Billy Graham Center
"Sitting Down at the Feast of the Kingdom of God"
Glimpses from the Archives of the Flowering of Southern
[Expanded version of the talk Bob gave at the Treasures of Wheaton program for alumni on May 8, 2004 in
Barrows Auditorium of the Billy Graham Center in Wheaton, Illinois, United States. Note: some of the images from the talk still need to be linked to this page.]
In the year 325 AD, the Emperor Constantine called the first universal church council to meet in
Nicea, what is now the Turkish city of Iznik. The bishops and theologians of the era
gathered to represent the church at one of the greatest turning point in its history. It has just
moved from persecuted fellowship to an officially favored religion and was starting to deal with
the temptations of prosperity.
At this gathering almost seventeen centuries ago, the representatives of the church were almost
all Asian or African. Alexandria, Jerusalem and Antioch were the great Christian centers. Of the
hundreds of churchmen present, only seven came from Northern and western Europe. What we
now call the west was not particularly important as a source of theology or Christian experience,
except for the church in Rome itself.
Now at the beginning of the twenty-first century if it were possible to have another universal and
representative church council, Africans and Asians and Latin Americans would make up the
majority by a large margin. We are at a point when once again Christianity is expanding rapidly
in terms of numbers and influence in newer churches, most
spectacularly in African, where Christians went from 8 percent of the population in 1900 to 44
percent in 2000. In terms of population, the center of gravity of the church moved south some
years ago. What this will mean in terms of Christian thought and practice in the future we cannot
know. But we can study the planting and development and maturing of these great southern
It is an epic story. Anyone wanting an introduction would do well to read Philip Jenkins recent
book, The Next Christendom, which was the indirect inspiration of this talk. To see all of this
epic is impossible And even to get a good partial understanding is difficult. There are many
different vantage points to look from. I am going to give you some
glimpses of this story, as seen from documents in the Billy Graham Center Archives. Think of the Archives as a hill from which we can watch a small part of the story. It does not allow us to see too deeply into many of the great indigenous Christian movements or the world wide Pentecostal revival that is almost a
century old or the expansion of the Roman Catholic church. But we can still see some amazing scenes.
The first glimpse is of founding. As we know from the New Testament, the seed found good soil
in Asia and Africa very early. Ancient Christian traditions tell us of the preaching of the Gospel
in India and China soon after the Resurrection. The Gospel was being proclaimed in South
America and the Pacific lands by the beginning of the modern age. The church was global long before the
great missionary efforts from North America Protestants began. But it was in the twentieth
century that in many lands in Africa and Asia particularly that Christians became a significant
portion of the population (as is indicated in this multitude waiting for baptism in central Africa
in the 1930s) and began to seriously impact their own cultures. Foreign missionaries were a part -
an important part but only a part - of this founding of communities of Christian faith . And if
you stand at Archives hill, you can glimpse a few scenes of this great work.
William Saunders was a New Zealand missionary to China with China Inland Mission. Here is
his personnel card from the mission files. From 1930 until 1951 he worked in Tienshui in Gansu
province.. His friend and coworker there, Elder Chao, wrote an account in Chinese of how the Gospel was preached in Tienshui by missionaries, then Chinese Christians, people came to Christ, and a
church began. Saunders translated the text into English. Years later, interviewed him at the
Overseas Missionary Retirement home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania about his life. He mentioned
this document and gave it to the Archives. I will always kick myself for not asking at the time if
he had the original Chinese document and would want to put it in the Archives as well. But I
didn't and this translation is all we have of the original. Here is how Mr. Saunders described
Elder Chao in his interview:
Very, very interesting. Very slow speaking. Very simple speaking. The country people,
ordinary people liked him because he...he was...wasn''t a smart aleck. He was very
considerate and he had a very.... I remember that I gave him the auto...the biography
of the great evangelist Song to read in Chinese. He couldn''t put it down. And I saw
him there and he said (and I was within hearing), ""I''m Samson grinding at the
mill."" That he felt that compared with evangelist Yeng Song, he was just grinding away.
SHUSTER: With blinded eyes.
SHUSTER: With blinded eyes. Like Samson.
SAUNDERS: The reason was this (and...) that when he was a young man, a
missionary and his wife thought, ""Oh, this young man has great possibilities. I''ll tell
you what we''ll do. We''re going to Chefoo to see our children."" (On the coast, you
know, on northeast China.) ""We''ll take young Chao with us. He''ll be great help on
the road. And there a place where there are many educated young women. Perhaps, we
can find a wife for him."" Now that is entirely according to Chinese custom. You
don''t leave such an important matter for the young people themselves to decide. Their
betters do it for them. So he went to Chefoo with these folk. And he was introduced to a
young lady teacher. And there were sev...a couple of months, I guess. And they met
from time to time. And so when they were beginning to think about returning to
Gansu, they said to young Mr. Chao, ""Well, what about it? You met this young lady
several times. What about her?"" ""Oh, I''m sure a very fine young woman, yes.""
""Well, would you like us to [mumbles] arrange a marriage for you and take her back
to Gansu?"" And he hummed and he hawed and didn''t no where to look, didn''t
know what to say. And so they pressed him and pressed him, ""Well, what''s the
matter?"" [pauses] ""She has natural feet.""
SAUNDERS: And to take a freak like that back to Gansu, a conservative place, he
couldn''t face it. [pauses] So he went back and he married [unclear] one with suitably
bound feet. I knew her. Not a bad woman at all. And her children were good children.
But I always felt that Elder Chao was a defeated man. He did his duty. He was a solid,
good character, but he felt that he had, in a way, failed. Very pitiful. And that''s what
brings me to another point. You know, many, many histories of pioneer work are being
written in China, but I...he wrote the history of the Tienshui church. Would you like it
for the Archives?
SAUNDERS: I thought so.
And here is how Elder Chao described the coming of Christianity to his personal corner of the
world in 1874, a story for which he himself was largely relying on eyewitness accounts that had
been handed down to him:
In the seventh year of the reign of the Emperor Kwang Hsu of the Manchu Dynasty (1874) the
China Inland Mission sent the two missionaries, Easton and Hunter to Tienshui to establish a
mission station and preach the Doctrine. At that time in our country, communications were very
difficult, customs were very conservative and few foreigners were seen in inland parts. So when
they arrived the two missionaries settled themselves in the north suburb in the Chen Yuen Inn,
while doing all that lay in their power, looking to God to lead them on. Although they were
strangers to the land and the people, they did not shrink from difficulty nor from ridicule and
cursing. Everyday they preached the gospel on the street, gave out tracts, knowing that God was
with them in this work, just like Paul in Corinth when the Lord said to him, "Fear not, preach
on, I am with you and no one will harm you because I have many people in this city." So they
resolved to trust and obey the Lord -- and preached, not only in the city but in the' surrounding
In a short time, Eaton and Hunter were sent by the mission elsewhere and Mr. and Mrs Parker
came to carry on the work.
