Mbah, Jean Martial
Jean Martial Mbah is a missionary with the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries.
A layman, he is a member of a United Methodist congregation in Luanda in the West Conference of Angola. He is married to Françoise Mbah, and they are the parents of one daughter, Victoria. He earned a Baccalauréat in literature from Saint Claude Private Institute in Gabon, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in contemporary history from Omar Bongo University in Gabon, and a doctorate in history at the University of Paris, Sorbonne (2005). He was a history professor in Angola and France.
He recalled his childhood in Gabon.
“My days in the village during the holidays,” he said, “always began with a prayer and ended the same way. My paternal grandmother, who was an elder in the church, wanted me to be a pastor. In Libreville, during the school year, I went to the evangelical church every Sunday because my father was Protestant.”
Describing his call to mission, Jean said, “Unlike [the case with] some people, God did not manifest in me as a spirit or anything special.”
He credits his parents with instilling positive values in him. “I have always helped people in difficulties since a young age without asking for money or a favor in return,” Jean said. “When I was a student in Gabon, then in France, I helped young people in my neighborhood prepare for university entrance exams. People told me that everything I accomplished on earth was, in reality, the work of God, who guided my steps.
“At first, I didn’t understand, but I eventually admitted it because I was unable to explain what drove me constantly to help people. Today, I agree fully to serve God within The United Methodist Church.”
In his new role on the Faculty of Theology at the Methodist University of Angola, Jean will share his passion for history. He hopes to weave together his love for learning to prepare the next generation of church leaders to be dynamic in addressing issues in their home context.