How did you come to Christ and to embrace the doctrines of grace?

I was reared as a Roman Catholic and for a long time believed that I was the Lord’s. Although I did occasionally indulge in open sin, I was for the most part taken up with religiosity. For this reason, I took offence at any suggestion (and there were many made by born again believers) that I would  have been lost and headed for Hell. The truth however was that I was
perfectly lost and spiritually dead.

Two factors were used of the Lord to bring me to faith in Christ. The first was the influence of friends. My brother Kunda and a dear friend called Musa were particularly influential. The second and most decisive influence was the pulpit ministry of Mr Joe Simfukwe, then pastor of Lusaka Baptist Church. While sitting in a service at Lusaka Baptist Church one morning,
early in 1981, I was made to see that I was a sinner in need of salvation, and that the Lord Jesus Christ was my only hope. Pastor Joe faithfully urged us to repent and place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Later that day, I privately confessed my sin and pleaded with the Lord to have mercy upon me. Like John Wesley, I felt that the Lord had strangely warmed my
heart. The change that was graciously wrought upon my soul and life was immediately discernible not just to me, but to others as well.

After coming to faith in Christ, the Lord gave me a great appetite for reading Christian literature and one of the books I worked through at this early stage of my Christian life was “The History of Christian doctrine” by Luis Berkof.This book did not only expose me to the various theological views that were out there, but also convinced me of the truthfulness of the
doctrines of grace. Not long after this, I also listened to a message tape I borrowed from Justo Mwale theological College on the five points of Calvinism, by a Dutch preacher whose name I cannot remember now. The cogent arguments of this man in favour of the doctrines of Grace and against   Arminianism confirmed me in the Calvinistic faith.

How did you sense God’s call to the ministry and how did you find yourself finally in your first pastorate?

While studying mechanical engineering at Nortec in Ndola, the Lord began to impress my heart with a desire to preach the gospel. So strong was the
desire that at times I was tempted to quit studying and go into the preaching ministry. Thankfully I didn’t yield to the temptation, for the engineering training was later to prove an important part of my preparation r the ministry.

In addition to this, during my spare time, I also made use of the well stocked library at TCCA where I worked through an “uncountable” numbers of
theological volumes. I recall some TCCA students expressing concern that I was spending so much time studying theology and even feared that I would be the occasion for blocking someone’s entrance into a particular pastorate. Their fears were not misplaced as the future was soon to reveal.

Following my graduation, early in 1986, I accepted a Job with ZCCM in Kitwe. During my time there, my conviction to preach the gospel grew deeper. I felt more and more, the need to prepare myself for the ministry. I considered
applying to a theological college and I also decided to start stocking good theological books. I remember spending most of the money I earned in those two and a half years on buying books. During this time, I also had many an opportunity to preach. I preached in colleges and universities, I preached in various churches and more importantly I preached almost every week at the youth fellowship of my local church in Riverside. This provided very valuable training for me.

My external call to the ministry came in a very unexpected way. One of my best friends, Conrad Mbewe(now Pastor of Kabwata Baptist Church) came
visiting Kitwe and he made mention to me that he had proposed my name to the Elders of Chingola Central Baptist Church who had been looking for a pastor. I was completely taken aback by this revelation, because Conrad and I had never spoken about the question of my call to the ministry. How did he know that I had been hoping to go into the ministry? In God’s mysterious providence, Conrad was used of the Lord to open a kind of “Pandora’s box” because from that moment onward I had no rest in my soul.

My restlessness was exacerbated by the fact that the Chingola brethren were not moving quickly enough to extend a call to me. It was not long,however, before I received a call from Central Baptist Church (later became Fairview reformed Baptist Church) in Mufulira. When this call came, I was concerned that they had made the approach even though I hadn’t received any formal theological training. I consulted Mr Alfred Nyirenda, who was my pastor then, who advised that I take up the challenge of ministry “immediately” to use his own word.

You were part of the Reformed Baptist movement in Zambia in its earlier days. What were some of the major challenges you experienced in those early days?

There were a number of challenges that stand out in my mind. The first was that we were young and inexperienced and there was a tendency by some of the older men/ministers to look down on us. Furthermore, most of us were not formally trained, theologically.This sometimes invited scorn from our more “learned” brethren. Then there was the challenge of overcoming the stigma that was wrongly attached to the word reformed. Some people sincerely believed that being reformed was synonymous with being boorish, unevangelistic and having a cultic attachment to the five points of Calvinism. In addition to this, we had to pioneer and develop churches, and consequently the movement, at a time when our country was in dire financial straits. This brought with it many an economic constraint upon our efforts to build the work of God.
Your pastoral move from Mufulira to South Africa must have been quite difficult for you to make. What convinced you that it was the Lord’s will for you to make such a move at that time and what general principles can you give to those who are contemplating a pastoral move?

My wife and I agonised hard and much over the call from Lynnwood Baptist Church in South Africa. This was so because our time in Mufulira was a very blessed one indeed. We loved the people and they loved us in return and the work was developing extremely well. It was the second time Lynwood was approaching me and I was really not inclined to making the move.But after much prayer, soul searching and consultation, we were finally persuaded that the Lord would have us go.

