THE 2010 ZAMBIA ANNUAL REFORMED CONFERENCES

Attendees of the Reformed School of Theology

The song “Ancient Words” was again the conference anthem. Attendees came from far and near. The largest contingent was from Namibia but there were representatives from Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, the UK, the USA, and Lebanon and of course, the locals from the “nine corners of Zambia”! Although registration figures were at 672, evening meetings were attended by as many as a thousand. This year’s conference focused on ‘The Christian Family’ and there was much to fill the open hearts that had come to hear the ‘ancient words’.

The Conference Theme and Key note Sermon

Pastor Kalifungwa preached from Psalms 128:1–4 on the ‘Model Christian Family’ and pointed to what would characterise the Christian Family. Three points were hued out of the passage, which mark the Christian Family. It has a godly man as its fountain, and it has a godly wife and godly children (as they come to faith). The third point was that the Christian family bears a three-fold fruitfulness with regard to these its godly members. 

Family Conference and School of Theology

Pastors Choolwe Mwetwa and Bruce Button took the bulk of the conference sessions. Pastor Mwetwa ably delineated the sub-topic of ‘The Domestic Priest’ taking the example of Job (1:1–5) while Pastor Button had a double track exposition of the Proverbs 31:10–31 “Excellent Lady” in the School of Theology and Proverbs 22:6 in the Family conference.

Attendees of the Reformed Family Conference

 News from churches

Two afternoons at the conference were spent in hearing what the Lord is doing in the spread of the gospel. There was much encouragement drawn from testimonies from Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, and the Zambian Reformed Baptist churches.                There was much encouragement from added numbers of reformed churches in the Eastern Province of Zambia, Luapula and the Copperbelt. Notable was Chipulukusu Reformed Baptist Church of Ndola which is a work in a “shanty town” under the oversight now of Grace Reformed Baptist Church of Ndola. It was heart-warming to end the sessions before the Lord ‘for great things hath he done among us’.

Conference Seminars 

Seminars and Evening Meetings

Four seminars were held during the conference while there were question and answer sessions at the School of Theology on two afternoons. The seminars dealt with “Courtship” taken by Pastor Raphael Banda, “Marriage and Sex” by Pastor Alfred Nyirenda, “Music in Worship” by Pastor Ronald Kalifungwa and “Raising Teenagers” by Pastor Kabwe Kabwe.

The question and answer sessions were lively and deeply sobering particularly as questions to deal with our “Domestic Priesthood” and the “Excellent Woman” were pondered. One of the points pondered regarding Job’s example was his godly influence over his children which ensured godly and healthy kind of “play” for his children.

For four successive evening meetings after the epic keynote speech, four speakers took up the exposition on the family based on Ephesians 5:22–6:4. Pastor Mwetwa spoke on the “Submission of Wives” and showed the beauty of such in the family and desired the role the woman possesses. Bruce Button addressed the mantle of “Husbands” and showed that our Lord’s example cannot be side-stepped. It gives us the high view of the family and the grave responsibility on the husband’s shoulders. Pastor Grave Singogo spoke on “Parenting”. He wove the sermon neatly from verse 4 of the sixth chapter pointing to two great challenges related to “provocation of children”, namely those of self control particularly with anger and the tongue and that of “bringing up children in the discipline and admonition of the Lord”. He took the broad Zambian context of parenting in the form of “guardianship.” The last sermon was delivered by Pastor Conrad Mbewe on “Children” (6:1–3). He showed how that obedience is the sure way that conversion of those under our roofs is proved. But much more that, this obedience grows into the love and care of parents when they are left without strength, as it was spent on raising us.

The evening attendees under the choir mastership of Pastor Kalifungwa were able to learn a hymn that expressed the truths of the family we had all-week-long heard by Carl Spitta (1801–59) entitled O happy home where Thou art loved the dearest. Such “ancient words” demand from us change at an individual level, our countries and especially at the smallest unit of society, the family. 

Peter M Mukalula

Kalulushi Baptist Church 

MISSION TRIP TO ZAMBIA BY GRACE BAPTIST CHURCH, OF JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI, USA

Twelve members from Grace Baptist Church of Jackson, Mississippi, USA, led by their pastor Thomas Winn came to Zambia on a short-term missions trip. The mission team that arrived in Zambia on May 29th, 2010, stayed on for thirteen days. The group comprised Pastor Thomas Winn and his wife, two deacons and their wives, two male adults and three youths. The main purpose of their visit was to assist Emmasdale Baptist Church in their building project and also to undertake various outreach programmes around Lusaka. Grace Baptist Church is the church Pastor Makashinyi and his family attended while he was pursuing theological studies at the Reformed Theological Seminary. Pastor Makashinyi also served alongside Pastor Winn in the eldership of this church.

When the members of Grace Baptist Church learnt about the building project at Emmasdale Baptist Church, they made a commitment to support the work at EBC, and thus, last year, they began to work towards undertaking a missions trip to Zambia. As a matter of fact, a couple of weeks before the team arrived in Zambia, the church donated $20,000 towards the purchase of building materials at Emmasdale Baptist Church.

