A History of the Last Church of God and His Christ

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English
218 Pages
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Some scholars classify the Last Church of God and His Christ under the ecclesiastical-cultural bloc known as African Indigenous Churches (AICs). David Barret has divided the world�s Christians into seven major ecclesiastical blocs. However, there are many large churches and denominations which do not define themselves under any of these three terms, and often reject all three. As far back as 1549 (Japan) and 1741 (USA), new types of Christianity have emerged that do not fit readily into any of these preceding six major blocs. These consist of denominations, churches and movements that have been initiated, founded and spread by black, Non-White or non-European peoples without European assistance, mainly in the Global South, but also among Black and Non-White minorities in the Western World. The African Indigenous Churches fall under this category. The aim of the book, is to examine the history of the Last Church of God and His Christ International in Malawi from its beginning (1916) through the years and to portray a picture of its current existence in its various branches: What developments and changes have taken place over the years? What has been the relationship of the church to African culture? How has the church grown or expanded? Has the church been able to maintain its unity? And what has been the relationship of the church with other churches?

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Published 05 January 2018
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EAN13 9789996060199
Language English
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Wezi Makuni Gondwe, born in 1984 in Kajimankhu (Rumphi) in Northern Malawi, aended Ekwendeni Girls Secondary School and received her BA (Educaîon Humaniîes) from Chancellor College of the University of Malawi and her MA from Mzuzu University. Currently she is a lecturer at Blantyre Synod University.
There is much literature that makes the claim that African Independent Churches (in their wide variety) offer a specifically African (and more genuine) response to the Chrisîan message. Being well aware of such claims, Wezi Gondwe avoids all generalizaîons and portrays one African Independant Church, with its history, theology and piety, that originated among the Tonga of Northern Malawi a century ago. She found that the Last Church of God and His Christ does not really fit the assumed categories and points to the "full circle of change" it went through. While it could be seen, in its support for polygamy and beer drinking, as a successful aempt to integrate the Chrisîan faith with African culture, three generaîons into its history the Last Church (at least in its major branch) has rejected both, thus becomming "mainline" again.
This book is part of Mzuni Press which offers a range of books on religion, culture and society from Malawi
A History of the Last urch of A History of the Last Church of God and HisChrist God and His Christ
Wezi Gondwe
Wezi Makuni Gondwe
A History of the Last Church of God and His Christ
Copyright 2018 Wezi Makuni Gondwe All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission from the publishers. Published by Mzuni Press P/Bag 201 Luwinga, Mzuzu 2 Malawi ISBN 978-99960-60-18-2 eISBN 978-99960-60-19-9 Mzuni Press is represented outside Malawi by: African Books Collective Oxford (also for e-books) (orders@africanbookscollective.com) www.mzunipress.blogspot.com www.africanbookscollective.com Index and editorial assistance: Daniel Neumann Printed in Malawi by Baptist Publications, P.O. Box 444, Lilongwe
A History of the Last Church of God and His Christ in Malawi from 1916 to 2015
Wezi Makuni Gondwe
A Mzuni Monograph Mzuzu 2018
Abbreviations AAC African Abraham Church AIC African Independent (Instituted, Indigenous) Church CCAP Church of Central Africa Presbyterian CAP Church of Africa Presbyterian EAM Evangelical Association of Malawi MCC Malawi Council of Churches MCP Malawi Congress Party MP Member of Parliament NRM New Religious Movement(s) PIM Providence Industrial Mission
Contents IntroductionChapter 1: The Last Church of God and His Christ as an “African Independent Church”
Chapter 2: The Last Church of God and His Christ between 1916 and 1936 Chapter 3: The Growth of the Last Church of God from 1935 to 1962 Chapter 4: The Last Church of God and His Christ ("Reformed Last")
Chapter 5:
Chapter 6:
The Last Church of God and His Christ International (African Last)
Marriage and Polygamy in the Last Church of God and His Christ
Chapter 7: Charismatic and Pentecostal Tendencies Chapter 8: The Sunday Worship and Preaching Service in the Last Church of God and His Christ International Chapter 9: Becoming Mainline Again
Bibliography
