Pastor Erdzhan Madzharov has been designated by Bishop Patrick Streiff as the new superintendent of The United Methodist Church in Bulgaria starting in spring 2022.
Over a time of more than ten years, Pastor Daniel Topalski has led The United Methodist Church in Bulgaria as superintendent. In this position, he could "use and develop his manyfold strengths and gifts," Bishop Patrick Streiff wrote in a statement. As bishop of The United Methodist Church in Central and Southern Europe, he gratefully highlighted the merits of Superintendent Daniel Topalski: "The administrative work has become well organized, the education among pastors has improved, and cooperation among them and their churches has been strengthened. Over several years, Daniel Topalski has also overseen the work in Romania and helped to build it up towards a district on its own."
Since the Book of Discipline of the Central and Southern Europe Central Conference states that the term of office of a superintendent can last eight to ten years, Bishop Patrick Streiff has had numerous conversations in regard to appointing a successor and, to that end, also participated in a pastors' meeting in Varna at the end of November 2021. Now he has designated Pastor Erdzhan Madzharov from Gorno Ezerovo as the new superintendent of the UMC in Bulgaria. The change from Pastor Daniel Topalski to Pastor Erdzhan Madzharov will be celebrated on the occasion of the upcoming session of Bulgaria-Romania Provisional Annual Conference to be held at the end of March/beginning of April 2022. It will then – after a short transition period – officially take place still in spring 2022.
Erdzhan Madzharov, 37, successfully completed a part-time, master's degree in theology in Veliko Tarnovo and was ordained as an elder of The United Methodist Church in September 2021. He is pastor of the Turkish-speaking Roma community in Gorno Ezerovo, which is part of the Black Sea city of Burgas. Together with his wife Pepa, he has a soon-to-be thirteen-year-old son. Bishop Patrick Streiff writes of him: "He has proven to be deeply rooted in his faith in Christ, willing to serve the church in many challenges, well organizing many tasks, and humble in spirit."
In the coming months, Pastor Erdzhan Madzharov will not only gain increasing insight into the duties and responsibilities of a superintendent, but he will also get to know the other superintendents of the Central and Southern Europe Central Conference. Bishop Patrick Streiff is grateful for all the prayers that will accompany the two pastors Topalski and Madzharov and the whole United Methodist Church in Bulgaria on their way through the coming weeks and months.
Source: Urs Schweizer, Office of Bishop Patrick Streiff, Zurich/Switzerland