It so happened at that time in South Kansu no rain fell from heaven, the crops failed,
the price of grain rose and the poor people were in great difficulties. When Easton and Hunter
saw this state of affairs they could not just sit still and look on but, moved by natural sympathy,
they care- fully worked out a plan for relief. So they bought several thousand sacks of corn
and storing it in the Chen Yuen Inn, started relief work. Soon the word spread around that the
foreigners were distributing grain and yet from the first day not one person came to receive
help. Not understanding the cause of this attitude they carefully enquired and found out that the
people feared that foreign medicine was mixed with the grain, which, if eaten, would turn them
into foreigners and cause them to follow the foreign religion -- queer talk like that. They were
very much surprised at this news and felt both sad and glad. Sad because the people were so
blind and credulous, glad because they had found out what they wanted to know. Still they
were not discouraged but at once changed their methods and made an arrangement with the
grain merchants to give out grain on presentation of a coupon and so folk continuously
applied for coupons and collected the grain. They also gave clothes away to the naked. At
length after several months folk in both city and country got to know that the two foreigners
were not evil men and many came to see them and talk about the Doctrine. Thus their work
was not in vain nor their goodness mistaken.
From the human view point these two should not have left Tienshui so soon. For one thing
they had worked hard and for another thing folk knew them and therefore they were better than
strangers. But God's will is mysterious, lofty and powerful, past our thinking, impenetrable, and
it only His will that is really accomplished. At that time Parker was a young man with a mild
and dignified disposition, a good education, and very sociable so that soon many folk came
without fear to the Gospel Hall, to Bible classes and in the course of time some longed after the
Doctrine. Added to this Mrs. Parker was a Chinese who had been brought up from a child by a
foreign missionary lady as her own child, so her Chinese and western education were equally
good - such as reading and writing English, arithmetic, typing, music both singing and organ,
hand work such as knitting, making clothes and sox with the greatest dexterity - one may see
she was a model among women. Also she was upright in character, pleasant in conversation,
loving without partiality. Being thus complete in virtue, she was a golden vessel prepared by
God for work among the women of Tienshui."
We have a few, very few, indigenous accounts like Elder Chao's in the Archives. Mostly what
we have are the missionary accounts and the missionary pictures of the birth of new Christians,
the birth of new churches, such as this photo from Tienshui . Here is a letter by Sarah Alice
Troyer, the first American female Mennonite missionary. A graduate of Moody, she went to
China in 1895 and soon was working with women. As she wrote in a 1896 letter to her sister,
We have had three women helping and two boys. The one woman was here only to help preach to the women who came here. She is Elder Li's wife from Li wu and such a bright Christian ( I'll tell you something of her becoming a Christian later if my paper holds out). You probably think we are very extravagant but these people do not get through with work as we do. In their little bound feet the women get about very slowly. Then too they need the money so much, we get them under the influence of the Gospel and above all we must be free to preach the Gospel and those who haven't the language to study. Another thing here we two Sisters can not live alone without a native man and women. We need two women because one goes out with us when we go to visit the women in their homes and one stays to do the work and see to any who come in. It doesn't cost much, only two dollars a month each.
Now about Mrs. Li's conversion. Her husband broke off opium at one of the mission refuges, went home and told his wife he had heard about a wonderful man who had helped break off opium. She was much interested because she too wanted to break off opium. "Well", he said "I will get you some medicine". He brought her a handful of pills and taking her opium pipe from its place on the wall he started with it to the door when she said "what are you going to do with it" 'Break it" he replied, But I may want it again. "No", he said, "if we want this man Jesus to come into our home and help you break off opium we must trust Him and have no opium pipe in the house". She took the pills after the pips was broken but one night she could not sleep for want of opium and was in much pain. She woke her husband told him she was suffering, when he said "You must pray to Jesus." "But", she said "I don't know how to pray" "Just ask Him to help you". replied her husband. She told the Lord she didn't know how to pray but she wanted Him to help her. Soon she went to sleep. After this she had many more wakeful nights but always prayed to this Jesus of whom her husband had told her. When she had broken off she said, "I must know more about this Jesus. Where can I hear about Him" Her husband told her of a place. She went and upon arriving at the place she asked whether the Jesus doctrine is preached there. "Yes" was the reply, "every Sunday ". "Can't I hear about Him before Sunday?" said the poor women, "No you may come in and stay here but we only preach on Sunday". She went in stayed until she was satisfied the lives of these people were not what the lives of that Jesus followers of whom her husband had told her, Should be, so she inquired whether there was another place where she could hear the Gospel and was told of the Lu Chung where she went and found a foreign pastor and his wife and a "young teacher" she asked whether here she could hear the Gospel every day and was told"yes". She remained until satisfied that these people lived lives that were what she thought followers of Jesus should live and learned also to know and follow Him herself. She is a gentle, quiet women and loves her Bible sitting for hours with it. She knows her Lord well and is a great help to us here. The women understand her so much better than they do us.
On to another founding. This is the typed manuscript, written about 1941 describing the first half
century of African Inland Mission's work in what was still then the Belgian Congo. It was
written by John Stauffacher, who first came to the Congo in 1903 and stayed until his death in
1944. He had seen great things and wanted to record them. It inevitably focuses on the
missionary, but still through it we get glimpses of the Congolese fellowship that was growing:
We have many other missionary accounts. And also have the photos, thousands of photos -
pictures of street corner preaching, baptisms, tiny new churches. And then the pictures of the
first generations of pastors, evangelists, Bible teachers.
Standing in the center with a short white beard is Allan Noah Cameron, who spent 45 years in China as a Mennonite missionary. He is
holding the tracts he used to print and distribute in Changsha.
A worker of the Woman's Union Missionary Society in bobby sox preaching in a village near Jahanabad, India. The picture caption says more than a hundred people stopped to hear.
Ian Anderson with a group of
other evangelists in 1938 having breakfast before going out to preach in the town of Shenqui.
They would use posters like these to attract a group and introduce people to Christianity.
Three shots from the Belgian Congo in the 1920s or
the crowds who had professed faith, lived a Christian life for two years and were ready for
They came in multitudes,
but entered the Kingdom one by one.
And from them came the church.
The caption on this photo from Aba, also in the Congo, reads "Church group. The congregation now numbers thousands"
And then came the first generation of pastors,
such as these in Shantung province China.
Indigenous evangelists, such as Lu Kuam Fah.
Or these men in central Africa
or these Bible school graduates in Tsaohsien, China. The second
man from the right in the front row is their missionary teacher, Loyal Barbel.
Koli, (also in the previous photo) who traveled 400 miles, pushing his children in a wheelbarrow, to learn to be a Bible teacher.
The first North
Anwhei, China Short Term Bible School graduating class, 1934,created to address the desperate need for trained leadership which still exists in many of the new churches.
A group of Bible women in India about to start out on their day's ministry. The caption on the back says they "are real saints", with "real" underlined
Standing on Archives hill, we can see not only the founding, but the transition., a process you can
see of this 1920 photo of Edith May seated with Naomi Andrews, one of the evangelist and Bible
teacher May trained to succeed her. The new Southern churches that sprang up in the twentieth
century were not all or even mostly missionary churches. God found many ways of sowing his
word. But many, of course, did count western missionaries among their founders.