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Illustrations Figure 1 The General Principal Rev O. Masinda Figure 2 Kazando Reformed Last Church of God Figure 3 The pastors of the Reformed Last Church of God Figure 4 Part of the gathering during the 2010 women’s conference at Phiri
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Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8
Figure 9 Figure 10 Figure 11
Figure 12 Figure 13
Three women preachers from Nkhotakota at Phiri (2010)
Amayi Achikondimembers at Phiri (2010)
Amayi Achikondifrom Kasitu Last Church
A youth choir from Nkhafu
A choir from different churches in Nkhatabay
Munkhokwe Last Church of God
Katoto Last Church of God (Chintheche, 2010
African Last Church Msondozi headquarters
Amayi AchikondiChoir at Munkhokwe (African Last)
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81 82 82 83 84 99 105 106 114
Introduction
The Last Church of God and His Christ International, Malawi, owes its origin in this country to Jordan Msumba. He was from Usisya, village headman Mabuli in Nkhatabay district. Jordan Msumba came in touch 1 with this church while in South Africa. In 1916 he started the church in th Malawi, but it was officially registered only on 29 April 1925. Jordan Msumba originally intended to establish the church at Usisya, in his home village, but the church was not welcome there. He therefore came to Nkhatabay and established the church at Msondozi, which eventually 2 became the headquarters of the church. Jordan Msumba left Msondozi for Tanzania in 1928 and planted the church at Mwanza. In 1936, he died in Tanzania. Meanwhile the church in Malawi was left in the hands of Rev Isaac Mkhuta Banda, who became the second Archbishop of the church after Msumba. From Msondozi the church spread to other areas in Malawi as well as to neighbouring 3 countries. Since its establishment, a lot has happened in the church. What develop-ments and changes have taken place over the years? What has been the relationship of the church to African culture? How has the church grown or expanded? Has the church been able to maintain its unity? And what has been the relationship of the church with other churches? These are some of the questions I intend to answer in this book. While some attention has been paid to the origins and distinct features of the Last Church of God in Malawi, there seems to be a gap in terms of a consolidated and comprehensive history of the church over the years. The church has spread to many areas and has undergone many changes. As the church is counted among the African Independent Churches, what did this mean and what does it mean now, but also what changes have taken place over the years? 1  Int. Rev Chiuli Manda, retired Area Bishop, Munkhokwe, 17.9.2011. 2  Ibid. 17.9.2011. 3  Ibid. 17.9.2011. 7
The aim of the book, therefore, is to examine the history of the Last Church of God and His Christ International in Malawi from its beginning (1916) through the years and to portray a picture of its current existence in its various branches.
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Chapter 1: The Last Church of God and His Christ as an “African Independent Church”
Some scholars classify the Last Church of God and His Christ under the 1 ecclesiastical-cultural bloc known as African Indigenous Churches (AICs). David Barret has divided the world’s Christians into seven major ecclesi-astical blocs. Three of these are: Roman Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and 2 Protestantism. These three are major Christian blocs which have arisen during the course of Christian history.
However, there are many large churches and denominations which do not define themselves under any of these three terms, and often reject 3 all three. Therefore David Barret’s survey recognizes the existence of 4 three further distinct worldwide blocs of Christianity: Anglicanism, 5 marginal Protestantism and Catholicism (non-Roman). However, as far back as 1549 (Japan) and 1741 (USA), new types of Christianity have emerged that do not fit readily into any of these 6 preceding six major blocs. These consist of denominations, churches and movements that have been initiated, founded and spread by black, Non-White or non-European peoples without European assistance, mainly in the Global South, but also among Black and Non-White minorities in the Western World. The African Indigenous Churches fall under this 7 category. 1  David Barret (ed.),World Christian Encyclopaedia: A Comparative Survey of Churches and Religions in the Modern World AD 1900-2000, New York: Oxford University Press, 1982, p. 60. 2  Ibid. p. 62. 3 Ibid. p. 56. 4  Ibid. p. 56. 5  These are Para-Christian, quasi Christian deviations from mainline Protestantism claiming a second or supplementary or ongoing source of divine revelation in addition to the Bible. Ibid. p. 56. 6  Ibid. p. 56. 7  Ibid. p. 60. 9