The African and Caribbean Christian Fellowship (ACCF), Edinburgh was established at about the early 1980s with a group of Nigerian students at the University of Edinburgh who until 1985 were meeting together for Bible studies and prayers at Bristo Place. By 1986 owing to the growth in the membership the group relocated the Bible study and prayer meetings to the then Elim Pentecostal Church, George IV Bridge. The fellowship was then named, African Christian Fellowship and later the African and Caribbean Christian Fellowship. It appears that the fellowship was renamed as highlighted following renewed efforts to operate a more inclusive and accessible organisation. In 1999 the ownership and use of Elim Pentecostal Church at George IV Bridge changed, hence the use of the present place of fellowship; The Life Church (former, Apostolic Church), West Richmond Street, Edinburgh. We are in union with other ACCF branches at Aberdeen and Glasgow and we jointly meet twice a year, during the Easter weekends and a weekend in October.
Apart from the two weekends we jointly meet with Aberdeen and Glasgow branches, we meet every Saturday from 4.00pm – 6:00pm and record an average attendance of about twenty to our weekly meetings. We have a membership consisting predominantly of students and an increasing number of residents, including children. We are an open fellowship and welcome people of all nationalities, with or without any faith connections. Currently our members are drawn from the following countries, Nigeria, Kenya, Malawi, Liberia, Cameroon, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Jamaica. The fellowship maintains strong transnational ties between diaspora and communities of origin.
As a fellowship we understand that being an international student can be exciting and rewarding but sometimes lonely and frustrating. And so we focus part of our ministries in offering genuine friendship to international students during their time in the country. The ACCF maintains strong ties with many host churches and some charity groups and is involved in enriching local church worship. We are a member of the University of Edinburgh, Chaplaincy. Our members are encouraged to identify and maintain membership with local churches within the city and most of our members play active roles in their respective church families.
Our vision thus not only articulates a picture of what we are becoming through the grace and power of Christ, but also for us to become a missionary fellowship and a one of choice, where the message of the Gospel is preached and taught in context to reflect our identity as a people. What we are becoming is a community of faith witnessing to the reality of the gospel.
We are a part of the universal family of God ‘‘with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord,’’ (1 Corinthians 1:2). We are a praying, loving, caring, and sharing local community of faith because of Christ. Christ is proclaimed through our: worship, where Christ is the focus of our worship and preaching; ministry, where Christ is the centre of ministry to one another and to the greater community; small groups, where Christ is the centre of meaningful relationships and individual witness, which show our members living out their daily lives as followers of Christ. Our fellowship provides a creative atmosphere for nurture, discipleship and leadership training.
ACCF is a member of the Scottish Council of African Churches (SCAC).
Executive Committee 2015/2016
Dr Effie Mpakati Gama (President)
Rev Stanley Okeke (Vice President)
Rev John Orioha (General Secretary)
Miss Tomi Ajetumobi (Financial Secretary)
Miss Toyin Alalade (Publicity Secretary)
Mrs Yinka Opoola (Welfare Secretary)
Board of Trustees
Professor Raphael Mrode (Chairman)
Pastor Elizabeth Kalonga (Secretary)
Ms Hillery Ingram-Smith (Member) until October 2015
Mrs Anita Dajan-Willis (Member)
Professor Stephen Ogunlana (Member)
Professor Afe Adogame (Member)