. Leadership development programs transform lives and bring spiritual and cultural gifts to their community service, mens’ and women’s organizations, as well as class meetings, youth teams, music, children’s ministries, and retreats.

Pastor Gbundema says, “The ministry is expanding and developing spiritually, evangelically, socially, and numerically. I promise to devote time, energy, spiritual and pastoral knowledge for a sustainable future for God’s children and especially for the West Africans who seek spiritual ground as they emigrate to this part of the United States.”

This month, three new members will join the church, and grandparents will be honored in worship and fellowship. Two members are currently engaged in the conference Lay Speakers’ Program. New member classes will begin in February of the new year.

Let the attached images: a youth team first Sierra Service Project trip; the African Ministry's Women Circle, which supports mission locally and globally; the Men’s Organization Retreat and Thanksgiving Service; and Pastor Daniel Gbundema addressing the California-Nevada Annual Conference be calls to prayer for Campbell UMC’s African Ministry.

Campbell Senior Pastor Ouk-Yean Kim Jeung said, “With those who embrace changes in the life of Campbell UMC, as senior pastor I am very excited about the future that God is creating in our midst. We have seen changes and growth. and our challenge is how we welcome and learn from each other. This takes time. African members welcome me as their pastor. In February 2020, three church members, pastor Daniel, and I made a trip to Africa, Sierra Leone. Now Campbell UMC has a dream of building a church in Sierra Leone.”

African Ministry is poised to flourish as one of eight currently funded church planting and innovation ministries granted by the California Nevada Annual Conference’s Committee on New & Vital Congregations. The El Camino Real District Union also contribute funding for the first year from legacy assets from the sale of church properties. Watch the Instant Connection for stories of the other new ministries. For more information or to connect with this conference program, contact the Rev. Matt Smith, For more information or to connect with the African Ministry at Campbell United Methodist Church, contact the Rev. Daniel Gbundema,

Odette Lockwood-Stewart is a Retired Elder serving at Park Presidio UMC in San Francisco, CA, and is pastoral consultant for church planting and ministry innovation.