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The New Apostolic Church in Zambia

More than 1,100,000 people belong to the New Apostolic Church in Zambia. The Church that has existed for over 88 years is one of the oldest in the country. From its humble beginnings in 1928, the New Apostolic Church has now grown to 7,300 congregations spread throughout Zambia. It was introduced to this country by Evangelist George Henwood Mkandawire who was travelling from Cape Town, South Africa, enroute to Nyasaland, now Malawi his home country.

Henwood as he popularly became known, made a stopover in Livingstone, a town in southern Zambia named after a British missionary – Dr. David Livingstone.  While in Livingstone, Henwood in the company of a New Apostolic Church friend only known as McPherson professed the New Apostolic doctrine to Jeremiah Njamba, Kamwi Masule and Anderson Katiba who were shoe repairers and handicraft vendors in the shop corridors of present day tourist capital of Zambia.

Brother Njamba and his friends willingly accepted the word as preached to them by Henwood and his companion and they invited them (Henwood and McPherson) to Njamba’s house in Malota Township were they even spent a night. Njamba and his friends became the first converts of the New Apostolic Church in Zambia, then Northern Rhodesia.

Evangelist Henwood then postponed his journey to Nyasaland (Malawi) and became a resident of Livingstone while his friend McPherson returned to Cape Town. Henwood continued testifying about the doctrine of the New Apostolic Church to many people of Livingstone. The first divine service and other gatherings were held in the house of Brother Jeremiah Njamba in Malota Township in Livingstone.  

God blessed the labours of Henwood such that within a short time, the congregation grew up to 32 members who became deeply rooted in the Apostle’s doctrine. The New Apostolic Church in Livingstone began to grow such that in 1929 it was registered by the Northern Rhodesian Government. The first sealing service was held on 21 September 1932; during that service 244 souls were sealed by Apostle Schlaphoff from Cape Town. In a short time, the New Apostolic Church began to spread to other countries in Central Africa.

For administrative purposes, the Church, at the highest level is divided into districts known as District Apostle Areas (DAAs). Zambia lies in DAA 28 along with Malawi and Zimbabwe and the District Church headquarters is in its capital city, Lusaka. DAA 28 is headed by District Apostle Charles Sakavumbi Ndandula, who was ordained District Apostle on March 13, 2005 by Chief Apostle Richard Fehr in Lusaka, taking over from District Apostle Duncan Burton Mfune whose time to retire had come.

District Apostle Area 28 (Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe) – DAA 28 - is further divided into 25 Apostle Areas, 19 of which are in Zambia. As of 31st December 2015, the total membership of DAA 28 stood at 1, 435, 933 that of Zambia was 1,181,523  with 7,424 congregations while Malawi’s was 242,059 with 2,056 congregations and Zimbabwe’s was about 12, 351 members with 122 congregations.

District Apostle Area 28 has a total of 35,213 ministers. In Zambia the New Apostolic Church has 19 Apostles and 10 Bishops. In Malawi there are 5 Apostles and 4 Bishops while Zimbabwe has 1 Apostle and 1 Bishop.

While the New Apostolic Church focuses on spiritual matters in most of its operations, charity work is also an important component in the Church. In 2002, the Church established the Henwood Foundation (named after George Henwood Mkandawire, the pioneer of the Church in Zambia), as a humanitarian wing of the New Apostolic Church Zambia incorporating Malawi and Zimbabwe. The Henwood Foundation is registered under the Societies Act Chapter 119 of the laws of the Republic of Zambia.

The Foundation’s activities are anchored on humanitarian support and promotion of programmes aiming at improving the livelihood of the less privileged and vulnerable people in the communities. Henwood Foundation serves New Apostolic Church members and non-members in the communities where the church operates without any form of segregation or preference.

Arising from this reflection, the Church opened Graceland Mission in Mkushi, Zambia as a Centre of Excellence focusing on three areas; namely evangelizing, community service and sustenance of the church through commercial ventures as part of implementing the District Apostle Area 28 Strategic Plan. Already, the New Apostolic Church has commissioned Graceland Chisanga Mission Health Centre which was officially opened on 17th December, 2015 by Her Honour Mrs. Inonge Mutukwa Wina, MP; Vice President of the Republic of Zambia to serve communities based north of Mkushi district

NAC ORIGINSLast year (2015) the Henwood Foundation changed its name to New Apostolic Church Relief Organisation (NACRO). The name Henwood Foundation was rightly thought out in honor of the pioneer of our faith in Zambia and Malawi, the late Apostle George Henwood Mkandawire. However, it needed to be explained to other people for them to associate it with The New Apostolic Church. It was therefore necessary to change the name of this organisation so as to directly link works of Henwood Foundation to the New Apostolic Church while also associating the Church with community work.

The New Apostolic Church in Zambia hosted the festive Pentecost Divine Service by Chief Apostle Jean - Luc Schneider, the World leader and president of the New Apostolic Church, on 24th May, 2015. The Pentecost Divine Service is an annual high point event in the New Apostolic Church Calendar. Pentecost is designated as the birthday of the Church of Christ and commemorated as the day when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the believers.    

This was the first time Zambia was hosting such an important and historic event where all (19) the New Apostolic Church District Apostles, District Apostle Helpers (9) and all (256) active Apostles working in Africa are in attendance.

This special and very important event in the New Apostolic Church was transmitted live to the whole world from Lusaka, Zambia. Over 71,000 souls gathered in the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka, Zambia, an occasion that may not be repeated in the life time of many.