Rev. Professor Michael Bame Bame
 
A venerated theologian and academician moves onto glory
 
A man of God who stood by the word against all odds, preached and practiced what he believed in.
 
Rev. Professor Michael Bame Bame was the second child in a family of 10 children; two of whom have passed on into eternity. His Father, Rev. Simon Bame who is now of blessed memory served God as a catechist, Evangelist, and Pastor in the Basel Mission and the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon for over 40 years. His mother, Mary passed on into eternity in March 2009. Michael and His wife, Anne Bame, were married for 32 years. He was ordained as Pastor in 1973 after only one year of Pastoral work.
 
Rev. Professor Michael Bame Bame attended Primary School in Weh, Wum, Kumba, and Mamfe. He completed Primary School in 6 years instead of 8 as was the practice at the time. He skipped standard one and passed the exam to secondary school while in standard five without going to standard six.
 
He completed his secondary school at CPC Bali, where he wrote the GCE after four and half years. He continued his high school education at CCAST Bambili. To escape from an environment which he found spiritually unhealthy, he decided to write two of his papers after the first year. He was successful and left. But unable to find a job, he returned to do two other papers.
 
He obtained his degree in Theology at the Faculty of Protestant Theology in Yaoundé. After ordination, he left for further studies at Princeton Theological Seminary in the United States, where he pursued and completed a joint Masters in Systematic Theology and Philosophy and began PhD studies in the same fields. He soon developed an interest in Parapsychology, and consequently, moved to the Faculty of Divinity in the University of Aberdeen, in Scotland where he completed research in Parapsychology along side his area of specialization in theology. He defended his PhD thesis in 1978 and immediately returned to Cameroon, notwithstanding repeated requests by the President of Princeton Theological Seminary for him to return and teach in his Alma Mater.
 
He became Dean of the Faculty of Protestant Theology, Yaoundé at the age of 36 and held the position for 12 years, from 1983-1995. As Dean, besides the extensive work he did in expanding the infrastructure of the Faculty, he launched the PhD Program and conceived and initiated the two-year Masters of Theology Program. He also conceived the creation of more Theological Faculties and Institutes in French-speaking Central and West Africa; and coordinated the studies that led to the creation of these institutions. There are now at least eight of them as compared to only one when he became Dean of the Protestant Faculty of Theology.
Upon leaving the Faculty of Protestant Theology, he served as Dean of the Cameroon Faculty of Evangelical Theology for three years, from 1998-2001.
He was Dean of the Postgraduate School at the latter institution until his passing on into eternity.
 
Rev. Professor Bame Bame had a distinguished career as member of clergy in Cameroon and abroad: he was the first Cameroonian to be appointed as Pastor of PCC, Buea Station; served as military chaplain in Buea, chaplain to Sasse College, Government Bilingual Grammar School, Moliko, and CPC Bali. His career peaked with the building of PCC Bastos where he was Pastor for eleven years, a structure whose design and location speaks volume of this selfless and dedicated Pastor. He was Pastor of the Church of Patmos of the Mission of the Evangelical Church in Cameroon for the past six years.
 
In the summer of 1975, he served as interim Minister at the First Presbyterian Church in Rock Island, Illinois.
 
In summer of 1995, he was called up by the Head Office of the Presbyterian Church, USA to serve as a Theologian in Residence at the Brentwood Presbyterian Church, in Los Angeles. Contrary to news reports, Pastor Michael Bame-Bame initiated the partnership between Brentwood Presbyterian and the PCC—which partnership was consolidated in 2005 by the visit of some Christians from Brentwood to PCC, Bastos.
 
 In the summer of 1996, the Missions Committee of the Presbyterian Church, USA, sent him to serve as interim Minister of the Associated Church in Owatonna, Minnesota.
 
He was an educator! One who was skilled in the art of imparting and expanding knowledge aimed at shaping the character and personality of those he educated, and who also by his own example, contributed in making his students great leaders. His teaching career spanned from Biology and Mathematics at the Presbyterian Teachers Training Centre in Batibo; A.L. History, in C.P.C., Bali, to Systematic Theology among other courses at the Faculty of Protestant Theology in Yaoundé and Science and Faith with Professor Mbacham at the Cameroon Faculty of Evangelical Theology. He became full Professor in 1986.
 
He was Visiting Professor to:
  • Princeton Theological Seminary, in Princeton, New Jersey;
  • The Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky;
  • McCormic Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois, and
  • The Divinity School, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
 
He took on several tasks as is evident in his nomination as Secretary of the Association of Theological Institutions in West and Central Africa for 11 years, from 1983-1994; treasurer of the Conference of Theological Institutions in Africa for 3 years, from 1983-86; and President of the Scripture Union of Cameroon for 3 years, from 1991-94.
 
This Pastor, Professor and Academician was credited with the authorship of five books, and several articles in leading Theological Journals, and also wrote many pamphlets. His books are on Theological Bookstands in Europe, North America and throughout Africa. He co-authored the book: Ecumenical Theology in Worship, Doctrine, and Life, Essays published in honor of Professor Geoffrey Wainwright, one of his former teachers considered as the Leading Ecumenical and Methodist Theologian in the World today. The Book is published by Oxford University Press. 
 
He was a member of the John Templeton Foundation; the Research Board of Advisors of the American Biographical Institute, and the Victoria Institute or the Philosophical Society of Great Britain.
 
 
The outstanding impact of Rev. Prof. Bame-Bame as an educator earned him recognition by Who’s Who in Science and Theology, published by the John Templeton Foundation 1000 Intellectuals of the 20th Century, published by the International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England; and two awards from the International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England.
 
He was selected as The International Man of the Year 1992-1993 for His Services to Theology and the Church.
 
In 2005, the international community offered its respect and gratitude to him—one who is the light to us all--by honoring him with the prestigious TOP-100 Educators, inaugural series award.
 
The letter informing him of his selection read in part, “…. [t]his accolade is credited to those individuals that have fulfilled a standard of merit in the eyes of their peers that is beyond the norm. As a symbol of personal achievement in their field for the common good, it is a lasting tribute to that which can be achieved by very few for the benefit of many….By accepting and receiving this distinguished and coveted honor, the recipient dons the mantle of excellence.”
 
 His excellence stretched beyond his academic sphere into gardening and architecture. He composed hymns and poems. Some of the hymns he composed appear in the hymnbook for the Patmos Church which he completed before passing on into eternity.
 
In 1976, Rev. Bame Bame, along with 23 participants at the meeting of World Alliance of Reformed Churches in London, declared the following as the Theological Basis of Human Rights:
  • the rights of the individual
  • the rights of society as a whole
  • the right to religious freedom
  • the rights of relating to the environment
  • the rights of the generations following
In the same year, he won a poetry contest during a summer seminar at the Woodbrooke International Institute in Birmingham, England. The Poem was titled, “Eternity, Eternity.”
 
 
           
 

 

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