(Tim) Last night, our elders, pastors, and wives gathered for dinner and an evening's conversation with Pastor Conrad Mbewe, a dear brother who serves as the pastor of Kabwata Baptist Church in Lusaka, Zambia. Pastor Mbewe was here in the States to preach at the missions conference of Heritage Baptist Church in Owensboro, Kentucky. Tonight, the men studying here at ClearNote Pastors College will also have dinner and an evening learning from Ba Mbewe. We all give thanks to God for this opportunity.
Some years back, Pastor David Wegener, a dear friend of my brother David and I who had served as a pastor here at Church of the Good Shepherd, moved to Ndola, Zambia, to begin serving as an instructor at the Theological College of Central Africa. Along with his wife, Terri, and their four children, Lizzie (who lives with Mary Lee and me this year), Mary, John, and Sarah, David is seconded to TCCA by the Presbyterian Church in America's mission agency, Mission to the World. At TCCA, David serves under Principal Joseph Simfukwe. Soon after beginning his work in Zambia, Pastor Wegener told us of the vital Biblically reformed work being done done in Lusaka by Pastor Mbewe, and since that time, Pastor Wegener has begun lecturing at the preaching college sponsored by Pastor Mbewe's congregation. So we knew of Pastor Mbewe through Pastor Wegener, but until last night, had never met him.
So who is Pastor Conrad Mbewe...
Submitting to Jesus Christ by faith back in 1979, Pastor Mbewe sat under the preaching of then-Pastor Joseph Simfukwe in Lusaka while he was an undergraduate studying mining engineering there in Zambia's capital. Through a series of sermons on Galatians Pastor Simfukwe preached, along with several other university students Mr. Mbewe came to embrace the sovereignty and providence of God. Hearing Pastor Simfukwe quote men like Hodge and Spurgeon, the young men decided to read what their pastor was reading. As Pastor Mbewe told us last night, they saw that a number of these good books had a picture on their spine of Whitefield preaching with his arm lifted in the air, so they concluded the best way to get good books was to ask for books with this picture. This was the beginning of the reformed Baptist movement in Zambia which many would consider the most vital reformed work on the continent today.
After graduating from university and starting his work as a mining engineer, in 1987 Pastor Mbewe received a call to serve as the pastor of Kabwata Baptist Church where he has been for the past twenty years. Kabwata Baptist has grown in southern Africa since that date. The church has founded Reformed Baptist Preachers College (Pastor Mbewe is the college's Principal), and for about ten years now Kabwata has been active in planting other reformed churches in Zambia and Botswana which are supported until they reach maturity (it's hoped in about eight years) by both Kabwata and HeartCry Missionary Society (directed by Paul Washer). Pastor Mbewe edits Reformation Zambia magazine and is a columnist for several Zambian newspapers. Married for twenty years to his wife, Felistas, the Mbewe's have three children by blood, but a number of others who live with them in their Christian household.
Readers interested in supporting this vital work God is doing through Kabwata Baptist Church and Pastor Mbewe may get in touch with HeartCry Missionary Society and join in their fraternal relationship with our Zambian brothers and sisters.
But more, if you're able, go to Zambia and visit Kabwata Baptist Church. Sit under Pastor Mbewe's ministry any way you are able. You will grow in wisdom and faith.
* * *
(If you're interested, here are the names of those in the
picture: first, up front, Pastor Mbewe; behind Conrad starting from front left, Pastor Stephen Baker, Pastor Conrad
Mbewe, Elder Tim Wegener and his wife, Anne; Elder Lawrence Howell
behind his wife, Janet; Elder Jeff Moore with his wife, Laura, behind him;
then, going up the stairs, Pastor Dave Curell next to his wife, Annie;
with his arm on Dave's shoulder is Elder Wayne Huck (who's wife, Joyce,
wasn't able to join us); behind Dave going up the stairs is Elder Jeff
Ewer in front of his wife, Amanda and their week-old newborn son, Amos;
next to Amanda is my wife, Mary Lee; and finally, Mary Lee's and my son
and daughter-in-law, Joseph and Heidi Bayly who just graduated from
ClearNote Pastors College.)