Missions History in Malawi

1963: Missionaries Raymond Cox and Richard Mueller move from Zambia (then Rhodesia) to Blantyre, Malawi (then Nyasaland), to begin the Lutheran Church of Central Africa (LCCA).

1964: Six Malawi men are confirmed and become charter members of the LCCA.

1966: Missionary John Janosek arrives in Blantyre. Mission work expands from the southern region of Malawi to the central and northern regions. Missionary Janosek retires in 2004 after having served 40 years in Africa.

1970: Medical mission work begins at Senga Bay on the shores of Lake Malawi.

1976: Deverson Ntambo, Malawi’s first national pastor, is ordained and installed at St. Peter’s congregation in Lilongwe. (Pastor Ntambo was called to glory in 1998 while serving Our Savior congregation in Zomba.)

1980-1982: The Lutheran Mobile Clinic leaves Senga Bay and begins to serve outlying stations from Lilongwe, Malawi’s new capital.

1981: The Lutheran Bible Institute opens in Lilongwe. Before this time, all Malawi students traveled to Zambia for both Bible institute and seminary level training.

1992: The LCCA divides into two conferences—the Malawi and Zambia conference—in order to facilitate a more efficient system of administration and smoother flow of activities.

1996: The Lutheran Church of Central Africa—Malawi elects the first African chairman, Pastor Frackson Chinyama. From this time on, all chairmen are Africans elected from the national church.

1997: Pastor Daison Mabedi is installed as the first national principal of the Lutheran Bible Institute in Lilongwe. He serves there until 2005.

1998: Two WELS missionaries, Richard Warnke and Ron Uhlhorn, are called to start urban and mass media ministries for the mission.

1999: The Lutheran Reading Room opens in the city of Blantyre, beginning urban outreach in the city. The Lutheran Reading Room leads directly to the formation of Beautiful Saviour Lutheran congregation, which opens its own church building in Blantyre in 2005.

2000: Lay missionary Bill Meier is called as a permanent business manager for the mission. The call allows pastor-trained missionaries to focus full time on gospel outreach.

2004: The urban church, Beautiful Saviour Lutheran Church, opens their new church building in October. The church is situated opposite the main market in the city of Blantyre, Malawi. The Christian Reading Room, a ministry of Beatiful Saviour, reaches out to the English-speaking community with Christian books and periodicals.

2005: Exploratory visits into the neighboring country of Mozambique lead to concrete plans and a timetable of WELS missionary outreach and expansion into that country.

2010: The Greater Africa Theological Studies Institute (GRATSI) is established for the granting of advanced degrees to select pastors from the LCCA Malawi and Zambia.

2012: A professional development program is established for ongoing education of every pastor in the LCCA-Malawi.

2019: The Confessional Lutheran Institute (CLI) is established to coordinate ongoing efforts of WELS to equip, enhance, and enable the pastors of its national church partners in Malawi and throughout Africa.


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