Mission History in Zambia

1945: WELS in synod convention agrees to send two pastors on an exploratory journey to investigate mission possibilities in Africa.

1953: Worship services begin in Lusaka, Zambia.

1954: The first worship services are held at Lumano village, the future site of the Central African Medical Mission.

1957: After four years of WELS missionary presence, the Rhodesian Lutheran Church has 18 preaching stations, 1 organized congregation, and an average weekly worship attendance of more than 1,000 people.

1960: Another chapel starts. Plans for a Bible institute begin in Lusaka.

1962: The name is changed from Rhodesian Lutheran Church to Lutheran Church of Central Africa (LCCA).

1964: The WELS mission opens a Bible institute in Chelston, east of Lusaka, to begin training African men for ministry. The first synod convention of the LCCA meets with 12 lay delegates, 10 religious workers, 4 missionaries, and 4 visitors.

1968: A publications building is completed and dedicated.

1969: A Lutheran seminary is added to the worker training system.

1978: The LCCA works toward self support and votes for a 5% reduction of subsidy to national pastors each year until congregations are paying 100% of their pastors’ salaries.

1987: Pastor Salimo Hachibamba, one of the first students of the Bible institute and seminary, is called to lead those same schools in Chelston, near Lusaka.

1988: The LCCA elects its first African man to serve as chairman of the synod.

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 Chuch of Central Africa-Zambia conference proposes a 5% reduction of all subsidy received from WELS each year, challenging itself not to cut programs and projects by raising those needed funds from Zambian congregations. The LCCA decides to place the Bible institute in Lilongwe, Malawi, and the seminary in Lusaka, Zambia.

1999: The LCCA-Zambia proposes that the 5% reduction of subsidy to the LCCA be applied to the administration budget of the synod first and allow the seminary and publications programs to be funded fully with subsidy at this time. This was to assure that vital programs continue as the LCCA-Zambia worked to improve offerings.

2000: All Zambian congregations pay 100% of their called workers’ salaries. Pastor Bismark Kalyobwe is elected chairman of the LCCA-Zambia.

2003: Two missionary positions are cut due to budget constraints. The urban ministry coordinator position is created to reach out to a developing upper and middle class of people in Zambia.

2004: Rev. Milton Mpofu is elected to serve as the chairman of the LCCA-Zambia.

2005: The administration budget for the Lutheran Church of Central Africa-Zambia is funded by 50% from local offerings and 50% from WELS subsidy. The seminary and printing press are fully funded by WELS subsidy.

2006: Rev. Fainos Tarisayi is elected as chairman of the LCCA-Zambia. The WELS mission puts themselves under the direction of the LCCA-Zambia and stand ready to serve in areas and ministries that the LCCA-Zambia determines. The LCCA-Zambia strategic plan includes a desire to concentrate more on the urban centers in the country and add regulations directing and governing the works of charities that are being done by and on behalf of the LCCA-Zambia. Rev. Samuel Kawiliza is called to serve as the third Zambian professor at the seminary.

2008: Rev. Davison Mutentami is elected as chairman of the LCCA-Zambia.

2009: WELS budget reductions force the removal of three missionary positions in Zambia, leaving four missionaries serving in Zambia. The LCCA-Zambia fills the gap left by the departing missionaries by forming larger parish unions and having Zambian pastors fill vacancies.

2010: Rev. Davison Mutentami is elected to a second two-year term as chairman of the LCCA-Zambia. The Greater Africa Theological Studies Institute (GRATSI) is established for the granting of advanced degrees to select pastors from the LCCA Malawi and Zambia.

2011: A Zimbabwe student, Genius Moyo, graduates from the seminary and starts his vicar year. The Africa Regional Conference of the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference is held in Lusaka with delegates from Malawi, Zambia, Cameroon, and Nigeria in attendance.

2012: Pastor Davison Mutentami was elected as synod chairman.

2014: The LCCA-Zambia budget is funded 80% from LCCA-Zambia offerings and 20% from WELS subsidy. The publications budget is funded 40% from sales and 60% from WELS. The seminary professor’s salary is conversed 100% by the LCCA-Zambia budget, but all other funding for the seminary and press is covered by WELS. The GRATSI 2010 program holds its final session for the 2010 class in Lusaka and five Zambian pastors graduate with a Bachelor of Divinity. Pastor Bismark Kalyobwe is elected as synod chairman.

2016: Pastor David Baloy is elected as synod chairman. Pastor David Kamwata and Missionary Daniel Sargent visited the Lutheran Church Mission in Christ in Kenya (LCMC-Kenya).

2017: The Synodical Council of the LCCA-Zambia proposes official discussions with the LCMC – Kenya with the goal of reaching full fellowship.

2018: Pastor Davison Mutentami is elected as synod chairman.

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 Zambia and throughout Africa.


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