A NEW CHURCH PLANT IN KABWE

 At the start of 2016, the leadership at Bethel Baptist Church in Kabwe began persuading members, ministry leaders, and church officers to make all their church activities outward looking. I saw the struggles many of them faced to come up with both short and long term objectives, which were primarily evangelistic.

Pastor Lawrence Lama and the eldership began emphasising evangelism in their preaching, Bible studies, seminars, and meetings. They were challenging members to think more of the lost out there, while appreciating fellowship within the Bethel family. With much prayer and fasting, many members started grasping the vision and turned to God in prayer that their hearts may be warmed and stirred to evangelising for God in obedience to Christ’s command (Matt. 28:16-20). While all this was happening we not aware that God had burdened someone somewhere in Luanshya by the name of Samuel Kasonde to come and work alongside us in this new emphasis.

Pastor Samuel Kasonde

Samuel Kasonde was born in September 1980 in Luanshya and trained at the Baptist Bible College of Zambia. He testifies that he has had a burden to serve in full time ministry and his concern was to serve God in Kabwe by starting a Reformed work there. He did not know that there was already a Reformed work in Kabwe, which was started long before his sense of call. This speaks to us in two ways: (1) The church in Kabwe was too “insignificant” or hidden from people of a Reformed persuasion. This is a challenge to any Reformed work anywhere. While we are busy building ourselves up in our most holy faith we must also impact the communities in which we are so that we become more conspicuous. (2) It is in the wisdom of God that Pastor Kasonde was kept ignorant of Bethel Baptist Church. That way his burden for the people of Kabwe continued to grow with the passing of years. If he had known that there was a Reformed Baptist Church in Kabwe in 2004 when he sensed God calling to ministry, Pastor Kasonde would have concluded that Kabwe was well supplied and he should look elsewhere as a place to go and serve. Our great God works in majestic and wondrous ways. He kept the church hidden from Pastor Kasonde’s knowledge and thus made his burdened to serve the people of Kabwe heavier. Each time Pastor Kasonde passed through Kabwe, he testified, his call was becoming louder and categorical about Kabwe.

Twelve years later, wherever Pastor Kasonde might have gone and been led by his God, whatever he might have been doing, and however many times he may have forgotten about the transit town of Kabwe, God by his gracious hand pointed him back to his concern, burden, and vision to begin a Reformed work in Kabwe. Isn’t this great? Bethel Baptist Church leadership investigated various places for a possible church plant—places such as Mkushi, Chibombo, Chisamba, Mulungushi, and Makululu. Finally, they settled for Makululu compound, which is 1.5 kilometres from Kabwe town.

Makululu compound is situated on the western side of Kabwe along Lukanga road, off the Great North Road. The compound is no different from any other compound in Zambia except that it has unique challenges. This compound is known to be probably the largest shanty compound in Southern Africa followed by Soweto in South Africa (after part of Soweto was demolished and turned into a developed suburb). Makululu houses about 51, 400 people as reviewed in 2016 by the Kabwe Municipal Council. The compound has no piped water, though Lukanga Water and Sewerage Company serves a small area. Most households survive by fetching for water from shallow wells, which are in a poor condition and tend to dry up in the dry season. The water in these wells is not safe and is not normally used for drinking and cooking. Consequently, residents tend to fetch for water from distant places where water points and kiosks are, which are characterised by long queues. The housing infrastructure is informal, without layout plans. Houses are built very close to each other in a poor environment. Many houses are in a deplorable state. Many of the people are poor without stable or reliable income, resulting in poor housing structures with old and broken iron sheets, and without electricity. Some houses now are benefiting from the rural electrification programme. Currently, most people are either homeless or live in very poor and overcrowded housing units. Unemployment is yet another challenge in this compound. Very few people are in formal employment, resulting in many owning make-shift shops known as “Tuntemba,” selling consumable foodstuffs. Some people get involved in activities such as fishing from Lukanga swamps and dealing in petty businesses like selling sweet potatoes, vegetables, fritters, and charcoal. The compound has no social amenities. Most of the young people leave the compound and go into the town centre in pursuit of these amenities and end up engaging themselves in illicit activities. It has been researched and found out that there are more bars or beer-houses than churches, schools, and health centres in Makululu.

Missions Conference Highlights

On Saturday, October 21, 2017, Bethel Baptist Church gathered for a missions conference in Kabwe to launch the work at Makululu Compound. Two preachers graced the conference—Pastor Sibale Chipita from Kabwata Baptist Church and Pastor David Power from Bethel Baptist Church.