Pastor Winn handing over a ball to the SOS village

Once here, the group hardly rested as each member rolled up his sleeves and got busy with the construction work. From only the steel structure and a roof over it, the work progressed to having all the side walls built up to the top, the baptistery completed, and window and door frames fitted. Noticing that the house on the church plot was in desperate need of a new coat of paint and some repairs, our friends from the USA once again dug deep into their pockets and bought paint and all the accessories needed to give the house an extreme make-over. It was so fascinating to see these multi-skilled men and women get to work with such gusto and energy.

While the mornings were spent mostly with pick, shovel and paintbrush in hand at the construction site, the afternoons and early evenings were spent in various ministry and outreach programmes. A number of speaking engagements were scheduled for Pastor Winn, Rexford Semrad, (a ministerial candidate) and Jeff Storck (a deacon).

They preached at the Students’ fellowship meetings (Elbicites) at the Evelyn Hone College and the National Institute for Public Administration (NIPA) and also to the student body at the Baptist Theological Seminary. Other preaching engagements were the Sunday preaching at Emmasdale Baptist Church and Lusaka Baptist Church, and at the midweek prayer meetings in both churches.

Ladies on the missions trip

On one of the Saturdays, members of the missions team and our own members from Emmasdale Baptist Church visited the SOS Children’s Village in Lusaka. We had much fun playing with the children at what is probably the biggest orphanage in Zambia. Pastor Winn preached an evangelist sermon to the children, and our time with the kids ended with the donation of several bales of second hand clothes and soccer balls which the brethren brought with them from the USA. The excitement and joy on the faces of these children was extremely manifest. Later in the afternoon that same Saturday, we went around the surrounding neighbourhood of Emmasdale Baptist Church for community outreach. It was a huge surprise for our American friends to see how receptive the Zambian people are generally to the gospel. Although, they may not give their lives to the Lord, they are unlike some people in the West who would either not answer the door, or slam the door in your face once they discover you are there to share the gospel with them.

Christian men at work!

They say a visit to Zambia is not complete without seeing the Victoria Falls, so our friends insisted on seeing this world heritage site and phenomenal wonder. We also took them on a game safari. The entire experience was breathtaking for them! They not only marvelled at God’s creation, but they worshipped the God behind this marvellous creation.

The members of Emmasdale Baptist Church are grateful to the Lord for this partnership in the gospel demonstrated by our brethren from the USA. We have been deeply humbled by the generosity of our brothers and sisters. With their help, we have made huge progress on our building project.

They say a visit to Zambia is not complete without seeing the Victoria Falls, so our friends insisted on seeing this world heritage site and phenomenal wonder. We also took them on a game safari. The entire experience was breathtaking for them! They not only marvelled at God’s creation, but they worshipped the God behind this marvellous creation.

So after an eventful 13 days, our visitors left Zambia with fond memories of the experience they had among us, and pledged that this was not the last we were seeing of them.

Isaac Makashinyi (Pastor)

Emmasdale Baptist Church

 ORDINATION OF DEACONS IN KAFUE

Let me begin with a brief introduction on the office of deacon. The word deacon is derived from the Greek word diakonos (διάκονος), which is a standard ancient Greek word meaning “servant”, “waiting-man,” “minister” or “messenger.” The biblical qualifications for a deacon (1 Timothy 3:8–13) focus primarily on character and relationships within the church, family and community.

Deacons are to be persons of above reproach, character and deep faith who rely on the Holy Spirit. The beginning of the role of deacons is clearly stated in Acts 6:1–6. The diaconate, which is the office of the deacons, is to care for the physical needs of the congregation so that pastors can concentrate on spiritual needs. Some of the roles for deacons include visiting the sick, helping families in distress, and providing relief to the poor.

Kafue Reformed Baptist Church was started in 2000, and over the years has seen a steady growth in membership. The church on 30th August 2009, ordained Pastor Kennedy Sunkutu and on 5th July, 2010, Mr. Seke Lupunga was ordained as the first elder. Since the church had now grown there was need for a diaconate to help the pastor and the elder with other duties as they themselves concentrated on God’s Word. Church members were asked to pray for the selection of men that would be capable of taking up this office.

Three names were finally put forward namely Mr. Ernest Phiri, Mr. Chimese Nchito, and Mr. Edwin Kalio. The members were asked to vote based on these names and all three men were elected into office overwhelmingly. The Lord had blessed us with not only one, but three deacons.

On 22nd August, 2010 a beautiful Sunday, these three men were ordained into the diaconate. This occasion was graced with the presence of Pastor Samuel Oluoch of Kisumu, Kenya. He preached from Acts 6:1–6. From the sermon it was so clear to the congregation what was expected of the deacon. The occasion was spiced with a lovely lunch from our ladies and fellowship after the service. This is another milestone in our church history. We thank all who have rendered support to the church since its inception. It is our prayer that the Lord will continue to enlarge his tent at our local church and that we shall see even more growth.

