Copperbelt Ministerial College Comes of Age

The Copperbelt Ministerial College (CMC), a ministry of the Reformed Baptist churches on the Copperbelt, in conjunction with churches of like-mind in the U.S.A, recently held its second graduation ceremony at Ndola Baptist Church. CMC was born out of the need for the methodical training of men for the work of ministry. And both the sponsoring and supporting churches have committed themselves to assist in developing pastors who are expositors of God’s Word. To that end, CMC was set up and it has remained true to the task of equipping men to be equippers (2Tim. 2:2). The college was established in 2007 and held its first module in July of that same year.

After years of intensive work, the first group graduated in April 2012, and the second in April 2016. This second graduation was special in that we had a student who attended Kisumu Reformed School of Theology in Kenya graduating from here. Twenty-eight students graduated, including one who did so posthumously. This was Pastor Melody Kunda who went to glory soon after completing his studies with CMC.

The Zambian graduating students were drawn from various churches, e.g. Evangelical Church in Zambia, Pentecostal churches and Reformed Baptist churches. These came from North Western, Southern, Northern, and Copperbelt provinces.

The guest of honour was Pastor Mark Chanski who encouraged the men to be steadfast and faithful in their ministries. Others who spoke at the graduation were Pastor Kabwe Kabwe (the Principal of CMC), Pastor Emmanuel Sakala (the Mentorship Dean), and Mr David Scott (a visiting faculty member from the USA). Pastor Paul Mwila gave a vote of thanks on behalf of the students.

A group photo of graduating students, some faculty members, board members and staff of CMC

About the Copperbelt Ministerial College

Copperbelt Ministerial College offers a four-year Bachelors’ degree program in theological study. Although it does not have local accreditation yet, the bachelors’ degree is certified by Reformed Baptist Seminary in the USA. Because CMC is focused on training pastors, its curriculum has been developed specifically to ensure a thorough equipping of men for ministry. There are four major areas of study: Biblical and Exegetical Theology, Systematic Theology, Practical and Pastoral Theology, and Historical Theology. Students are required to complete at least 30 courses from these four areas of study in order to graduate from the college.

The college only meets for five weeks out of the year, and offers teaching by professors from the USA, United Kingdom, Latin America, Australia, Philippines, as well as Zambia. Among the lecturers are pastors with decades of rich experience, authors, and men with advanced theological degrees.

The curriculum also incorporates a local mentorship and internship program. We recognise that no school can or should take the primary role of ministerial training, which is the responsibility of the local church through experienced pastors. Therefore, students participate in supervised ministerial work while enrolled as students at CMC.

We pray the Lord will use these means to produce faithful preachers of his Holy Word.

Admission Requirements

CMC is a college that trains men who are pastors or studying for pastoral ministry. The following are the requirements for one to enter CMC:

— Successful completion of grade twelve or evidence of equivalent educational level.

— A recommendation letter from a church officer approving the student’s desire to study at CMC.

— A motivation letter from the prospective student explaining his interest in and desire to train at CMC, and expressing an awareness of and willingness to abide under the doctrinal framework of the college.

— A completed application form from the college.

                                                                                          Katongo Kafuko

                                                                                    CMC Administrator

 

Pastor Mwetwa officiates at Pastor Mwanza’s installation

June 12, 2016 was a glorious day in the life of Pastor Chopo Mwanza and that of Faith Baptist Church of Riverside (FBCR) in Kitwe. It was a day on which Pastor Chopo Mwanza was installed as the lead elder of FBCR. This was as a consequence of Pastor Saidi Chishimba stepping down as senior pastor of FBCR after twelve years of service.

When Pastor Chishimba served notice, a need arose to look for a lead elder. The church embarked on a period of prayer asking God specifically for his leading, direction, and unity of mind. Prayers were conducted corporately and members were encouraged to pray as individuals.

Amongst the serving elders at FBCR, Pastor Chopo Mwanza expressed willingness and availability to be the lead elder. His name, as per FBCR constitution, was presented before the church and voted upon. The result was overwhelmingly in his favour.

The installation service was held on June 12, 2016 and Pastor Choolwe Mwetwa of Central Baptist Church in Chingola graciously agreed to be the speaker. He shared from 1 Peter chapter 5 and Psalm 23. He reminded the church that the under-shepherd is called to oversee what belongs to God and that God has set a high standard for those that are called to oversee his flock.

Pastor Choolwe Mwetwa emphasised three practical roles of the under-shepherd:

  1. To lead: He pointed out that the sheep are prone to wander and to go astray. It is the same with people, hence the need for the pastor to lead.
  2. To protect: Since we live in a world saturated with sin, the pastor protects the flock by equipping them with Scripture.
  3. To provide: Pastor Choolwe Mwetwa finally emphasised that the business of an elder is to provide for his flock.

We are grateful to God for the answered prayers and for the unity of mind among the members of Faith Baptist Church. We also thank God for the ministry of Pastor Mwetwa on the day our pastor was installed. We pray that God will use the pastor he has given us for his own glory.

                                                                                    David Chabulembwa

                                                                                                           Elder

 

The Grace of God Towards Emmanuel Baptist Church

 

The grace of God upon Emmanuel Baptist Church (EBC) in Mpika has been very evident. The church traces her roots back to 1995 when a few saints from Lusaka Baptist Church relocated to Mpika, Northern Zambia, for work purposes. The idea of beginning this church in Mpika was born in the mind of a brother who worked for World Vision. In a meeting with Chief Chikwanda in Mpika, the brother was asked if a church of a Reformed Baptist nature could commence, since a church of this kind was not existent in Mpika. After much contemplation and prayer, the elders of Lusaka Baptist Church honoured and blessed the idea and EBC was born.

