Tributes from around the world have been shared following the death of Canon Professor John Samuel Pobee, an Anglican theologian from Ghana, who died on 22 January 2020. Pobee was born in Cape Coast, Ghana, and was a descendant of Phillip Quaque, the first African ever to be ordained in the Church of England. Pobee was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1988. He was a New Testament scholar, theologian, writer, mentor, educator, ecumenist and missiologist.
"Canon John Pobee was both a servant of and an ambassador for the Anglican Communion", Dr Will Adam, Director of Unity, Faith and Order for the Anglican Communion, said. "As an expert theologian and theological educator he served his home church in Ghana, the Anglican Communion worldwide, and the ecumenical movement.
"He taught theology in Ghana and then around the world and he represented the Anglican Communion in ecumenical dialogue. His contribution to theological education, through the Programme for Theological Education was profound and wide-ranging and he influenced generations of young theologians from around the world including many of those who hold leading positions in the world church today."
Paying his own tribute on Twitter, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said that he was saddened to hear the news of Canon Pobee's death, saying that he had "served the worldwide Church of God so creatively."
Pobee was appointed by the World Council of Churches (WCC) as Associate Director of the Programme of Theological Education in Geneva between 1983 and 1998. He was also involved in teaching at the Bossey Ecumenical Institute and served as the Academic Dean.
The General Secretary of the WCC, Dr Olav Fyske Tveit, said: "we are grateful for both his vast array of knowledge and, even more, for his dedication to saying it with those who will carry on. . . We pray for his family and loved ones, and we will embrace his legacy with respect and affection"
The Deputy General Secretary of the WCC, Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri, said: "What Pobee did through the WCC is unforgettable. He truly had the empowerment of young ecumenists from the global south at his heart."