A Word From the Elders

The six sponsoring churches of the Zambian Reformed Conferences (namely Lusaka, Kabwata, Evangel, Mount Makulu, Crossway and Emmasdale Baptist churches) wish to invite and welcome you all to the 30th anniversary of this conference.
The theme for the 2019 conference is “Cessationism and Confessionalism”. Thirty years ago at our maiden conference Confessionalism was the theme. As for cessationism just about every Reformed Baptist Church in Zambian embraces it-it is, however the first time it is being fielded as a theme for the conference. In a day when some well meaning Calvinistic groupings are choosing not to systematically package their theology, we wish to reaffirm our conviction respecting the need to document a full and unambiguous assent to a body of beliefs in the church. We believe now, even as we did in 1990, that confessions are important as a means of affirming and defending the truth, a basis of fellowship and unity as well as an apparatus for maintaining our doctrinal integrity and legacy. Furthermore, in a day when there is much that dents our memories of what our reformed forebears bequeathed to us respecting cessationism and even people claiming to be reformed but nonetheless gravitating toward continuationism and even charismatism, we wish to remind ourselves as well as restate our belief in and commitment to the reformed doctrine of cessationism, which in summary outlines the fact that although God in his sovereign power and prerogative can choose to do the miraculous and supernatural, that he does not gift the church with supernatural and miraculous abilities today as he did in the apostolic era. Rather, these gift have ceased, and we so believe because such a reading fits best with scripture and experience.
To help us walk through these issues, we have put together a galaxy of
preachers including Alfred Nyrienda, Conrad Mbewe, Choolwe Mweetwa,
Ronald Kalifungwa and Voddie Baucham. Their efforts will be supplemented by those of Saidi Chishimba, Oswald Sichula, Carlos Paul and Isaac Makashinyi who will handle seminars on other topics. Apart from the obvious benefit we will draw from the preaching and teaching, we will also have the opportunity to meet and fellowship with brethren from other parts of Zambia and beyond our borders. The venue of the conference is once again the Dream Valley Lodge. It provides an excellent meeting hall, sufficient parking space, lodging for a number of delegates, localized catering and plenty of space and beautiful gardens. We will also have tack shops for those who wish to buy their own food. When you do join us we trust that you will all have a blessed and redeeming experience. If we can all come away determined to be more defined theologically and refined spiritually we will have had a successful conference and all glory, we trust, will redound to God.

Ronald Kalifungwa
For the ZRC Inter-church elders team

1990 – (Lusaka, Alfred Nyirenda, Achille Blaize) The Church of Christ –
Eldership rule, the use of Confessions of Faith.
1991 – (Lusaka, Martin Holdt, Vernon Light) Pitfalls of Reformation and
Expository Preaching.
1992 – (Kitwe, Conrad Mbewe, Peter Milsom, Tedd Tripp, David Straub)
Atonement, Habakkuk, Pastoralia and the Puritans.
1993 – (Lusaka, Peter Masters and Ronald Kalifungwa) Evangelism
1994 – (Lusaka, Nigel Lacey) Our Great Salvation, the Pastor as Physician of
1995 – (Lusaka, Glendon Thompson, Keith Underhill) The Person and Work
of Christ, Preaching Christ from the Old Testament.
1996 – (Kabwe, Errol Lester, Happy Ngoma, Percy Chisenga, Ronald
Kalifungwa, Conrad Mbewe) The Christian Home.
1997 – (Ndola, Martin Holdt, John Sale) Eschatology, the Christian and
1998 – (Lusaka, Roland Eskinazi) In the World but not of the World.
1999 – (Lusaka, Nigel Lacey, Ronald Kalifungwa) Ten Years On: Personal, Family and Church Reformation.
2000 – (Lusaka, Nico van der Walt, Joackim Rieck) The Holy Spirit.
2001 – (Lusaka, Dennis Hustedt, Jeff Gage) Worship in Spirit and in Truth.
2002 – (Lusaka, Bob Selph, Sukesh Pabari) The Dynamics and Life of the
New Testament Church, The Book of Acts.
2003 – (Lusaka, Tom Ascol, Bill Ascol) The Sovereignty of God in Salvation, Reconciliation, American Baptist Church History.
2004 – (Lusaka, Joel James, David Wegener) Jesus our great High Priest, the
book of Hebrews.
2005 – (Lusaka, Paul Washer, Ronald Kalifungwa) Missions—The Unfinished Task, the book of Jonah.
2006 – (Lusaka, Lance Quinn, Todd Murray, James Henrich) The Doctrines of Grace.
2007 – (Lusaka, Voddie Baucham, Jeff Noblit, Martha Peace) Evangelism and
2008 – (Lusaka, Voddie Baucham, Jim Grier) Apologetics—Giving reason for
the hope in us.
2009 – (Lusaka, Alfred Nyirenda, Conrad Mbewe) The Whole of Life
Under The Whole of Scripture.
2010 – (Lusaka, Bruce Button, Choolwe Mwetwa) The Christian Family.
2011 – (Lusaka, Jonathan Sims and Voddie Baucham) The Cross-Centred
2012 – (Lusaka, Voddie Baucham, Conrad Mbewe, Ronald Kalifungwa,
Choolwe Mwetwa, and Kabwe Kabwe) Missions—Not Beyond Our
2013 – (Lusaka, Tabithi Anyabwile and Don Carson) Finding Assurance and
Fighting Temptation
2014 – (Lusaka, Voddie Baucham and Ken Jones) Running Forward and
Remaining Faithful – Missions and the Doctrines of Grace.
2015 – (Lusaka, Joel Beeke and Steve Lawson) The Godward Life.
2016 – (Lusaka, joint conference with Sola 5, Naphtally Ogallo, Wayne Mark, Doug van Meter, Tim Cantrel, Joachim Rieck, and Zambian pastors)
Issues facing the Christian church today.
2017 – (Lusaka, Robert Dickie and Zambian pastors) The Great Protestant
2018 – (Lusaka, H B Charles Jr and Zambian pastors) Redemption
Accomplished and Applied.
2019 – (Lusaka, Ronald Kalifungwa, Conrad Mbewe, Choolwe Mwetwa,
Voddie Baucham) Cessationism and Confessionalism.

