December 22, 2005 Dar es Salaam, Tanzania …. [Mark A. Kellner/ANN Staff]

Four leaders in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in East Tanzania, along with the son of one leader, were killed in a head-on vehicle collision Dec. 21. The men died while en route to the funeral of Dr. Witson Mwamakamba, former publishing director of the church in East Africa, according to Pastor Steven Bina, regional church communication director.

Killed were Pastor Geoffrey Simon, local church president; Pastor Loitopuak Lebabu, secretary; Mzuma Wikahi, treasurer; and Pastor Joshua Kulwa, a theology lecturer at the Adventist University in Arusha, and his son William Kulwa, who was driving. Their vehicle was apparently struck head-on by a truck at 9:30 a.m. local time on a road approximately 40 kilometers west of Dar es Salaam, the national capital.

Pastor Simon had been president of the church’s East Tanzania Conference since its launch in March 2005, Bina said. Lebabu and Wikahi were elected to their posts 10 days ago, he added. Lebabu had previously served as a church pastor while Wikahi worked at the church’s regional headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, as well as the publishing house in Tanzania before his election as treasurer.

“These were very hard working people, people who have been committed to church work,” Bina said in a telephone interview. “They were at the prime time of their service in this church. They’ll be missed very much so.”

A funeral for the five victims will be held Sunday, Dec. 25, at the local church headquarters in Dar es Salaam.

Copyright (c) 2005 by Adventist News Network.

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