Lunjika SDA Mission in Northern Malawi 1932 - 1995


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The missionary work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church started in Southern Malawi in 1902, and histories of churches are usually told from that starting point. This book uses a different approach, it tells the story of Lunjika Mission (earlier called Mombera Mission) which begins in 1932, showing how the SDA Church met a new culture, that of the strongly patrilineal Ngoni and their neighbours to the North, and how it dealt with other churches that had started missionary work in that broad area up to two generations before.



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Published 22 May 2018
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EAN13 9789996060373
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Simeon Banda of Chimdidi Village Tradiîonal Authority Wimbe, in Kasungu. He aended his
educaîon at Robert Laws. In 1988 went to Karonga TTC for
University for BEd majoring in Religion. In July 2002 he was
Director of Research and Publicaîon at Malawi Advenîst
The missionary work of the Seventh-day Advenîst Church
are usually told from that starîng point. This book uses a different approach, it tells the story of Lunjika Mission (earlier
in that broad area up to two generaîons before.
which offers a range of books
Lunjika Mission in Northern Malawi
Macleard Banda
Macleard Banda
Lunjika SDA Mission in Northern Malawi 1932 – 1995
Copyright 2018 Macleard Banda All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any from 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 ISBN 978-99960-60-36-6 eISBN 978-99960-60-37-3 Mzuni Books no. 24 Mzuni Press is represented outside Malawi by: African Books Collective Oxford ( Index, Cover and editorial assistance: Daniel Neumann Printed in Malawi by Baptist Publications, P.O.B. 444, Lilongwe
Lunjika SDA Mission in Northern Malawi 1932 – 1995 Macleard Banda
Mzuni Books no. 24 Mzuzu 2018
Acknowledgements I would like to express my gratitude to all those who contributed to the development of this thesis on which this book is based. Special thanks should go to my wife Emily Tinenenji Singano Banda and the entire family of H.M. Chitembeya in Kasungu for funding the data collection process. I am indebted to the family of S.H. Kabambe of Lunjika Secondary School for providing me with very comfortable accommodation for a period of three weeks in June 2004, when I was collecting data at Lunjika and surrounding areas. I would like also to thank Pastor S.L.T. Chipeta, the Headmaster of Kamirabanthu Primary School, E.K. Mzumara, P. Katumbi and J.I. Magaleta for providing accommodation when I was collecting data in Mzuzu, Mabulabo, Sandama, Neno and Matandani respectively. Special thanks should go to the Principal and J. Kholowa of Malamulo Secondary School, at Makwasa and the Headmaster and B. Zibophe of Chiwale Secondary School, in Neno for allowing and arranging that I should use their computers for typing my thesis. Last but not least, I would like to thank members of staff of the Malawi National Archives and the SDA Malawi Union Archives for opening the doors of archival sources very wide for me to have access. To crown it all, I thank my supervisors Dr Klaus Fiedler and Dr Felix Chingota for their supervisory work. May the good Lord bless you all, Amen.
Abbreviations Introduction Chapter One: Mission Foundations 1893–1948 Chapter Two: Mission Work 1947–1962 Chapter Three: The Northern Missions 1960.1972 Chapter Four: The Era of Malawian Leadership in the Mission 1973–1995 Conclusion Appendices Bibliography
Adventist Health Services Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Adventist Youth Church of Central Africa Presbyterian European Union Free Church of Scotland General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church General Certificate of Education Ordinary level Human Immune Deficiency Virus Kasungu Flue Cured Tobacco Authority Local Education Authority Malawi Broadcasting Corporation Malawi Congress Party Malawi National Archives Malawi School Certificate of Education Malawi Union Archives Missionary Volunteer Native Authority North American Conference North American Division Non-Governmental Organization North Nyasa Mombera district Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Seventh–day Adventist Seventh Day Baptist South East Africa Union Senior Missionary Volunteer Tobacco Association of Malawi United Democratic Front Universities Mission to Central Africa United States of America Voice of Prophecy
The Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church is one of the steadily growing Evangelical churches in Malawi. It is the third largest Christian church in the country, after Catholics and Presbyterians. It began its work at the then Plainfield Mission in 1902 with a small membership of seven. In 1907 the mission was renamed Malamulo, because of the church’s teaching emphasis on the Decalogue, especially on the observance of 1 the Sabbath. The mission started her outreach programmes in 1908 when it opened 2 another mission station in Neno at Matandani. In 1924, the SDA Church in Malawi opened her third mission at Thekerani as an outstation of Malamulo Mission. Four years later the work of the church reached the northern part of Malawi by opening Luwazi Mission in the area of village headman Kapalapata in the Traditional Authority Timbiri, in Nkhata Bay district. In 1932, the church opened Lunjika mission as the second mission station in the north, in the area of village headman Sikelo Katundu, in Traditional Authority Mtwalo in Mzimba district. As time went on, the church opened numerous mission stations in all three regions of Malawi, because the church membership was growing steadily. For instance, in 1925 the membership of the Seventh-day 1  Song number 110 inKhristu mu Nyimbothe laws, Int. Ruth emphasizes Ngaiyaye (Mrs Kacelenga), who was a student at Malamulo Mission in the 1940s. Her father Pastor James Ngaiyaye was among the seven people who were baptized in the first Seventh-day Adventist baptism in Malawi in 1905. Those baptized were the first students of Thomas Branch’s school, whose teacher was his daughter Mabel Branch (Yonah Matemba, Aspects of the Centenary History of Malamulo Seventh-day Adventist Mission, Makwasa, Malawi, 1902-2002, Zomba: Kachere, 2008 (Kachere Documents no. 53). 2  Don F. Neufeld (ed),SDA Encyclopedia, vol. 10, Washington DC: Review and Herald, 1966, p. 741. For the history of Matandani Mission, see Yonah Matemba,Matandani. The Second Adventist Mission in Malawi, Zomba: Kachere, 2003, p. 32.
