North Katanga Episcopal Area in The Democratic
Republic of Congo was officially organised in 1968, part of Congo Annual
Conference under the Bishop Eben Samuel Johnson (1916) as Bishop of Africa.
In North Katanga, The Methodist Church started by
Kalwashi and John Mckendree Springer who is actually known as founder of the
Methodist church in North Katanga Area.
Kalwashi came from Angola where he was a slave. It was
in Angola where all slaves became free and believed in Jesus Christ, Kalwashi
was sent to Democratic Republic of Congo by his friends to start evangelism.
When John M Springer who was among a group of missionaries that was assigned to
the Belgian Congo.
John M Springer met a business man named Muzoma while
itinerating in Katanga. Muzoma told Spinger that Kalwashi was in Mwanza ,
Springer met Kalwachi there and went together to Kabongo where they created the
first Methodist Mission.
The first Evangelism mission began in 1917 by John M
Springer before he became the Bishop in 1936 and Kalwashi ( native of Kabalo)
In 1917, John M Springer planted Methodist Churches
around Kabongo mission station. He founded also social institutions like
Kabongo hospital nearly in 1920.
In 1922, the Methodist work began at Kanene by Mr
Everest. In 1924, the Fox Bible Training School of Kalulua was transferred to
Kanene and became the Congo Institute in Kanene; later, it was transferred to
Mulungwishi and became Springer Institute.
Kabongo and Kanene missions were abandoned
respectively in 1933 and 1940. In 1944, Bishop John Springer was replaced by
Bishop Newell Snow Booth (1944-1964) who was respectively a Bishop of Africa;
South of Equator and then Bishop of Congo and Europe.
During his leadership, the church grew up in the
southern Katanga Province between 1940 and 1962, there was a little activit in
the North Katanga due to an agreement between Christian denominations to
evangelize in different parts on the country.
Kabongo mission was taken by Congo Evangelistic
Mission (C E M). From 1940-1962 only kanene mission remained active in
Evangelism in North Katanga. The Methodist church officially arrived in North
Katanga in 1962. It started with three pastors who are Ilunga K David, Andre
Mundele, Joel Bulaya , their wives and
many laypersons. This was the second and most decisive evangelism of the
North Katanga that later resumed in 1960s.
The most important event that promoted the Methodists
to begin evangelism was the war of liberation of the Katanga province that occurred
from 1960 to 1963. This war actually forced the Baluba pastors to leave the
Southern Katanga Elizabeth(Lubumbashi).
The team of baluba pastors and their wives returned to
their motherland with the purpose to re-establish the Methodist Church. The first mission station
was planted at Albertville (or kalemie) town in 1962.
So, I would
like to say that during the first evangelism of the North Katanga, Kabongo was
the the first mission to be implanted in the North Katanga in 1917. The second mission
station was in Kanene in 1924. Within North Katanga, the mission station
emerged in Kalemie in 1962.
Missionary work in North Katanga.
From 1968, the
North Katanga Provisional Annual Conference
was created with the total of
four districts ; kalemie, Manono,
Malemba, Kabongo. Those districts were parts of South Congo Annual
Conference durig the leadership of
Bishop Joh Wesley Shungu(1964-1972). He was the first Congolese Bishop of the
Congo Episcopal Area In The Democratic Republic of Congo.During his time, North
Katanga was the provisional Annual Conference . In 1970, the North Katanga
became a definite Annal Conference
including six districts Kalemie,
Manono, Malemba, Kabongo, Kamina and
In 1972, Bishop Onema Fama was elected as for life for the Central Congo Episcopal Are.
In 1976, Bishop Ngoy Kimba M Wakadilo was elected as
Bishop of Shaba( Katanga) which was composed of two Annual Conferences ( The
southern Zaire( South Congo and North Shaba( north Katanga).
In 1980, a third Bishop was elected in the Democratic
Republic of Congo, who is Katembo Kainda Albert to oversee the Southern Congo
In 1996, Bishop Ntambo Nkulu Ntanda was elected in
Wembo Nyama as second Bishop of North Katanga Episcopal Area.
He served for twenty years and contributed to the
growth of church. At the end of his episcopal service , we count 24 districts
in North Katanga and 13 districts in Tanganyika and 11 districts
established. in Tanzania.
In 2017, Bishop Mande Muyombo Guy elected in Kamina as Bishop of North Katanga Episcopal Area.
The United Methodist Church, North Katanga Episcopal Area under the late Bihop Ngoy Kimba Mwenze Wakadilo from Drcongo, initiated an Evangelism project in 1989 to develop the church in neighboring Tanzania. The Church mission was extended to Tanzania where six Congolese pastors were appointed to supervise the mission.
Bishop Ngoy Kimba was the first Bishop from North Katanga to be elected. In 1986, during the leadership of bishop Ngoy in cooperation with missionaries and through the partnership with some partners across the globe, they assured the growth of North Katanga.
The evangelism proect started with late Rev Numbi Muyombi Kapanda Makozo , Congolese pinneer in Tanzania. He was a missionary from North Katanga Annual Conference who landed in Kigoma –Tanzania in 1989.
In 1990, Rev Muyombi was joined by a couple of pastor Kasweka Sthifunga and his wife rev Numbi Ilunga . In 1992, three additional districts superintendents were appointed to Tanzania, Rev Mutwale wa Mushidi, Rev Umba Ilunga Kalangwa and Rev Kazadi Umba.