In these churches in Korea and Indonesia and Kenya and Fiji and throughout the southern
hemisphere, if indeed the Gospel seed took root, then a moment of transfer had to come, a
moment when missionaries ceased to be the leaders, the church fathers, when that role had to be
taken over by people were of the culture, of the language, of the people. Elder Chao described
such a moment happening very early in the Tienshui church:
During the previous two years, ten or so men and women had enrolled as catechumens -- and
after some months two were. baptised. One of these was a Tienshui man, Mr. Sun, a merchant.
Parker, seeing that he was a man of education, character and experience, invited him to come
and do the work of receiving and entertaining visitors. So from this time on, every Sunday there
came ten or more folk to worship. Many more than this came to the evangelistic meetings at
night, and after Mr. Sun became receptionist many neighbors and folks, old and young, came to
discuss the Doctrine. Also Mr. Sun himself came to a clearer understanding of the Truth by
carefully reading the Bible and by learning to pray so that he was able, through the grace of
God, to explain the elements of the Gospel to all who came for a stroll to the Gospel Hill. And
because his own conduct was so much more mild and peaceable than formerly, in less than a
year his sons and daughters, all the family, turned to the Lord, and because of his testimony
people were continually saved and added to the church.
John Adams said the American Revolution occurred in the minds of the American people long
before fighting began. Here is an excerpt from Congo missionary John Gration (who also taught
missions at Wheaton for many years) in which he described how people have to make
Christianity their own before it can flourish in their culture [From Collection 230, T2]:
I think ultimately [clears throat] contextualization is something that has to take place on the
part of the people themselves. And I think, and there's a very real sense in which, although we
can facilitate it and help the process, especially in the earlier stages , there's a sense in which
they must do it and there's a sense in which it is done automatically. As they hear the gospel and
then begin to express it the moment they express it to their fellow people who are unbelievers
they have, in a sense, assimilated it, worked it through, and it has gone through their minds and
hearts and comes out of their minds in...and again in a far more African way than they even
received it. So, there is a sense in which it is automatic, and I saw that...For example teach
during the week and I would try to use illustrations, etc.,that in my Bible school teaching, that
were relevant and so forth, and try to express in language that was down where they were, and
so forth, and yet being biblical, and yet I'd go out with them on a Sunday and I'd hear them
[clears throat] sort of echoing some of the things that they'd picked up during the week, and yet
I,d see the different twist, the different flavor, the different emphasis that they would put on it.
In fact, many times after I'd preach at a church the african pastor would get up and summarize
and apply, and I was always interested and always took note on, you know, the emphasis that he
gave and the...and how he'd taken what I said and, maybe put a different twist on it, and I
thought to myself, `Boy, I wish I had thought of that'. Well,(you know) I couldn't think of that,
I wasn't an african but he had gotten the kernel of truth that I had been trying to get across,
and just gave it that extra turn, that extra African flavor as he applied it. So it's an interesting,
ongoing process that in one sense takes place automatically, and then again I feel, especially in
the earlier stages, we can facilitate the process. Especially in our evangelism, and peace child
and that whole thing of redemptive analogies is a great example of what we need to be sensitive
to in finding a common ground with the african, and with anybody with whom we're dealing
In the west, there were criticisms of the missionary effort as a form of cultural imperialism,
producing rice Christians or mission station Christians who were primarily interested in the
material advantages they gained from association with westerners and who wound up cut off
from their own culture. The accusations were certainly not baseless. No doubt in many a newly
founded missionary church one could find almost as many mixed motived among church
members as exists in the average Wheaton congregation. But the replacement of missionary with
national leadership and the growth of the churches thereafter is the best proof of a truly
indigenous Christianity, the kind of Christianity that clothes the faith in its culture, as in this
Chinese postcard of the birth of Christ.
Robert Ekvall was a missionary to Tibet in the 1930s. In this interview he talked about how he
tried to avoid cutting off the tiny Christian community in one Tibetan village from Tibetan
culture [Collection 92, Tape T1]:
Then came two crises. One crisis was when the village had to have it's annual festival
worshiping the mountain god, to keep away the hail from the crops...from the fields. Of course
in that country...up in the mountain...fantastic hail storms. And the people of the village came
to the three Christians, Christian family. They had given up the...the worship of the gods and
they had taken down their prayer flags and all that. And they came and said, "Well you got
to...you got to contribute to the summer ritual for the good of the village. We've got to placate
the mountain god." And so they sent for me and I went down and we counselled together and
prayed. And I said, "Well tell them this, that when they go to that ritual up to the mountain...
shrine of the mountain god, I will come down from my station and we here will have a Christian
ritual, praying for protection from the hail...praying for the good of the village. See, what I was
driving at was, not to have a situation where they move out of the culture, out of the society.
Now there'd been Christians that had... by ones and twos all along the border but each time
they'd move out and come as refugees to the mission and eventually become adherents of the
mission station. And so I said, "Tell them that we'll have a great prayer meeting for the same
reason, for the good of the village," and the villagers agreed. That was reasonable to them.
As the churches grew and multiplied, as the pastors and elders were ordained and became leaders
of their congregations, the positions of missionaries quickly or not so quickly changed. This was
not necessarily always clear in reports received by mission supporters in the United States, for
naturally enough the missionaries occupied a central place in the narrative of the mission
periodicals and books they received. Here, for example, is a film made for showing in American
churches in 1953. It is about the church in Korea, which is mainly shown as a recipient of
American help and prayers and which apparently has only a small part to play in winning the lost
[Collection 225, Film F36 Morning Calm:
SHUSTER: The way that what used to be pagan ceremonies became Christmas and Easter.
EKVALL: The second one was when the villagers decided to build a bridge...up in [Harman?]
that was and make it an offering to the lama in the lamasery and of course get great credit for it
and all that. And the villagers said...wanted them to get their oxen out and start chopping trees
and all the rest of it and again they sent for me. And I suggested that they go ahead and make
the bridge...work just as hard as everybody else because the bridge was badly needed and in fact
in the building of the bridge I would find a couple of sheep and have a feast for the people who
were working on it. But, they would not go and offer it to the lama for his blessing and for the
monastery's blessing. They would do it for say...for the good of the whole community. I suppose
that's what sometimes been called contextualization.
SHUSTER: Sounds like it.
SHUSTER: Sounds like it.
EKVALL: Yeah, but it worked. And within about two weeks two or three families, heads of
families and their wives too, came up with the Christians saying they wanted to be Christians.
And before I left, over two thirds of the population had declared for Christ in that...in that thing.
[narration of film] Korea, more than any other Oriental land, has been blessed with a strong
indigenous church. The nation is not yet fully evangelized, but some three percent of its people
are professing Christians. Many of these are zealous, eager to have a part, however small, in
the winning of the lost.
The narrator mentioned that at the time of the film, about 3 percent of the country were
professing Christians. Today the percentage is almost 41%
And the Lord's day always finds believes flocking to the yebida. Men and women, old and
young...they come to worship.
Korea's churches are sturdily built but modestly finished and everyone sits, of course, on the
floor. The Word of God is upheld. The person of Jesus Christ is exalted as risen Lord and
coming King. The women to take an active part in the proclaiming of the Gospel message.