1990—Alfred Nyirenda, then pastor of Kitwe Chapel “It is ‘joy unspeakable’ to me that the Lord of glory has enabled me not only to see the birth of Reformed Baptist churches in Zambia, but to also see the consolidation of the Reformed doctrines of grace in our country. What particularly delights me are two things:

  1. The evolution of the Elbycites meetings into the Annual Reformed
    Family Conferences which have impacted greatly on the Reformed Baptist churches in Zambia and abroad. I am grateful to HIM that He has helped me to be part of this revival that has engulfed us over the past thirty years.
  2. The evangelistic character of this movement which has led to numerous new births in Christ and the resultant multiplication of church plants across Zambia and Africa.
    The Lord of glory has been with us and has led us over the past three
    decades. It is my prayer to HIM that the Spirit of the Living God will continue to inflame this impetus to greater heights for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ and the salvation of more souls in Him.”
    1992—Tedd Trip, author of Shepherding a Child’s Heart “How I remember the wonderful days we spent with the brethren in Zambia in August of 1992. The country was suffering from a drought, the fields were all brown and the nshima was yellow (made with corn from the USA because of the drought). I travelled with Pastor David Straub who became ill during the days there and could not finish one of two of his presentations. There may have been a drought in the land, but the Holy Spirit was poured out on all who attended. I remember preaching on holiness in the early morning. I was struck both by the youth and earnestness of the attenders. Every time I made Bible citation the rustle of pages would testify to the dedication of those young people and their love for God and his Word. They took copious notes and hung on every word like it was manna from heaven. It was so humbling to see their passion and zeal for truth.
    Unknown to anyone attending the conference, I had left home during
    one of the darkest trials of my pastoral ministry. The final outcome of this trial and my ministry still hung in the balance. As the days passed I realized the incredible mercy of God in plucking me out of my home and placing me in the middle of the most significant reformed baptist movement on the planet. How richly the saints ministered to me, their passion for God, their love of his truth, their joy in his presence, their sober desire for holiness, all ministered to me. And oh how they sang! The rich harmony and the full timbre of the African voice filled my eyes with tears and my heart with joy. What precious days! What a foretaste of glory!
    My prayer is that the upcoming conference will minister to attendees as the 1992 conference ministered to me. May the Spirit of God be your portion, may you delight in the preciousness of Christ and may our great God and Father enlarge your vision of Himself and all his manifold perfections. I wish I could be with you.”
    1995—Keith Underhill, pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, Nairobi, Kenya “I was struck by the depth of teaching I was required to give, having already been in Kenya more than 20 years. The questions in public and the fellowship in private showed the hunger for the truth the Lord had given since my first visit in 1979 when the reformation was just beginning. What an encouragement to be amongst such brethren!”
    1996—Errol Lester, then from South Africa “What a privilege it was to speak at your annual conference so many years ago. My memories of the conference include the fact that God was honored by humble participants and preachers who sought to acknowledge the sovereignty, grace and love of God in humility and dedication. What a joy to know the Lord has continued to use his servants there and bless the ministry over the years. May you continue to know the Lord’s grace, the Lord’s power and the Lord’s blessing in whatever days lie ahead.”
    1998—Roland Eskinazi, pastor of Germiston Baptist Church, RSA
    “It has been 21 years since the 1998 Conference! However I remember so clearly: A winsome hunger for good teaching, and joyous singing that seemed to me to be a little glimpse of heaven. Put hearty fellowship into the mix and and you may be in for a taste of revival. May the Lord richly add His blessing to the ongoing blessing of the conference over the years.”
    2000—Joachim Rieck, pastor of Eastside Baptist Church, Namibia
    “My association with Zambian Reformed Baptists goes back to 1993 when I first met Conrad Mbewe at a conference sponsored by Lynnwood Baptist Church in South Africa. I have been to Zambia several times since then. 19 years ago, it was my privilege to teach at the Zambian Reformed Conference on the theme of “The Holy Spirit”. My abiding impression concerning the Reformed conference in Zambia is the earnestness and zeal and love for the truth as it is