I can summarise the stages that led to my decision to move under a number of points:
a) I sincerely sought the Lord’s wisdom in prayer.
b) I looked for indications of God’s leading in the bible.
c) I sought for counsel, from my fellow elders, all the prominent members of our church, ministerial colleagues in Zambia, Kenya and South Africa, and from a wide variety of friends.All of these except one encouraged me to accept the call.
d) I considered the state of the church I was leaving behind-whether it could carry on without me, without much ado.
e) I considered where I was going- whether there was a real need, and whether there was a work I could do there which I could not do in and from Zambia and indeed whether I had the gifts to equal the task before me.
f) I considered the motives of my heart- if I decided to accept the call, would I be prompted by a desire to gain materially? or would I be meeting a real need at Lynnwood and beyond.
g)I also did take into consideration the feeling I was experiencing at the time concerning a weakening sense of burden for the work at Mufulira. Before the call came I had been asking myself as to whether my work had been done. I was seriously considering taking a sabbatical to go and do some careful thinking and praying about my future at MCBC.
There were other considerations too, and all of them were moving me in the direction of accepting the call.

As a man who is still in touch with the Reformed movement in Zambia, and probably very concerned to see it prosper under God, what are some of the issues that you would like us to be mindful of as we labour for the Lord in Zambia?

There is a lot I could say under this but time and space will not allow me to say all. But let it suffice for me to mention five things:
a) The reformed movement in Zambia must be proud of her achievements under God. As one who has had the privilege of experiencing God’s work in Zambia, as well as in other African countries, I have no doubt that God has done an extraordinary work in Zambia for which we must all be thankful.
b) The RM in Zambia must remain united and guard against harmful intrusions from the outside. The movement in Zambia has always been strongest when she has retained what I might term as an indegenous biblicism.
c) The churches in the movement must cherish co-operation and inter-dependency. This I believe is the only way scarce resources may be maximized for the growth of the whole movement.
d) The RM in Zambia must strive to remain aggressively evangelistic. When our critics in the early days feared that we would be leading a movement of shrinking churches, they were inspired in their view by what they had observed happening elsewhere in the world, particularly in western Europe.
Indeed there is no doubt that there are so called reformed churches that have no vision or passion for evangelism. The RM in Zambia was founded on an evangelistic platform and on this platform alone she must continue to grow.
d) The RM in Zambia must continue to fly high the banner of expository preaching. Many of us will agree that this is ” the ancient boundary that our forefathers set up” and we dare not remove it. Futhermore, we best reflect the mind of God and also edify His people largely through the faithful exposition of His Word. We must beware of undermining the dignity of expository preaching by giving undue prominence to things such as films, drama and musical programmes in corporate worship.
e) The RM in Zambia must beware of Hyper-Calvinism, Formalism, Postmodernism, materialism and worldliness.The ministers of the gospel in particular must be marked by their deadness to the world and their likeness to Christ. It is Robert Murray Mc cheyne who said “the life of a ministry, is the life of a minister.”
f) Churches in the RM must work up to the need to look after their ministers well so they may not be encumbered by the need to engage in other vocations and thus neglect the demands of the ministry.

Your church is involved in the planting of Central Baptist Church in Gaborone, where Pastor Kapambwe Nsenduluka is missionary pastor.Do you foresee the Zambian Reformed movement sending out more such missionaries into the neighbouring countries?

Indeed I do. It seems to me that the strength and vitality of the RB
movement in Zambia is a very significant factor for the potential of a broader movement throughout the continent. To ensure that this happens, we need a steady flow of well gifted, mature and seasoned men who like William Carey sense a call to the mission field and are willing to attempt great things for the Lord in terms of missions and also expect great things from God. I can’t wait for the day when we will place a Zambian missionary in every country in Africa.With God continuing to smile in our direction, I think we can do it.

As we come to the end of this interview, are there any concluding remarks
you would like to share with our readers?

Yes. There are many places in the world that are no longer open to the gospel. Zambia is still a land of abundant opportunities. I would like to
encourage each one of your Zambia readers to cease every one of these opportunities. This does not only mean that they personally and individually engage upon evangelistic activity, but that they also join hands as churches to plant other biblical churches all over the country.

Your readers may also want to consider promoting and investing into christian education. Through these two arms,namely the church and the
Christian school/college/university, I believe that it is possible to improve the spiritual, social and political landscape of any country. Through these institutions, bulwarks of the Christian faith can be produced, godly men qualified to fill positions to a good effect in the various spheres of society including politics will be raised and with men of integrity at the helm in schools, colleges, business, politics and the various sectors of society we can once again give hope to a country that is potentially rich but continues to reel from poverty.

Our reformation forebears, through their lives and teaching, impacted every sphere of their societies.Almost no area was left unsanctified-science, art, education, politics etc- everything was affected for good. Western civilisation with all it’s advancements, is what it is largely because of the influence of the reformation. Let us influence Zambia in the same way, and when we are done with that, let us “conquer” the whole continent of Africa.Yes! I believe that potentially, Zambia has what it takes to mount a far reaching reformation process under God