3 Adventist Church in Malawi was about 2,000, and by 1955, 4 membership had grown to 10,000. As of 2003, baptized membership 5 of SDA in Malawi was estimated to be 213,566 and in the northern 6 region alone the membership was estimated to be 26,107. Of these Lunjika SDA church, whose history is told and analyzed in this book, 7 had 3,000 baptized members. This fast growth is attributed partly to the various social services that the SDA church provides to the community in Malawi. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is very well known for the various services that it offers to the people apart from spreading the gospel. In Malawi, the church offers health services through Blantyre Adventist Hospital and through Malamulo Hospital in Thyolo district. The church has numerous dispensaries and clinics throughout the country. It also offers education services through her primary, secondary and tertiary institutions of education. The SDA Church currently has one primary school and one secondary school in the north; two primary schools and one secondary school in the centre; and three primary schools and three secondary schools in the south. The church has one major college at Lakeview in Ntcheu, affiliated to Baraton University in Kenya.
3  Education Department of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists,The Story of Our Church, Mountain View: Pacific Press, 1956, p. 27. Also see "One Hundred Years and Homeward Bound",Eastern Africa Division Outlook,Vol. 4, October-December 1993, p. 7. 4  H.W. Klaser,Seventh-day Adventist Church Year Book, 1955, p. 170. 5  General Conference,SDA Year Book, 2003, p. 308. 6  Manuel M. Zungu, North Malawi Field of the SDA Church, Secretary/Treasurer Report, 31.3.2004. 7  Int. Secretary/Treasurer, North Malawi Field (Manuel M. Zungu), 24.6.2004.
Unlike her sister missions of Malamulo and Matandani, whose stories 8 are relatively well known, Lunjika Mission's history has not been written yet, notwithstanding the contribution the mission has made in spreading the gospel in addition to providing education and health services to the overall Seventh-day Adventist work in the North. It is therefore the purpose of this research to present and analyze the history of Lunjika Mission with special reference to the fact that the mission of the SDA Church belongs to everyone, with no distinction in race, age or gender. The analysis begins from 1932, when Lunjika Mission was established; it then goes on through 1967 when the Mission closed the Ministerial Seminary. The analysis ends in 1995 when Lunjika Mission handed over many of her primary schools to the government; and all her health centres and clinics to the Adventist Health Services. The study will trace and examine the origin, development, and the impact of indigenization on the mission and other issues that occurred at the mission as it was growing.
The book covers mainly six broad issues. Firstly, it outlines the beginning of the Adventist church in Malawi from 1893-1927 when the missionary work was concentrated in the southern part of Malawi. It also covers the establishment of the Adventist missions in the north with special focus on Lunjika mission and its relationship with other denominations. Secondly, it examines the contribution of the national and expatriate missionaries at the mission. It is argued that while not all missionaries were industrious, the study shows that through personal effort of some missionaries, the mission developed to an admirable level not only for Adventists in Malawi but also in the entire
8  The history of Malamulo has been written by C. Khanje ("Impact of Malamulo in south Thyolo 1902-1972 a Broad Prospective") and S.K. Sayenda ("Missionaries and Health a Case Study of Malamulo Mission Hospital 1907-1964") in their Seminar papers while Yonah Matemba has written the history of Matandani and Malamulo. See Yonah Matemba,Matandani. The Second Adventist Mission in Malawi, Zomba: Kachere, 2003; Yonah Matembo, Aspects of the Centenary History of Malamulo Seventh-day Adventist Mission, Makwasa, Malawi, 1902-2002 (a Kachere Document).