Pastor Michael Bwembya, currently serving in Livingstone at Trinity Baptist Church, was called to pastor this new church plant. His pastorate lasted five years. During his pastorate, the church acquired a piece of land, laid the slab for a church building, and slightly raised the walls. Then Clement Kaunda came and took over the work as his first pastorate. He is currently serving the Lord at Ciyanjano Baptist Church in Lusaka. During his time, the walls of the church building were finished and pillars were erected around the church hall.

In September 2013, Sydney Kombe took up the pastorate as his first pastorate. The church building project continued from where Pastor Kaunda had left it. The Lord raised ministry partners locally and abroad to support the work. These saints have been instrumental in helping both financially and spiritually. Over a period of almost three years, the church hall took shape as the remaining pillars were erected. The porch, flooring, and roofing were also completed by God’s grace.

Construction of the church building was finally completed and was commissioned on April 17, 2016 by Pastor Ronald Kalifungwa of Lusaka Baptist Church. He preached from 1Tim. 3:14–16 and challenged EBC in line with the scriptural injunction that the church should realise the reason for her existence. The celebratory event was colourfully punctuated by worship led by the musical group, Sanctum. Reverent songs were sung during this time.

Many saints from Lusaka travelled to Mpika to witness the Lord’s faithfulness towards EBC. Representatives from our international partners also came along to give glory to God because of his gracious dealings with EBC. The surrounding churches and local people were also in attendance. The local invitations were deliberate because many around Mpika thought EBC was satanically empowered. They wondered how a small church with a limited number of members and associates could manage to put up such a “magnificent” building. Hence, with them present at the commissioning it enabled us to report on how the Lord provided for the needs of the church.

Today, EBC is indebted to God, and remains true to him and his Word for the salvation of sinners and the sanctification of saints. It is our prayer that EBC would be a safe haven for seeking souls. Soli Deo Gloria!

                                                                                             Sydney Kombe

                                                                                                          Pastor

 

2016 Southern Province Reformed Conference

The month of July is a very important month for the Reformed Baptist churches in the Southern Province of Zambia. The importance of this month is seen in the way in which the Reformed Baptist churches of this region come together for Christian fellowship and also encourage one another through the teaching of God’s Word. During this period, the elders of the respective churches from the Reformed family also take the opportunity to plan joint projects and encourage one another in the ministry of our Lord.

In this brief report we would like to tell you about the last Reformed conference we had from July 3 – 4 in Mazabuka. The venue of the conference was the Central Baptist Church building, which was newly and beautifully constructed. We remain ever so grateful to the Lord our God, who is our provider, for giving our brethren the resources to complete the building.

The following churches were represented: Central Baptist Church (Mazabuka), Central Baptist Church (Choma), Ebenezer Reformed Baptist Church (Monze), Hope Reformed Baptist Church (Kalomo), and Trinity Baptist Church (Livingstone). The Intern Pastor of Hope Reformed Baptist Church and his wife were the latest couple in attendance!

There were two preachers. These were Pastor Lawrence Lama from Bethel Baptist Church (Kabwe) and Elder Charles Bota from Kabwata Baptist Church (Lusaka). Pastor Lama was the main speaker for the occasion and took us through “The Role of the Church in the Community.” Elder Bota conducted a seminar on music.

It causes no harm for us to make mention here that the Reformed Baptist churches in Lusaka have taken it upon themselves to sponsor our conference speakers. They have done so for the last ten years. We shall forever remain grateful to the Lord for our sister churches for this gesture. Its profitability is beyond description.

Here are some highlights

  1. The role of the church in the community: Pastor Lawrence Lama’s sermons were based on Acts 7:38 and Hebrews 2:12. He said the church is distinguished from any other assembly because the people who gather belong to Christ. The implication, therefore, is that because the church is a body of Christ, we should not be the ones inventing ways of being involved in the community. Our boundary of ministry to the community is as the Lord grants us opportunity through the guidance of his word.

Pastor Lama described the community as a group of people who live in the same area or have the same values. The role of the church, then, in the community is to share the Word of God and display the gospel’s attractiveness by being the salt and light of the world (Matt. 5:13-16). He asserted that the world is rotten and needs the preservative influence of the church. It will be required of us as Christians on the judgment day to give an account of how we served God in the communities where he placed us.

  1. Seminar on Music: Elder Charles Bota said that singing has always been a part of the people of God. He tabulated four reasons why the church should sing. These were (1) singing helps us praise God (Ephesians 5:19), (2) singing helps us to pray to God (Songs like “Revive Thy work, O Lord”, “Search me, O God”, “Speak, O Lord, as we come to you”), (3) singing is thanksgiving, (4) singing helps us to proclaim God’s Word (songs like “He left the splendour of heaven”, “Oh, what a wonderful, wonderful day”). We should sing truthfully, clearly, and fervently.

Elder Bota said those that lead congregational singing should prepare well and must choose congregational songs and not performance-oriented songs. The seminar had a demonstration of how the guitar can be used as an instrument in worship. He, however, concluded by stating that the congregation is the primary instrument in our congregational worship.

The fellowship was good and sumptuous meals were served. The evenings were cold to the extent that at one evening we needed to close the doors in order to keep warm. However, that was not even a bother as there was warm saintly fellowship.

We look forward to the 2017 Southern Province Reformed Conference that will take place in Livingstone—Zambia’s tourist capital! See to it that you find yourself in our area during this period and you will be assured of fellowship, good biblical teaching, good food, and some tourism experience.

                                                                                        Michael Bwembya

                                                                                                          Pastor