Pastor Chipita challenged those in attendance from the book of Acts. He spoke with passion pointing out some features in Paul’s missionary work. Here is a brief summary of his message:

  • Paul had authority from God and from local church (Acts 13). He did not appoint himself but was sent by God (Acts 9). The church set Paul apart in obedience to the instructions of God through the Holy Spirit. Paul in this way became answerable to the local church. That was why he reported to the church about his missionary journeys.
  • Paul’s method of church planting was primarily that of proclaiming the gospel. Others nowadays have come in with drama, puppets, dancing, and so on. Paul had only one way, which is recommended in the epistles—preach the word, proclaim the gospel. In Acts 14, 16, 19, we see Paul verbalising and proclaiming the gospel as it was passed on to him. We meet Paul in the synagogues, in the lecture theatres, and by the river preaching the gospel. He was a missionary worth emulating.
  • Paul realised that others needed to come in and support the work. Therefore, he delegated some tasks to others. The aspect of delegation is important and necessary in mission work. Acts 6 alludes to this aspect when the apostles said, “Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.” We observe that no work is lesser than the other—the preaching and the serving of tables—both must be done for the advancement of the kingdom of God. Hence, the apostles were essentially saying, “While you attend to this duty of serving tables, we shall continue praying and preaching the gospel.” Members of Bethel Baptist Church were challenged to be ready to leave Bethel for the work at Makululu. This was in line with what Paul did when he sent Timothy and Mark to attend to various matters. Families from this local church may be requested to go and be part of the church plant.
  • In the missions work of Paul there was the aspect of consolidation. Paul looked forward to the churches being consolidated into independent churches. We see Paul visiting and wishing to visit established churches to encourage them. He sent faithful men to visit the works started and to encourage them. Paul wrote letters to the churches to urge them to be visible in their communities.
  • There was the aspect of dedication. Paul was dedicated to this work. He was dedicated first and foremost to his Saviour and his God. Paul was also dedicated to the gospel because it is the power unto salvation for those who believe. Therefore, Paul spent most of his time preaching the gospel. He was so dedicated to the lost that he spent sleepless nights on voyages in order to reach the lost. He wrote elsewhere that he would gladly be removed from the book of life for the sake of his lost kindred. That was how dedicated he was.

The second admonishment came from David Power, a retired pastor from the United Kingdom working with Operation Mobilisation (OM) in Kabwe and a member of Bethel Baptist Church. He challenged the members to follow the footsteps of Christ who, out of love, accepted to be a missionary in a perverse world. Missions work is an amazing calling to consider because it is on God’s heart. It was for this purpose that God sent his son Jesus Christ to come and die on the cross so that sinners could be saved (John 3:16). David Power led the meeting into Bible passages such as Matt. 28:16–20, showing how Jesus was a great teacher and committed to discipling people. Jesus ended his earthly ministry by commanding his disciples to make disciples of all nations. This is the “missions work” he left with the church. Pastor Power further challenged members to proclaim a risen Saviour. Paul speaks, “… but God raised him (Jesus) from the dead…” The death of Christ was the work done and his resurrection was the work accepted. Once the world looks up to the risen Saviour, the world will live and it can only do so if the church walks in the mission footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ. Christians were encouraged to live out the gospel as it was given to them. All Christians should have an inner assurance that Jesus is the one we go with in the mission field and from that assurance they can tell the world what the Lord has done and continues to do for his people.

The conference ended with those in attendance going out to Makululu to distribute tracts and invitation cards. The group was happy, joyous and enthusiastic to do this work. The following day, Sunday, October 22, 2017, the first church service was held at Makululu “C” Primary School under the name, Mapalo Reformed Baptist Church. May I appeal to you, Christian friends, to pray for the salvation of souls in Makululu. Pray that the people of Makululu may come in contact with the true gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Pay also for financial resources to be available for the work. Finally, pray for Pastor Samuel Kasonde and his family that they may be encouraged in the work and that they may always look to the Lord for grace to sustain them. Remember the leadership of Bethel Baptist Church as they oversee the Makululu work.

Boston K. Mwandobo

Bethel Baptist Church, Kabwe

GRACE REFORMED BAPTIST CHURCH’S ORDINATION AND FAREWELL SERVICE

Sunday August 6, 2017, was like any other Sunday for many churches but for Grace Reformed Baptist Church (GRABC) in Ndola it was a very special and joyous day. GRBC was adding 3 men to the office of elder while at the same time the church was bidding farewell to its longest serving elder, Arnold Kapambwe. Mr Kapambwe and his dear wife Lillian had faithfully served their God for over 24 years at GRBC and had relocated to Lusaka.

