A beloved Wesleyan leader was killed on September 19, 2012, in a car accident in Zambia.

Richman Syabbamba, 42, was an ordained minister with The Wesleyan Church. He was best known in the United States for his role in training and leading the Zambia Orphan Choir for World Hope International (WHI) that has toured the country twice, in 2004 and 2006. He also served as a youth coordinator for World Hope in Zambia.

“Richman Syabbamba and his Zambian Orphan Choir put a face on the HIV/AIDS tragedy of our generation. The Wesleyan Church has responded to his passion and continues to respond with the call to healing and hope,” said Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church. “I will always remember the power of hearing Richman lead the children to sing so eloquently, ‘He Knows My Name.’ Rarely was there a dry eye in the audience. I can only imagine the bright smile and tears on the face of our brother Richman as he heard our Lord call his name to enter his heavenly home.”

Syabbamba most recently served as the international director of Poetice/Fortress Vision in Choma, Zambia. Poetice (a combination of “poetry” and “justice”) is an organization that “supports communities affected by poverty, AIDS, and modern day slavery with the arts, education, and enterprise.”  

“Richman was a valuable servant of the Lord and was instrumental in the ministry of World Hope International Zambia,” said Tom Armiger, president and CEO of World Hope. “WHI is indeed grateful for the impact of his life, not only through our work in Zambia, but for the lives of the many children he influenced in bringing hope and sharing the love of Christ. His gift of music and his love for children touched us all.”

Syabbamba leaves behind his wife, Regina, and five children: Metty (not pictured), Vanessa, Simon, Ry, and Juanita.

Watch a video that illustrates Syabbamba’s passion to minister to fellow Zambians.