From Niassa to Charleston

Bishop Van Koevering and clergy in the Diocese of Niassa

The House of Bishops has welcomed a new member who spent most of the past 12 years as Bishop of Niassa, Mozambique. The Rt. Rev. Mark Van Koevering now serves as Assistant Bishop of West Virginia, at the invitation of the Rt. W. Michie Klusmeyer, Bishop of West Virginia.

“Bishop Van Koevering was born in the United States, and lived in the UK. He spent years as a missionary to Mozambique, and was ordained priest,” Bishop Klusmeyer wrote to the diocese [PDF] in December. “About 13 years ago, he was consecrated Bishop of Niassa, where he has served since. Under his episcopacy, the diocese has nearly doubled in size, and has begun looking at creating new dioceses.”

Bishop Van Koevering “was a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand before spending a year in China and then going to Mozambique as an agriculturist in 1987,” Lori Kersey of Sunday’s Gazette-Mail in Charleston wrote in February. “Mozambique was in the middle of a civil war when [he] arrived. He witnessed a massacre in the town where he lived in which 400 people were killed.”

The bishop’s wife, the Rev. Helen Van Koevering, grew up in England. They met in 1989, while both were doing community development in Africa. She was ordained to the priesthood by the Church of England, and is working on a PhD degree in spirituality and community development.

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