Christopher Chitembo

Kafue Reformed Baptist Church

 SOUTHERN PROVINCE REFORMED CONFERENCE

The third Southern Province Reformed Baptist churches’ regional conference was held in Livingstone from the evening of Sunday July 4th, to the evening of Monday 5th. It was hosted by Trinity Baptist Church.

From left to right: Pastor K. Sunkutu, Mrs. J. Bwembya, Pastor M. Bwembya, Pastor R. Banda and Mrs. N. Banda

The conference was attended by approximately 170 people who came mainly from: Trinity Baptist, Choma Reformed Baptist, Monze Baptist and Mazabuka Central Baptist. There were also a few attendees with non-reformed church backgrounds.

The primary objective of the regional conferences is to bring the message of reformation closer to everyone in the provinces including and especially those from non-reformed church backgrounds. The plan is therefore to step up the inviting of people from non-reformed churches in future conferences. The conference also seeks to provide a forum of interaction and fellowship among the churches of kindred mind situated in the Southern Province of Zambia.                                                                 The theme for this year’s conference was, “An overview of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith” and it was taken by Pastor Kennedy Sunkutu of Kafue Reformed Baptist Church. The objective was to familiarise the attendees with this all-important document and attract them to study it for themselves. This was ably done by the speaker who managed to compress the confession into 4 sermons yet in such a way that it was understandable and edifying to both young and old.  After the conference many attendees’ spiritual appetites were whetted to go back and delve into this precious document.

There were also question and answer sessions. The sheer number of questions and the shortage of time to answer all the questions really went to show the interest that had been aroused in the listeners with regards to the contents of the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith.

The hosts, Trinity Baptist Church, put in a lot of effort to ensure that everything went smoothly. For example they put up new ablutions in the record time of one month! They were also able to comfortably accommodate all coming from outside Livingstone and also provided sumptuous meals. Although at first they had concerns that they would not have enough resources to successfully host the conference, they later testified that the Lord graciously provided over and above their expectations.

Those from outside town had to contend with the rising cost of transport. We thank God that in spite of this many still managed to attend. Some attendees from outside Livingstone also took the opportunity, during the free time, to tour the Victoria Falls, the crocodile farm, and other tourist sites.

With regards to future conferences, it was agreed that Trinity Baptist continues to host it until the other churches gain enough ‘muscle’ to do so. It was also agreed that the conference should always be held over the July Heroes and Unity Days. The theme for next year’s conference is, “Evangelism and the great Commission.”

Raphael Banda

Central Baptist Church, Mazabuka

 

THE 2010 ANTIOCH YOUTH CONFERENCE

Pastor Jeff Parks with members of the Antioch organising committee

As Kabwata Baptist Church youths, we were once again grateful to the Lord for enabling us to host the eleventh Antioch Youth Conference on the 5th and 6th of July 2010. This conference attracted over 250 youths from other churches, including non-Reformed Baptist churches, and learning institutions within Lusaka. There were also a few youths from churches outside Lusaka. Among those attending the conference for the first time were youths from Chilenje South and Kabulonga Baptist churches.

This year’s conference theme was “Called to be salt and light of the world” taken from Matthew 5 verse 13. This year’s main speakers were Pastor Jeff Parks of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Missouri, USA and Pastor Choolwe Mwetwa of Central Baptist Church in Chingola, a town in Zambia’s Copperbelt province. The burden that the speakers had was to challenge Christian youths to flavour the world with the gospel as shining stars for our Lord in all aspects of their lives. There was a further call to the unsaved youths to experience a real relationship with God that would make them salt and light of the world.

Pastor Parks challenged the youths on the characteristics of a person who is salt and light to the world as exemplified in the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3 to 10. Those who are poor in spirit, mourn over sin, are meek, display a desire for righteousness, exercise mercy, and desire purity of heart. It is they that can truly be the salt and light of the world.

Pastor Choolwe Mwetwa spoke on fear being a paralysing reality in the life of young people. It affects them so much that they cannot effectively be salt and light in the world. Peers, fashion, and intimidation all work against them stifling their potential to live the Christian life. The pursuit of righteousness brings a triumphing over all sources of fear.

Pastor Choolwe Mwetwa preaching during the Antioch Youth conference

A historical study of the life of William Tyndale and his work on the translation of the Bible was done on the first afternoon of the conference. This was presented by Mr. Kambole Chituwo of St. Andrews United Church of Zambia congregation. It was refreshing to learn how much Tyndale endured to ensure that light of the gospel could shine to every “ploughman” in his native language!

The conference ended with the two main speakers responding to various questions from the youths in a question and answer session. From the questions asked, it was clear that the Lord had blessed his word in our midst and used it to challenge us in very specific areas of our lives, to live right and honour Him in our conduct that ‘all may see our good deeds and glorify our Father’!

Graham Chingambu

Chairman, Senior Young People’s Fellowship