Through the years sound Bible-believing missionaries from a number of denominational
groups have taught the fundamentals of the faith to a responsive people. But we have a tireless
adversary whose delight it is to undermine, to hinder, and to deceive. And some of these who
leave the place of worship go home to lives that fail to adorn and confirm the Gospel of Jesus
They need your prayers and your help.
But in the new churches themselves, if they were healthy, quickly developed their own spiritual
life and walk and traditions. This is missionary Paul Stough talking about a church board of
discipline in Blukwa in the Belgian Congo in the 1940s [Collection 89, Tape T1]
The elders met in my office every Thursday afternoon, and we met in my office because it was
secluded, it was private, and you wouldn't have everybody and his brother listening at the
windows. And they met there to consider any of the problems. Now [laughs] I remember one
time when a woman came to us. She said.... They said what's the matter? She said, "I got an
accusation to make against the children of bwana Stough." And the elder said, "Well, what is
it?" "Well," they said that one of the Stough boys threw a piece of mud at me...." She got mud
in her eyes and she was very angry about it. And the elders said, "Yes." They said, "Bwana, can
you call the boys?" So we called the boys and the boys came in there very much subdued I can
tell you. They were I suppose ten or twelve, very much subdued and the old pastor he said "Did
you do this?" And the boy said "Yes." ."Well, why did you do it?" Well, she was calling us
names and we didn't know what to do so we threw this piece of mud." " Well, that was very bad,
cause you shouldn't do that. If somebody calls you names..., you should go and tell your father,
and your father will tell us and we will deal with it. But you mustn't throw mud around."
[laughs] I don't think our kids have ever forgotten that. They have been baptized out in the
mudhole right along with the Africans, and they have been received, given the right hand of
fellowship of the church right along with the Africans, and they were under the discipline of the
The transition from missionary to national leadership in the church occurred in many ways, at the
individual level, the congregation level, the national level. In China, of course, western
missionaries were by and large expelled by 1951, no matter how prepared or unprepared the
churches were. The years that followed brought many waves of persecution, but also an
explosion in the size of the church. The Archives has many documents and oral history that
describe the violent break and the leadership roles then taken by men like Wang Ming Tao,
despite persecution including decades in prison. In 1950 there were approximately 5 million
Christians in China. In 2000, by the best estimate, there were almost 90 million.
In most countries, the transition was something worked out within the fellowship. In the early
1970s, when Latin America Mission divided into a number of autonomous national organizations
sharing the same mission and vision called Comunidad Latinoamericana de Ministerios
Evangelicos (translated Community of Latin American Evangelical Ministries or CLAME), it
was in response to growing demands for less foreign control and more national leadership in the
countries of Latin America. The Archives has hundreds of pages of documents on the
consultations, drafts of plans and redrafts of plans for the change. Here is the letter from Horace Fenton to North American supporters describing the beginning of the process when it was
inaugurated in 1971, [Collection 236, Box 70, Folder 8. Letter dated February 15, 1971]
I believe we are learning something of the plan of God for our day; something that will
enable His church to move forward in new ways; something that will get the Gospel
more quickly, more effectively to those who need it; something that may help to
establish, in many parts of the world, a better working relationship between national
churches and missionary organizations.
Ultimately, the CLAME structure proved itself to be transitional and dissolved in 1986.
Although it had functioned as expected and not all of the national partners survived, those that
did became evangelism and mission agencies in their own countries, with a continuing
partnership relationship with LAM-USA. And the LAM model served as a model to many
similar North American faith missions.
The sudden expulsion of Western missionaries from China represented one type of transition.
The carefully planning of the under a relatively brief time frame Latin America Mission was at
the other end of the spectrum. Most transfers of leadership from missionaries to the national
church took place somewhere in between. Some transitions starting taking place almost
immediately, others involved a variety of pushing and pulling and strife. Here is an artifact of
transition, a smeary carbon copy of a verbatim transcript of a speech made by Bishop Yeremiyah
Kisula to a congregation of the Africa Inland Church in Kola Ndoto in Tanginyika, what
is today Tanzania. The Africa Inland Mission, which had planted the earliest churches in
Tanzania and the Synod of the Africa Inland Church or AIC, the national church which had
grown up, were in the midst of defining their new relationship. On the platform beside him was
William Maynard, who had been one of the earliest AIM workers in Tanzania. Here is the
Tanzanian view, as stated in excerpts from his speech [Collection 81, Box 28, Folder 1]:
I am very glad for the privilege of being here at K.N.[Kola Ndoto] today, because K.N. is really
the foundation of the AIC - here is where the Church is the strongest and has been since its
origin. We all say and believe this.. Furthermore, we all know and acknowledge before God
that the AIC came into existence and was guided and cared for in its infancy by missionaries of
the AIM and we have one of her founders sitting here with us today. He not only toiled and
cared for the Church under the AIM, but is still working for the AIC - Baba Pastor [William]
Maynard has laid down his life for us Africans and Baba [probably Charles] Hess is another
one. Now you must be patient. I should take at least three days to tell you what I am now going
to relate all in this afternoon. But you must persevere with me because I am here for you sakes.
Listen carefully while I read to you from this constitution and By-laws of the AIC Your
Church. - Now, before I read I want to talk a little of the time before the church was turned over
to us by the AIM The first missionaries found us all in the state and realm of darkness that we
heard about this morning. They preached to us the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we believed on
Him. We walked together with the missionaries in full Christian fellowship many years. We
never even though, much less sought for self rule, nor did we later on ask for it. Now you get
this straight because you are hearing and talking also yourselves - saying the v has become a
church of many words. Why the heads are actively engaged in building up enmity between the
AIM missionaries of the AIC Christians instead of caring for the Church. This is a big lie! We
have not rebelled, nor do we want to rebel against the missionaries. On the contrary, we need
them today more than we ever needed them and we want them.
The tensions and difficulties are obvious from Bishop Yeremiyah' speech. But fellowship,
though strained, was never snapped and a new relationship emerged. Here is a missionary view.
This is from an interview with William Stier, a Bible teacher and AIM missionary to Tanzania
who knew Bishop Kisula:[From Collection 479, Tape T2]
On January 22, 1938, the church became autonomous and it became so in this way - - the
missionariesof the AIM gave it to us. We did not seek it, nor were we asked if we wanted it. We
were not called to sit in any of the sessions where this word was discussed, but the missionaries
did it all themselves. They simply came to the realization under God that we were ready and
able to care for our own church. We were the very first church in all of Tanganyika to become
autonomous. Up until that time the pastors and teachers and received money from America for
their wages. Some received 10/ per month, some 8/ , some 6/, some 12/. But in 1938 we were
told by the AIM there will be no more money coming for you from America - the church must
now be self supporting! We said all right, we have no word. If the missionaries trust us like
that and see that we are mature enough for this work, we accept it. There were four pastors
then - then five more were added. The pastors didn't apply for the work, but the missionaries
under God, saw certain ones among the Christians and felt they could do the work of a pastor
so they called him to do the work of a pastor. Even after the church became autonomous there
was no change in the relationship with the missionaries; we all worked together in harmony for
the Lord. We stopped getting our wages from America, the Missionary continued to get his, but
we did the same work together. We said it was "bahati" the missionary receives - we no and to
this day we get no salary - but feed ourselves.