A brief history on the eldership of GRBC will help our readers appreciate why this occasion was a joyous moment in the life and ministry of the church.

GRBC has been in existed for 24 years. Its first meeting was held on the May 31, 1993, in the home of the late Watson Kangwa. The church was pioneered by 12 members who left Ndola Baptist Church and brought themselves under the oversight of Fairview Reformed Baptist Church of Mufulira. It grew in a short period of time. The need for a bigger meeting place become evident and a place for Sunday meetings was found at Ndola Adult Centre (now, Ndola School for Continuing Education).

The membership grew to more than 40 members in less than 3 years. The church saw a need for a deaconate and in 1994 Watson Kangwa, George Sitali, Israel Malekano, and Christian Kasumo were ordained as the first deacons of the church. In 1996, Arnold Kapambwe was ordained as the first elder and in 1997 Israel Malekano was added as the second elder. Consequently, the church was weaned from Fairview Reformed Baptist Church. In 1998, the church called Kabwe Kabwe to come and take up the pastorate.

In 2001, Israel Malekano and his wife migrated to the Republic of South Africa and later to Australia. Since then, the church has for the most part of its existence functioned with 2 elders who have faithfully served with a lot of strain on their lives and families.

The search for additional elders has yielded no fruit over the years. Often, potential men who were about to be considered for this office soon moved to other towns, sometimes even before the process started. Finally, and in the Lord’s own time, on this day we were witnessing 3 men being added; namely, Billy Sichone (Dr), David Musonda and Twandi Mpazi. These men have vast experience in different Reformed Baptist churches within Zambia. The church, therefore, had cause to celebrate and thank God.

The preacher for the day was the outgoing elder. Turning to John 21:14–17, he preached a moving sermon on what it means to be an elder and a shepherd of God’s flock. His sermon was entitled, “Handing over the key.” He spoke on the sacrifices required of an elder and the fact that elders will give an account to God who has ordained them into the office.

Pastor Kabwe was the worship leader. Being a farewell service also, he gave an opportunity to any in the congregation who had something to say to the departing elder. Many brethren from within GRBC and outside testified to the selfless leadership of Arnold Kapambwe and how he impacted their lives with his work as an elder. Many could not hold back their tears as they testified about his ministry. He was indeed an elder per excellence.

Pastor Kabwe in an emotional tone spoke of Arnold Kapambwe’s faithfulness to his charge, and his unquenched zeal and passion as an elder despite having a busy and tedious job as a miner at Ndola Lime. Pastor Kabwe testified to his dedication and commitment to God’s work, telling the congregation how on many Sundays this man, as head of mining at that time, would first go to work around 06.00 hours, then come to church at about 08.30 hours to lead the Bible study. If he was the one preaching that day, he would mount the pulpit and preach before heading back to work to go and finish off his shift. Despite this gruelling schedule, he found time to visit members and counsel them when need arose. Pastor Kabwe challenged and encouraged the 3 incoming elders to imitate the outgoing elder who was a busy but a faithful man. Arnold Kapambwe was without a dichotomised worldview.

Many brethren from sister churches were in attendance to witness the solemn but joyous occasion.

Katongo Kafuko

Grace Reformed Baptist Church 

AFRICAN CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY 2017 GRADUATION

 Background and History

The African Christian University (ACU) has been in existence for the past seven (7) years now. What began as a dream/vision/idea in two different minds in different parts of the world between 2006 and 2008 is now a glorious reality to behold. It is a joint ministry of the Reformed Baptist Churches of Zambia (REBCAZ), currently being held in trust by six Reformed Baptist churches in Lusaka: Crossway, Emmasdale, Evangel, Kabwata, Lusaka, and Mt. Makulu Baptist churches. It has been both humbling and exciting to see the ACU vision to reform higher education through an education system that is founded on biblical principles and values slowly but surely take root. Through its mission, ACU seeks to educate students from a biblical worldview and thus equip them with practical skills and knowledge that will entrepreneurially innovate benevolent treatment of Africa’s deepest needs. ACU believes that Africa’s developmental challenges can only be combated by the transformation of hearts and mind-sets of the continent’s citizens. Through this unique approach to education, ACU also hopes to see the entire globe impacted in similar fashion. It is the institution’s prayer therefore that many churches at home and abroad, will join them in this great task of transforming Africa and the world at large for Christ.

After years of waiting and praying for its registration, ACU was finally registered with the Higher Education Authority in March 2016. In the same month, the institution opened its doors to the public for enrolment in its

foundational academic programme, the Scholars Programme. About 25 students were admitted and on December 16, 2016, the first graduation ceremony was held for this class.

