Leaders of the Pentecostal movement in Uganda have denounced Pastor Aloysius Bugingo of House of Prayer Ministries International over his public utterances regarding his marriage. Bugingo, the lead pastor at the church, last week told his congregation that he tolerated his wife for 10 years even when she suffered from fistula.
He is seeking to end his 29- year marriage with his wife, Teddy, who has accused him of forcing her to divorce him so that he can formalize his relationship with another woman.
The National Fellowship of Born-again Pentecostal Churches (NFBPC) and the Evangelical Fellowship of Uganda (EFU), in a statement yesterday said Bugingo’s utterances were contrary to Christian doctrine.
“Having done our part as believers, brothers, ministers, elders and leaders in the body of Christ to love, admonish and correct our brother in vain, we hereby denounce and disassociate ourselves from Pastor Aloysius Bugingo’s practices, outbursts, behaviour and doctrine,” reads the statement signed by Bishop Joshua Lwere, the general overseer of the NFBPC; Bishop Daniel Waddimba (public relations officer) and the Rev Dr Simon Emiau (EFU chairperson).
The leaders said they would no longer recognize Bugingo’s ministry until they see ‘genuine repentance and acceptable change’ in their colleagues. The church leaders disclosed that although Bugingo was not their member, they were concerned that his strained relationship with his wife had become a matter of great concern to the Church.
According to the statement, the church leaders constituted a team of elders to speak to Bugingo to stop using his pulpit to settle his family and marital matters.
“We told him that it was unethical and unbiblical to discuss his wife in public and advised him to separate family from church matters,” the document states.
Bugingo reportedly assured the pastors that he would stop the outbursts and it was agreed that the elders would observe him for three months. However, the prelates said they were ‘utterly dismayed and disappointed’ that Bugingo continues to abuse, degrade and embarrass his family and wife, contrary to ministerial ethics.
The pastors also voiced concern about 42-year-old Bugingo’s plan to divorce his wife and publicly encouraging other people to do so.
“We want to emphatically state that we strongly condemn what Bugingo is proposing and doing. As church leaders, we preach and teach marital faithfulness, forgiveness, and reconciliation and we do not condone marital unfaithfulness, immorality, and divorce,’’ the statement reads.
Separately, Pastor Michael Kyazze, the lead pastor of Omega Healing Centre advised Bugingo to simply take a break.
“He runs one of the biggest congregations in Uganda and preaches at least three times a day. He also runs a media company. His schedule is not friendly to him; he needs a break. The pressure of running a ministry and a media house is weighing heavily on him.” Kyazze said.
He said Bugingo was at risk of destroying his home, his friends and himself because of his outbursts. He described his fellow pastor as a loner who does not take advice.