In 1957 the name of the Church was changed to AIC to be the same as the Church in the other
countries of Congo - Uganda - Kenya. The first name before changing was "Eklesia Evangeli
eya Kristo". Then we elected officers for the rule of the AIC. The Head of the ruling body was
to serve four years - the others 2 years. We were warned now it is not fitting for the Church to
have a "Head" like the POPE or Bishop, but all are Christians alike. Eve so, any fellowship
must have a leader. I was chosen and elected to be the leader - was given the name "Director".
True, I am first and foremost a Christian, but I have also a responsibility as the Director of the
In that year, 1957, the missionaries refused to come under the rule of the AIC The said "no"
we are members of a church in the homeland, which of course, we knew was true, but we
couldn't understand why they couldn't be ruled by the AIC while out here. In 1960 the issue
had become stronger and the refusal of the missionaries were more adamant. In 1961 we
became more awake to our responsibility in the care of the church through our reading and
understanding better what our Constitution said. Remember the Constitution was drawn up by
the missionaries of the AIM and handed to us for our acceptance which we did. We decided
that it was time for us to draw up some rules and regulations to help us in our self-rule. We
spoke freely with the ruling body of the AIM telling them our aims - our fears - and what we felt
was necessary as a safe-guard for the Church -especially in getting to know the missionaries.
Mind you, we had no fears or cause to question any of the older missionaries - we knew them
well, but we felt we should make a way to enable us to know the new ones, and the only way we
knew was to ask questions. So we drew up a form which we submitted to our brethren of the
ruling body of the mission. They said what we had written down didn't sound good in English -
so they helped us express ourselves so as to be acceptable in English. There was not an
acceptance of the form. First there was doubt on the part of the missionaries. Then they said
we can't accept this form because our leaders at home refuse us. Well, there was an increase in
tension between us and the missionaries, because we felt and still do feel that we have to now
the missionaries who work for the AIC - because we are held responsible in our self-rule. It is
true is it not that in every department the head of the department has the liberty and is under
obligation to ask question of all those who work in his department. We couldn't understand
why our questions were objectionable.
In 1968 the Education department and the Evangelism department were handed over to the AIC
together with the money and the administration of it and the heads of these departments which
were missionaries were displaced by members of the AIC But the Medical Department and the
Literature Department - the AIM refused to turn over - even after the motion had been made
and carried - but they refused. This indeed did increase the tension building up between us.
Furthermore they said we will call the missionaries who are home on furlough to come back
even though we had refused unless they fill in our form. They said the missionaries will come
anyway because they are workers in the departments that have not been turned over to the AIC
Well such matters troubled us greatly. Then we remembered that the missionaries of the AIM
have those who have authority over them; so we wrote a letter to the CFC [Central Field
Council of the AIM], stating our grievances.
In December 1963 they came to Tanganyika - listened to both sides of the issue in real Christian
sympathy. They came to the conclusion and said the AIC is without fault in this matter, but the
missionaries of the AIM are at fault. The missionaries acknowledged their fault and asked our
forgiveness, which we of course granted. Fellowship was coming back again! The CFC said,
"But our brothers, there is just one thing which you have which is not good - - that is the Form
- drop that altogether. We cannot accept that." "Well," we said, "If it is not good in your eyes,
we here have no desire to keep anything that hinders our fellowship one with the other, but this
Form was made up in the Synod so we will have to refer your request to those." The CFC
agreed. When we took it to the Synod, they refused with strength - saying the form must stay.
Now, this is the only word between us at present - all the other matters are straightened out.
In January 1964 we sat with our brethren the F.C. in a joint meeting in perfect fellowship -
discussed and decided in unison all that was put before us. The two remaining departments
were handed over to us in true Christian fellowship. All the work belongs to the AIC now - the
hospital, the press, the Bible School, all book shops, Bible club, educational, evangelistic depts.
We had no difficulty finding and AIC member and making him responsible [unclear] of the
education work, or the evangelistic work turned over to us. But when we looked at the hospital
and the press - we know that there was not one African in our whole church who could take
over those departments. So we just turned to our missionary brethren and said you manage
those departments for us until we are able to do so ourselves - when that will ever be, I don't
know! Many I now have had no training, but hose who have had do not accept the
responsibility on is fitting for those in self-rule. Now is the time to wake up! Each one of those
departments should have an African Manager. We did give the present missionary managers
African Assistants asking that they be trained for managerial work. We know that there is such
money involved in carrying on the work of the hospital and the prose and the sources are many
from which this money comes. The AIC does not expect to meddle with this like drawing money
from a fund to build a church etc.
We only desire to know what comes in and from where and how much is spent and for what.
We know the present managers are very busy, but we would like a monthly financial report -
maybe the assistants could do this. All undesignated money of the AIM has been turned over to
the AIC and we have it in our account. We have everything now! There is just this one word
that is between us - the Form. The missionaries refuse to fill it in. We don't know why they
can't since we are autonomous and all the work is ours and they are now working for the AIM
and we must keep them on - we want them - we need them.
The heads of the AIM met in Congo just now. I don't know the reason for their meeting, but
maybe it was about "the Form" - since they are the ones who are refusing the missionaries to
fill it. Maybe they will come to us and say, "Look here, we absolutely refuse your form and
since you won't give it up like we asked you to we will just take our missionaries, leave you to
your own devises - good-bye!" That would certainly be a death blow to us and the work. We
don't want it to be like that - we want more missionaries - old ones to stay on - new ones to come
out - doctors - nurses - mechanics - carpenters. Brethren pray God to help us, to help the
missionaries - that they may see how vital the form is to us.
Long ago it wouldn't have mattered - we trusted everyone. If a missionary came to us we called
him "Pastor" and "Hangi" without any question at all. We just knew he was that because he
came from "bulaya". But now it is different, we must ask each one who wants to work for the
AIC questions. We do now know all missionaries are not the same - some are good and some
are bad. Some are ordained ministers - some are not. The AIC must know because she is
responsible for all the work ruled by her.
ERICKSEN: Now in terms of the whole process of transition, from mission authority to Church
authority, at what point were you not so much in the middle as a missionary the center of the
action, the center of the decisions, and the center of the planning and you were more along
Today Tanzania has one of the fast growing churches in the world. In 1900 there were some
92,000 professing Christians in the country. Today there are 16 million, about 50% of the
STIER: Well, after they received their independence, then it became that way. They...they were
the ones that were running things. And they would say who they wanted on their committees.
Usually they would include a missionary or so. But it was...it was totally theirs...that's right.
And it wasn't easy for some missionaries.
ERICKSEN: How about for you?
STIER: Well, I guess we got...we...we left right before it became what you might call pretty hard
for some of them. Some, of course, felt it from the beginning. I didn't feel it because I felt they
should have their independence. And I always...my opinion was that I would work together
with them as long as I could. But if I got to the place where I felt that I couldn't work with
them, then I'd say "The Lord bless you brother," and just go off. If the Lord had something
else for me to do then I would do it. We did lose a few missionaries who went to another field.