Kazadi Umba was appointed in Kigoma, Mutwale Ntambo wa Mushidi in Tabora, Kasweka Tshifunga in Dodoma, Umba Ilunga Kalangwa in Morogoro under the deputy representative of Bishop, Rev Muyombi Kapanda Makozo.
Bishop Ngoy appointed the six missionaries in 1992 and in 1093, he appointed Rev Ntambo Nkulu Ntanda as a missionary in Burundi before he became Bishop three years later in 1993.
There was war and internal conflict, Bishop Ntambo s missionary stayed in Kigoma –Tanzania for three years and he was elected Bishop when he was in Tanzania.
There was no finances to start mission in Tanzania and missionaries had no salaries. The North Katanga Annual Conference was paying accommodation and stipend for his own missionaries.
In 1994, Bishop Ngoy Kimba wakadilo died and Bishop Katembo Kainda from South Congo did interim in North Katanga. In 1995, Bishop Katembo Kainda did some changes and missionaries social conditions became worse. So, they suggested that missionaries return home.
It is during the annual conference in
Manono in 1995, delegates decided that two missionaries are kept in Tanzania for mission work; Rev Mutwale Ntambo and Rev Umba Ilunga Kalangwa remained in Tanzania and the four other missionaries were appointed in Drcongo.
During the same year, Bishop Katembo Kainda nominated Rev Mutwale as new deputy to the Bishop , Ds of Kigoma and pastor of Mwanza
Church. Besides, Rev Umba Ilunga Kalangwa became Ds of Morogoro, pastor of Dodoma, Ilolo. Rev Mutwale shifted from Tabora to Kigoma, he started churches in Kasulu, Heru Ushingo, Kitanga, Kibondo, Geita and Tarime. These churches were planted and supervised without any financial support. Pastors walked on foot or rode a bicycle from village to another for envagelism. During this period, there were challenges no phone, bad roads, low education and no transportation.
In Morogoro, Rev Umba did the same thing by travelling to Ilolo, Dodoma and villages for church visitation and planting.
Rev Mutwale remembers an accident he had in 1996 when he paid a visit to churches in Kasulu district. He asked a local pastor, Francis Ngarama from Heru Ushingo to go with him ; they used bicycles as usual for their trip. When they were about to cross a dangerous area near Kasulu between Mtabila and Makere villages, there were armed groups killing people and stealing money and bags from them. Within the area, they found a killed and burnt man lying on the road. Mutwale and Ngarama accelerated with their bicycles but unfortunately they felt and were wounded. This area was a dangerous place, Makere was flooded with refugees from Burundi.
Throughout the ministry in Tanzania, the mission has undergone a lot of difficulties related to financial challenges. It is because of problems encountered, the church reduced the number of pastors from six to two as mentioned above.
From 1995, mission was run by two pastors only, Rev Mutwale and Rev Umba with their wives. Each couple has six children. Pastors were assisted by lay preachers who were leading local churches. Those prechers were trained and became local pastors. Some were even sent to Bible school in Kafwakumba (Zambia). They became pastors and later were ordained. Some pastors have continual training in Zambia. The late pastor Francis Wage and pastor Mathias Mwenembele all from Kigoma who were among the first UM members in Tanzania. They were the first trained Tanzanian to be ordained in Nyunzu.
Under Bishop Ntambo Nkulu Ntanda leadership, churches were planted. In 2008, Tanzania became a provisional Conference and in 2012, it became a full Annual Conference.
In 2001 under Ntambo leadership, Rev Mutwale was sent to Atlanta for missionary training. In 2002, Rev Umba went also to missionary training for General Board of Global Ministries. In 2007, their wives were trained in Ghana as missionaries of General Board of Global Ministries. Rev Mutwale is now in Dar es Sallam working as deputy to Bishop. Rev Umba lives in Morogoro as Bible School director and Manager of Wesley primary school. Kabaka Ndala Alphonsine is the women coordinator and director of the orphan preschool in Dar es Sallam. Ngoy Mulanga Kalangwa is the director of Susanne Wesey Center and teacher at preschool in Morogoro.
Some other missionaries are Eric Soard and Elizabeth from USA based in Mwanza. Eric works as manager at Wesley college and Elizabeth is volunteers coordinator at Emmanuel Women and children center in Tarime.
Christina Kim Young Seon is from Korea , she serves as youth coordinator. Matsimbe Fernandes is from Mozambique working in evangelism and church planting.
In 2017, Bishop Mande Muyombo is elected and now there are 74 churches in Tanzania ; seven in refugee camps ( Nyarugusu camp for Congolese refugees, nduta and mtendeli camps for burudi refugees) and eleven districts with more than 6000 church members . Those districts are –Dar es Salaaam, Pwani, Morogoro, Dodoma, Kigoma, Kasulu, Kitanga, Kibondo, Geita, Mwanza and Tarime. There are 52 odained pastors and 25 local pastors.
Tanzania is a country whose dominated religion is Islam and Christianity. Among Christians, catholic are dominant. Protestant churches are still in low numbers. The United Methodist Church program has used evangelism as tool through literacy programs, ministry with poor, leadership development and global health in each its mission station.