2017 Graduation

0n October 14, 2017, ACU held its second annual graduation ceremony and graduated nine students in the Scholars Programme at Lusaka Baptist Church. The ceremony was a special commemoration for the students who came with mixed feelings about ACU, different worldviews and timidity but who were happy to go with renewed confidence, courage and transformed minds and hearts because they had been challenged by the gospel in each and every course they undertook. The keynote speaker at this event was Pastor Jim Elliff of Christ Fellowship, Kansas City, USA. He preached from James 4:13–16,

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit.’” He challenged the graduating students to focus on and trust God because all things entirely depend on him. It was a timely challenge to the graduating students as they embarked into adult life and to the faculty of the ACU as they faced the great challenge of running a Christian university. Over 80 guests—including family and friends—attended the ceremony to share in the success of the graduates and in the glorious things the Lord is doing through the ACU.

During the graduation, certificates were awarded to 9 students. Immaculate Mashinda Wanjiku Mwelwa was recognised as the valedictorian for her outstanding overall academic performance in the Scholars Programme. Apart from highlighting outstanding academic performance, the valedictorian at the ACU was also awarded a tuition sponsorship. Out of the 9 graduates, 7 have applied to continue their studies with the ACU in the Degree Programme.

Enrolment

The 2018 enrolments for both the Scholars and the Degree Programmes ran from July–November 2017. 10 students have been accepted in the Degree Programme and 50 in the Scholars Programme. We praise God for this!

2019 enrolments will commence in July. ACU seeks to admit into the Scholars Programme (1) those who have recently completed secondary school and are yet to receive their official secondary school transcripts and the official results of their O-Level examinations, and (2) those who have received their official secondary school transcripts and have received their official O-level examination results with a minimum of six credits.

For the Degree Programme, ACU seeks to admit (1) those who have successfully completed the ACU Scholars Programme, or (2) those who have received their official secondary school transcripts and their official O-Level examination results, or (3) those who have advanced education qualifications beyond secondary school. All three types of applicants in the Degree programme must have a minimum of six credits.

To apply, visit the ACU website http://acu-zambia.com/apply/ or visit the campus at Plot 37732/3, off Lake Road, Ibex Hill, Lusaka, Zambia.

Jalira Ruth Ngwira

ACU Interim Registrar

 LUSAKA MINISTERIAL COLLEGE 2017 GRADUATION

The 2017 graduation ceremony of the Lusaka Ministerial College (LMC) took place at Dream Valley Lodge during the Zambian Reformed Conference on August 23 in the afternoon. 5 students graduated.

Brief historical background

The LMC began as a Kabwata Baptist Church preachers’ class in the early 1990s for the purpose of training preachers in the local church. Later, the pastors of Mt Makulu and Lusaka Baptist churches requested that this becomes a joint venture to train preachers from the 3 churches and beyond. It was named the Lusaka Reformed Preachers College (LRPC) from 1994 onward and came under the oversight of the three churches.

In 2010, James Williamson came from the USA to Zambia made a request to run the college. He modified it so that it targeted pastors in Lusaka’s sprawling high-density compounds. The name changed to Lusaka Ministerial College (LMC) and he brought it under the oversight of the elders of Kabwata Baptist church where he was in membership. He left after 2 years but LMC has remained there since then.

The College has an advisory board, a faculty, and 2 full time administrational staff. It aims to be Lusaka’s institute of choice for training pastors and church leaders in Reformed Baptist conviction in order to ensure healthy churches in Lusaka’s compounds and beyond. Its stated mission is to train men who aspire to the pastorate, as well as to provide further training for men who are already engaged in pastoral ministry.

The College had its first graduation in 2015 where about 14 students graduated and the second graduation was the one held last year. The guest speaker at the 2017 graduation was Pastor Robert Dickie, who was the main speaker at the conference itself. He encouraged the graduates to remain faithful and put to use what they had learned. He cautioned the graduating students against complacency and reminded them that in ministry there will be many challenges as well as joys when they faithfully go about doing the work of God.

The LMC enrolment program begins at the start of each term in a year as LMC follows the government college calendar of three terms per year. Anyone desiring to apply can do so before January, May and October. The requirements are that one needs to be a professing Christian, a member of a local church, engaged in ministry or senses the call for ministry, and a holder of a full school certificate. Other details for enrolment can be obtained from LMC offices (Call 0967649023 or 0974040193 or 0950935940).

Benson Nkausu

Lusaka Ministerial College Coordinator