But they just took over everything and now they are that way. They...hey assign the
missionaries..they are going to work...it's everything about it...it's all totally theirs. Missionary
doesn't have a say except where he is called by them to be on their committee. And then he has
the freedom to say just as much as anyone else and say what he thinks and gives his advice.
ERICKSEN: Now who were the...the key Tanzanian church leaders that you were associating
STIER: Well, ...
ERICKSEN: I'm thinking of names.
STIER: Yeah, the names... Meriki Mayala. Meriki Mayala. [Stier meant Yereimiah Kisula]
He was the first leader of the Church after independence. He was really the leader before.
Excellent preacher. A man of God. But he was very, very strong on the Church taking over,
very, very strong...yeah. But he...he just held the...when we had our conferences - maybe
five...eight thousand people - he'd just tell the people preaching. And good preaching. He
knew the word of God. And he was the leader.
ERICKSEN: Was he an electrifying preacher?
STIER: No, no. Not...not as you would think of as here in the States. He was a good solid
preacher. And of course the other thing is he...he, as Africans are, he had lots of illustrations.
Down to earth illustrations of these truths you see. And he told stories and that's what Africans
like you see. So he was good. Now he was one. And then there was another...oh, I'm sorry I
think I made a mistake. He was Yereimiah Kisula and then it was.... Meriki Mayala was
another very.... Meriki Mayla. He was another very important leader of the Church at the
time. In fact he came over to the States...I came home on one furlough and I think it was the
very next morning after I arrived...I had a phone call from Pete Stam in Canada...he was...he
had been in the field for many years in Zaire...and he was director in Canada. And he said
"Could you come up to Canada with Meriki Mayla. and translate for him because he's gonna
visit a lot the churches and schools up there?" So I did fly up to Canada with Meriki Mayla. in
the plane. It was the first time these fellows were in America. Americans on my right and a
pastor from.... Johana Kudre from Zaire. You may have gotten his name from the people in
Zaire...he was a very excellent preacher there from Zaire. And we flew from New York to
Canada. And I went with Meriki Mayla. and translated with him a whole month and Pete Stam
he translated for Johana Kudre for a month and then came back. But he was a very strong
leader. And he knew the word. And he knew English fairly well. He couldn't preach in
English...that's why he needed a translation...translator. But he was a good leader.
ERICKSEN: Going back to...Kisula...Yeremiah....
STIER: Yereimiah Kisula.
ERICKSEN: Yereimhaih Kisula. You mentioned that he was real strong. Does that...strong on
the church...the Tanzanians taking over. Does that mean that some of the missionaries who
had a hard time would have a hard time with him?
STIER: Yeah, he was...he was...he was strong on it. He wanted it. But he got it because he was
right. But it...it took a while for most of us to adjust to the fact, you see. As well when you're
there for years you know....
STIER: ....as the...you don't know any Swahili...[says phrase in Swahili]...that means "the Big
Name," you know. Why..it takes a lot of adjustment and spiritual discipline...humility to realize
the time has come when it needs to be turned over to the Africans.
ERICKSEN: Would he...and I'm just trying to see a little more into his character...once the
change was made and he was in charge, what was his attitude to the missionaries?
STIER: He was fine. He...I wouldn't say he held anything against the missionaries. He would.
He would definitely carried out his duties as head of the church. And in that respect also the
head of the missionaries, if I can put it that way, as they worked under the Church because
that's what we do now out there.
The explosion in church growth meant that in many parts of Asia, Africa and South America
there was a desperate need for trained leadership, which meant there was a need for seminaries
and Bible schools. In the 1960s and 70s and 80s, many American mission agencies and Christian
schools cooperated with churches in other countries in TEE projects - Theological education by
extension. The Archives has dozens of boxes of the short, busy career of CAMEO - The
Committee to Assist Missionary Education Overseas, later the Committee to Assist Ministry
Education Overseas. Although it was not its original focus, CAMEO soon came involved in
arranging for theologians, Bible professors and other Christian educators to hold special
abbreviated classes in theology and doctrine in parts of Asia, Africa and South America where
there were not sufficient Evangelical seminaries to handle the need for trained Christian
workers.CAMEO leaders Ruth McKinney and Will Norton (who were also Wheaton faculty)
were seemingly continually traveling to arrange classes, recruit teachers, assist existing schools,
and assist in setting up theological education associations. Toward the end of its roughly quarter
of a century of existence. CAMEO was more and more involved in encouraging theological
schools to work together regionally to enforce standards and to meet local needs. Some of the
seeds sown by CAMEO in the twentieth century will be great supports of the church in their
countries in this century. (This is one of the first graduating classes of the Biblical Seminary of
Finally from our archives hill we can see a little of the impact and activities of the mature
southern churches. Here you see a brochure for the Evangelical Mission Society, which has been
founded by Evangelical Churches of West Africa and is symbolic of the flourishing mission
activities of southern churches. As is this picture: In 1975, the same year the BGC Archives started, the inaugural
meeting of the Asian Missionary Society was held in Seoul, Korea.
The work of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, which built on the centuries that had gone
before, has played its part in founding the southern communities of faith that are now going forth
to sow. And from our archives hill we can glimpse something of the lives of these churches and
of their part in the universal church.
Look, for example, at Collection 338, the records of the World Evangelical Fellowship, now the
World Evangelical Alliance. The records in this collection tell the story of the Fellowship from
its founding in 1951 down to the 1990s. The Fellowship was made up of national Evangelical
associations in different countries. In its first meetings, fellowships from the southern
hemisphere were not infrequently represented by Western missionaries and the first seven
triennial congresses, with one exception, was always in either Europe or the United States. But
by the mid eighties the growing influence of Asian, African and Latin America churches was
reflected in the WEF congresses, held in Singapore in 1986 and the Philippines in 1992, were
more truly drawing on diverse traditions in worship and fellowship. Here is the WEF's executive
committee in the mid 1990s.
The commissions of the WEF struggled to find a unified expressed
of the many fellowships Evangelical theology and Christian practice. The records of these
congress include many reports of the witness and struggle of Christians around the world. [At this point excerpts were played from tape T20 of Collection 338, with reports given at the 1986 General Assembly]:
And then there are the files of the Lausanne movement. In 1974, under the sponsorship of the
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, a congress of Evangelical church leaders was held in
Lausanne Switzerland to talk about how to work together to witness to Christ to all the peoples
of the world.. From the Congress came the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. The
Archives has a wide array of , publications, personal papers and interviews, besides the official
papers of the Congress and the Committee, that tell the Lausanne story. The many commissions,
consultations, congresses and other meetings present a fascinating image of the church in our
time. The influence and leadership of the southern churches are clearly seen in many of the
debates to forge statements the social responsibility of the church, the Gospel and culture, and the
lifestyles of the Christian, just as in the early councils of church history one can see the influence
of the European churches growing over the traditional and established centers of the Church in
Antioch and Alexandria.
