Anglican Bishop dies after leading funeral prayer in church

What you need to know:

  • He was scheduled to finish his sermon when he urged the faithful to live according to Christian values.

Dar es Salaam. Bishop George Chiteto (Rt) of the Diocese of Mpwapwa died on Saturday at the age of 59 shortly after he had led the funeral service of Hilda Lugendo who passed away last week in Dar es Salaam.

He became the third Bishop of the Diocese of Mpwapwa on August 28 this year.

He was scheduled to finish his sermon when he urged the faithful to live according to Christian values.

Speaking to The Citizen, The Rt Revd Maimbo Mndolwa, the Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church of Tanzania said: “We have been informed by doctors that Bishop Chiteto died of cardiac arrest. He was suffering from high blood pressure.”

He added: “Funeral arrangements are underway, and since the place for his burial will be held in his Diocese, then the faithful in Tanga will have the opportunity to pay their last respect on Monday and thereafter, a journey to Mpwapwa will commence.”

According to the Primate, the sermon preached by the late Bishop Chiteto who had served in his capacity just for only five days for Mama Lugendo’s funeral, moved those who had gathered and that’s why his death has shocked majority Christians, adding that: “His last words were – the place is ready prepared, let’s go; and I think God has called him.”

For his part, Mr Maiko Luoga, spokesperson to the Anglican Church of Tanzania said: “After the late bishop had finished with his sermon, he sat on his respective chair, and he seemed tired and collapsed after which he was rushed to the hospital and later pronounced dead.”

Adding that: “In fact, The Rt. Rev. Sospeter Ndenza, Bishop of Kibondo Diocese, was the one scheduled to preach, unfortunately he was late, thus the wisdom our bishops assigned Bishop Chiteto to preach due to his newly entrance to the bishop ministry, the newly enthroned as a bishop, was to preach.”

According to the church’s spokesperson, Bishop Chitego’s sermon was encouraging Christian to start afresh in serving God and that they should trust and believe in God and that many have learnt from the demise of Ms Lugendo.

Mr Luoga quoted Bishop Chitego as saying: “Her death has taught us a lesson, she died peacefully and that I would love when my time comes, then it should be similar to Ms Lugendo’s death, it was a very soft one and with no pain.”

Mr Luoga further said: “So when the faithful were meditating on the sermon, as Mama Lugendo died in her sleep, Bishop Chitego had already sat, and while in his chair, he collapsed, and rushed to the hospital whereby he was pronounced dead.”