    in Jesus. May our ascended Lord Jesus be pleased to keep His hand upon this ministry, by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit and always to the glory of God the Father.”
    2003—Tom Ascol, pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Cape Coral, USA “It was a joyful, memorable experience for me. The eager reception of God’s Word, exuberant singing of His praise, and hope-filled outlook on the future were contagious. I loved the fellowship.”
    2003—Bill Ascol, pastor of Bethel Baptist Church, Owasso, USA “It is hard to believe that it has been over 20 years since I was privileged to
    participate in the Zambian Reformed Conference. Even so, the memories of that sweet experience are still fresh on my mind and my heart. The spiritual appetite demonstrated by those in attendance, the zeal for Truth on display, and the precious fellowship with so many like-minded brothers and sisters in Christ blessed me beyond words and filled my heart with it joy. It was a foretaste of heaven indeed. May the Lord continue to pour out His mercy and grace on the planners, leaders, facilitators, and attendees. I cannot commend this
    spiritual/theological banquet too strongly.”
    2005—Paul Washer, director of HeartCry Missionary Society “The things which I most remember about the Zambian Reformed Conference are the preaching and the fellowship. It is a beautiful thing to see Christians from across the Africa continent gathered together in the name of Christ.”
    2006—Lance Quinn, pastor, Bethany Bible Church, California, USA “Two distinct recollections stand out vividly in my mind: (1) The conference attendees grew in number with each successive evening! I’ve only seen in other conferences where successive attendance curtailed, but never increased! This obviously shows the African hunger and thirst for the doctrines of sovereign grace! (2) This first observation naturally leads to a second: The graciousness of those hosting and attending the conference and their zeal for godliness. Our
    God is continuing to do a great work in Zambia, and may it ever increase!”
    2007—Jeff Noblit, Senior Pastor of Grace Life Church of the Shoals, USA “One of the fondest memories of my itinerate ministry was preaching for the Reformed Conferences in Zambia in 2007. The enthusiasm for the Word and commitment to healthy local church life was an encouragement to my soul. You are dear brothers and sisters in Christ. I rejoice in the success and continuation of this great work.”
    2007—Martha Peace, author of The Excellent Wife “Congratulations on 30 years! What an amazing milestone! In 2007, my husband, Sanford, and I were privileged to come to Zambia to participate in your annual Zambian Reformed Conference. Voddie Baucham and Jeff Noblitt taught everyone and I taught the women. It was exciting to be there and the Lord blessed those who attended and those who taught. Your conference is certainly honoring to the Lord, and greatly beneficial to those who attend. Again congratulations on 30 years of faithful service to the Zambian Christians!”
    2011—Jono Sims, senior pastor of Shelbyville Baptist Church, USA
    “In 32 years of pastoral ministry I have been to many good conferences. But in 2011 I was privileged to preach at the Zambian Reformed Conference. To this day I still mark this conference as one of the best I have ever attended. The conference was thoroughly doctrinal, the worship was glory of God focused, and the fellowship was heavenly! It felt like a band of brothers! I strongly encourage all to attend this conference! It will challenge you and edify you and
    God will use it to sanctify you in your walk with Christ!”
    2014—Ken Jones, pastor of Glendale Missionary Baptist Church, USA
    “I had the distinct honor of speaking at the 25th Zambian Reformed Conference and it was an experience that has yielded countless warm and joyful memories. The sight of over a thousand African brothers and sisters gathering for five days and nights listening intently to the Doctrines of Grace being expounded – the sweet sound of African voices singing hymns drenched in that grace – and the lingering fellowship in the afterglow of the sessions has left an indelible
    impression on my mind and heart.”
    2015—Joel Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary “I thoroughly enjoyed speaking at the Zambian Reformed Conference several years ago. For me, there were three highlights: (1) the zeal, godliness, and teachability of the attendees; (2) the bonding friendship and fellowship established between believers (I treasured my time with Conrad Mbewe and Ronald Kalifungwa); and, of course, (3) the rich substance of the topics being conveyed by godly speakers. You won’t want to miss this 30th conference—I wish I could be there with you!”