Ian Hay, an American, was for many years a leader of the mission SIM International. Here is an
extract from his interview, illustrating the growing impact of Southern Christians on the thought
and practice of the church outside their own regions. Hay is talking about his friend Byang Kato,
an African pastor, church leader and theologian who helped the Evangelical Church of West
Africa and became secretary general of the continent wide Association of Evangelicals in Africa
and Madagascar [Collection 503, Tape T5]:
HAY: By that time  Byang was living in Kenya and was the general secretary of AEAM
[Association of Evangelicals of Africa and Madegascar].
Besides these macro themes, the Archives also has materials that document the lives of
individual southern Christians. The Billy Graham Center every year gives out several
scholarships to the Wheaton College Grad Schools to nonNorth American Christian workers in
their twenties, thirties or forties. And every the Archives interviews two, three or four of these
scholarship recipients about their lives - their family background, how they came to know the
Lord, their education, their faith, their ministry, their future plans, and their view s on the church
in their country. Taken together, these interviews are at least a stab at collective biography of the
church in our times.
HAY: ...but he had...he had a very profound im...impact on it. At Green Lake '71, where we
had that I think seminal discussions for Evangelicals in terms of church-mission relationships,
Byang was there. He was...he was doing his doctoral work at Dallas [Dallas Theological
Seminary] at the time, and so he was...he came. And his input was...was...was very profound.
Byang had a...had a real influence on my thinking in a lot of ways. To give you an example, (I
do want to talk with you later about missions...about the missionary arm a little more), but
Byang...I had a discussion with him one time, just brainstorming "Where could we go in the
future in terms of...of missions?" And I remember saying to him, "Wouldn't it be a wonderful
thing if a Nigerian would join SIM and go work in the Sudan," for example. And his
immediate response to me was, "Why should they join SIM?" which was rather startling to me
because why wouldn't they want to join, you know [Ericksen laughs], because that was my
natural implication. But what...what that said to me, and the discussion that followed, was
Byang's recognition that...that maybe the role for Nigerian missionaries would not necessarily
be within...within a western organization. Maybe...maybe EMS should just send him to the
Sudan. [tape stopped and restarted]
HAY: Well, my point about that illustration about Byang's comment about the missionary to the
Sudan is that he led me to think as a Nigerian would think and look at the issues.
Some of these interviews tell of the missionary waves that are rolling from Africa, Asia and
South America. There is the oral history interview of Jarvas DeSilva, a missionary from
Portuguese-speaking Brazil to the former Portugese African colony of Mozambique. He
describes how he was first thought to think of missions when a group of Angolan pastors visited
his Bible school (Angola was another Portugese colony) and described the needs of their young
churches. Or Tien Fock Leong, who described the strengths and weaknesses of the church in
Malaysia and his own work among college students with Campus Crusade for Christ.
Or John Bubelwa Lutembeka. He was one of five laymen who started the Big October Crusade
movement in Tanzania, which now every year holds popular non-denominational evangelistic
rallies around the country. Here is an excerpt from his interview; [Collection 595, Tape T3, not
SHUSTER: Was there a theme or...how were...how did the sermons develop during the two
In 1983, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association held its first International Conference of
Itinerant Evangelists in Amsterdam. This brought together from all over the world people who
were actually involved every day in evangelism. The meeting inevitably reflected the huge part
that the southern churches now play in the life of the universal church. I am going to close with
two glimpses from that meeting. One is some reaction comments from Romy Romulo, an
evangelist from Indonesia that show on the one hand his concern for Christian brothers in other
parts of the world and on the other his own believe in training up others in the Christian faith [From Collection 253, Video V68]:
LUTEMBEKA: Okay, the...the...the theme was one which we still hold up today. But the
speaker is allowed to come with any Scripture. This theme is Matthew 11:28. "Come unto me
you all that live in heavy laden and I will give you rest." That is the theme we use throughout
out our...our crusades anywhere. And now because it is our evangelistic kind of campaigns to
win souls we continue to invite people who are heavy laden...who are desperate with their life to
come with their burdens to the cross of Jesus Christ. And from there, then, they could be free.
SHUSTER: You were talking about one large concern with your first meeting was to bring the
Church together. Did...was a large percentage of the people who came non-Church members.
I mean, did non-Christians come in large members...numbers to the early meetings?
LUTEMBEKA: Essentially those who came were...were both. Unchurched and those who were
church members. And of course unchurched, the Moslems and some other people don't go to
church. You know, I don't know how [in] America you regard this but in Tanzania members of
mainland Churches , we call them nominal Christians. They're not born-again Christians. So
these crusades target them, to win them to Christ. And as I said earlier, later as more and more
churches began to join, we leave them and the born-again groups to care for them.
SHUSTER: How did you attract non-churched people or non-Christian people to the meetings?
LUTEMBEKA: Okay. Now when I go back to the preparation we formed some committees.
We had a propaganda committee. Propaganda was specifically to insure that the crusade is
very well advertised. Though radio, through posters, through hand bills, through word of
mouth, through.... We had also...by that time television had not began in our country to use
television as we came to use it later. Especially we used the posters. We printed a lot of posters
and posted them on trees, on signboards and many places so people could read them. And we
prepared...we issued a lot of handbills.
SHUSTER: And what did you say? I mean, what were in these to try and attract people to
LUTEMBEKA: Okay. We had...we normally emphasize the...the...the...the date of the crusade.
The date is very important. The venue of the crusade is very important. The time when that
crusade will take place is very important. And...for example we say "The Big November
Crusade to take place at Janguani grounds from 9th of November to the 22nd or...or 23rd...or
24 of November. Everyday at four p.m. You are all invited to attend. Bring the sick and those
that have problems. They will be prayed for. Invite a friend. Entrance is free. And we use the
verse..."It...you have..." How does the Bible put it. I have it in English. "Freely you...
SHUSTER: "Free you have received and free you have given."
LUTEMBEKA: Yeah, "Freely you have received and freely you have given." We use that.
So...So big letters so that a person can easily see. And behind it we had another committee of
prayer. Prayer...we mobilize. Prayer mobilization is big. People are praying, interceding for
the success of the crusade and fastings and so on.
SHUSTER: How did you mobilize people? Through the churches ?
LUTEMBEKA: Yeah. Now, remember this is still one denomination.
LUTEMBEKA: We are still talking of the first meeting. Yeah, through the local churches of
the Assemblies of God. Later it became to be through those participating churches . And that
was so big campaign. And we had another committee which was for...for...we called it for
records, to record the events, take pictures, video pictures and still pictures and...and everyday
writing a report, a short report of what has transpired...the many things.
SHUSTER: And what did you do with those records? With the....
LUTEMBEKA: We keep them in the files. We have them in our files.
SHUSTER: But have you used them in anyway?
LUTEMBEKA: We have not used them much. But you know with time...
LUTEMBEKA: ...they will be used. They will be used later. But we recorded them, they are
there. And we...we...of course the only way we used them...whenever we invite the speakers to
come, sometimes we give for example still pictures...I mean in video...video...we could put a
video to show him what happened previously years.
SHUSTER: In the past.
LUTEMBEKA: In the past. So that he could have a feel of what we expect or what he should
do. And you can read sometimes the records and one comment that is said, "If what you are
do..." That was later. It was a comment that came later. "If what you are doing were being
done in a developed country, you could even be...be honored by even being called Dr. so and
so. Because you could point right to your experiences of all this you have gone through and
this could earn you something. But because it is being done here in Africa and God is doing
SHUSTER: Well, it's being mighty there. It's making the impact there.
LUTEMBEKA: Yes, they basically are. But what God did actually was so big, so mighty
using....using...using common men, unlearned in a sense you know. Later we...we...we...we
began seeing resistances from pastors. Because we had the whole picture of what God wanted
to be done. And you know the pastors have some kind of pride. They are servants of God.
They are anointed servants of God. And I remember in a meeting that [they said] "We
have...we ordained servants of God."
SHUSTER: The pastors said that?
LUTEMBEKA: The pastors say. "We are anointed with the Holy Spirit. So you have to listen
to what we want ye...you to do, not you telling us of what we have to do." So we had big
resistance so much. And one night one of the pastors who was giving a lot of resistance had a
dream. And in that dream, he confronted (what he narrated the next day) the Almighty God.
And he was being questioned. We...you see, God was telling him "When I chose these that you
are calling laymen to do this they are doing, I knew that you were there. But I chose them and I
appointed them to do the work. And I am telling you, whatever they tell you to do, you do it.
You will succeed. If you don't do it, you will never succeed." When he...he woke up the next
day he convened a meeting of pastors and told them his encounter in the dream. That ,"Dear
pastors you don't need to resist these people. They are...behind them is the power of God. God
has sent them to tell us what we are suppose to do. So we have to follow every instruction they
give us to do." So that was...so broke...That broke the resistance. So...
SHUSTER: What was his name?
LUTEMBEKA: This was a pastor...pastor Ng'unda. Ng'unda is dead now. I
remem...remember his second name. Ng'unda. N-G--apostrophe-U--N--D--A. And it was
powerful and from there we...we had a breakthrough. So we had also some committees such as
protocol committee. Protocol committee was responsible with all the visitorsa nd the pastors
and ensuring that they are very well cared for...respected. Whoever deserves respect is respected
because later those meetings even bishops...
LUTEMBEKA: ...and some other foreign dignitaries to come, some other government officials
to attend. So the protocol committee gave them the right places to...to see it and so on. We had
another committee which was follow-up committee. This was responsible for making follow-ups. And during the crusade in the mornings, normally, we had some kind of seminars and
for... and counseling meetings...for these new converts. And whoever of course had problems.
And what I came to discover later is Christians have problems. They don't go to their pastors
for counseling. When they see someone who is new, so they are ready to come and share what
they are going through in their lives. So those morning hours were good for that and we had
also classes for these new converts.
INTERVIEWER: From Indonesia...Romy, what has been the highlight of the conference to
Finally, an example of some of the leaders who are now coming from the southern churches.
This is a brief clip from a talk by Bishop Festo Kivengere of Uganda, a church that had suffered
great persecution during the rule of Idi Amin. Bishop Kivengere talked about the importance of
reconciliation between brothers in the life of church and in evangelism. Even in these brief
comments, you can hear his vision of the arms of the cross embracing all the fellowship of
believers [From Collection 253, Video V48]:
ROMULO: Well, the highlight for me is shaking hands with men of God from Israel, Iran,
Lebanon. I'd been praying for these countries and that's the first time I shake hands with
INTERVIEWER: Wonderful. And what do you think we've learned?
ROMULO: Well I've learned a lot but one thing that stands out to me is this morning when
Aijth Fernando was telling about how we can multiply ourselves. We can learn a lot about how
di...to disciple from observing Paul's life and Timothy. A disciple needs to observe the discipler
at close quarters. And teach the disciple the basic truths of Christianity. And we as disciplers,
we got to be ready to hand our responsibility to our disciples. And let's not forget, let us teach
them and instruct them.
Upon whom are your hangups? Is there anyone in this conference over whom you still have a
few hangups, based on theology, based on denomination, based on experience, based on the
way we speak. What is your hangup? And on whom are they hanging? Would you let...would
you like the Spirit of God to receive you hangups and hang them on the cross for you tonight?
Not on your brother. You will kill him, like Cain killing Abel. Don't hang these on your
brother. Bring them to the cross that the cross may hang up...may hang them up for you. And
release your brother and to go your brother and embrace him in love. Maybe you think the
Bishop is telling you some little stories. No, the cross breaks down the barriers and the cross
brings alienated brothers together. Here our team of Africa Evangelistic Enterprise were
coming from a beautiful gathering. We been together in a conference ten days. And by the
time we ended our conference we appeared real sinful. We were singing "Halleluia" but there
were things underneath unhealed and broken and when the Lord pushed the light, the
exposure, oh my, we lost our holiness. We looked miserable. And our beautiful raising of
arms. We couldn't raise our arms. They were all frozen. But we were here yesterday seeking
the cross again and we sat together and we looked at each other and we opened our little hearts
and we allowed the Spirit to come in. And you know what happened? Sweetess began to come.
As we repented, we began to repent to each other, to embrace each other, to ask each other for
forgiveness with tears. Here in the conference, in one of the rooms. It took us three hours and
by the time we finished there was fresh air [audience applause]. Now brethren, reconciliation is
not a joke. First, your misery calls for it. Second, it comes directly from God. Third, it is God
personally present in Christ. How far it reaches out because the cross reaches out. And there
may be brethren in this whole...and tonight before you leave you may have to open those arms
and it is tough. You try and you feel "Oh yes I can open them to Festo but not to that brother
and I can open them to this brother but not to that sister." And God in the power of the Holy
Spirit is beginning to open your heart. Slowly but firmly but gently. "Do you seem some gaps?
Do you feel some gaps beginning to be created about your brother?" Okay, tonight if
Amsterdam is going to leave the world, brethren, we're going to do something. It's no good
knowing things. It's no good knowing them only in a book. The cross is not a book. It is an
experience of God. God was personally present. Some of you before I finish this little talk and
this little sharing will have to do something about it.
The Archives hill is only a hill. There are other vantage points from which to look into the past
and get different and perhaps deeper insights. And from our archives hill, we can only predict
the past, not the future. But we can go somewhere else to look into the future.
Here is the picture we find in Luke 13:29: "People will come from the east and the west, from the north
and the south, and sit down at the feast in the Kingdom of God. Then those who are now last
will be first and those who are now first shall be last."
And in Revelation 7:9 we read: "After this I looked and saw an enormous crowd - no one could
count all the people. They were from every race, tribe, nation and language, and they stood in
front of the throne and of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palm branches in their
From our archives hill we can see a little of the struggles, sorrows, joys and failures and graces
that are starting to build to that final great climax. Our physical documents can only tell very
poorly a story that is physical and spiritual and even for the physical side, our documents tell
falteringly only a tiny sliver of a great universal epic. But in a drop of water you can see the ocean. and looking back you can see the end of the journey in the beginning. I hope that these
few minutes standing on Archives hill have helped catch a glimpse, despite fragmentary records
and human fallibility, of the beginning of the next era in church history that is another step to that
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Last Revised: 1/5/05
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